I have an admission. I am not a romantic guy. I love my wife but… well some guys just aren’t very adept at romantic gestures.
None of this is lost on Stef. This year she gave me some advice, “Make dinner for mommy.” It would be our little secret until Helaine saw or smelled what was going on.
It is a running joke here that over 26 years of marriage I have made dinner zero times! Today that would change.
Stef found a recipe on Food Network’s site for Wolfgang Puck’s “Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta..”
“You can do this,” she said.
Friday night after work I headed to Stop and Shop to fill my grocery list. Yes, I needed help. I had no clue where most of the things I needed were located. Not only that, there are shopping nuances I didn’t know.
I was on the phone with my friend Dennis as I shopped. That was a good thing because until he set me straight I thought each head of garlic was a clove. Overly spicy dinner avoided!
I’d also like to thank the nice woman at the self checkout stand who found a way to get me the shopper’s card discount without my having a shopper’s card… and gave me a quick lesson in weighing and pricing produce. The woman knew the four digit code for tomatoes without looking!
You veteran dinner preparers probably know how to do this, but I had no clue how to backtime the meal so it arrived at the same time Helaine did. I started as she landed at Bradley. As it turns out the timing was right, but that was just blind luck.
Within the first minute of prep I realized I was in over my head. I’d never chopped onions or garlic. I didn’t know which pan was a saucepan. I had herbs to remove from their stems.
Actually, it’s possible I have experience in herb/stem removal from my college days, but that’s a story for another time.
Long story short, the pasta came out tasting pretty good. Wolgang’s might taste better, but there’s no way it has as much love in it as mind did.
A home cooked meal is romantic. Stef knew that. Helaine was touched. Stef knew that would be the case too. This is one gift she’ll never forget.