Recently, my Grandma & Grandpa Feltz celebrated their 70th Anniversary. As someone whose relationships rarely last more than a couple of years, I am astounded by that longevity.
Grandma introduced me to Cincinnati chili in my childhood. When I prepare that for my boys, I think of my grandparents celebrating seven decades of love and friendship. My grandma is a wonderful cook…but my grandpa didn’t always think so. When they were first married, he would stop at a bar on the way home from work where he’d enjoy a drink and a sandwich, because he didn’t really like her cuisine. (In their early years of marriage, Grandma had been surprised to find that Grandpa didn’t have much of an appetite!) Over time, he teases, one of two things happened: either her cooking improved with practice, or he got used to the meals she made. In any case, he eventually ate all of his dinners in his own home.
Cincinnati chili needs to sit in the fridge overnight for the sharp flavors to soften a bit. I think that’s maybe what happens in a stable relationship, too: strong ingredients are assembled, and life’s circumstances cook them together, but the slow passage of time is what melds the spices and makes it work.
Or maybe we discard a bunch of awful meals early on and practice our skillz frequently before figuring out how to create something that’s palatable. WTH do I know…I don’t have 70 years under my belt (yet).
Cheers to good cooking: gentle & slow, hard & fast, in the kitchen, the bedroom, and the places in between.