The only thing I really like about cooking is my skeleton apron I bought in Japan. This bodes very poorly for Nuv. I used to love food and food flavours and buying glossy magazines at the supermarket checkout to make what was on the cover – mushroom soup with too much tarragon, muffins made with applesauce, stews, salads, even bagels from scratch. And then celiac disease came along and took a huge shit on my plate and that was that.

There are about 60 websites I know of that prove positive celiac disease can still be delicious and gourmet. I look at them like pictures in a museum and carry on. After celiac, I ate white rice with sweet corn and salsa for about a year, cornflakes dry or with oj for another year, then nacho rice (rice topped with cheese & avocado & salsa & sour cream & salt), then baby sandwiches (a ripped chunk of Kraft single between two round corn tortilla chips.) All things I could have submitted to recipe competitions and won every time, but that's not super fair to everybody else.

I wooed Nuv with yet another white trash dish, inherited from my paternal Grandma. An ambrosia made with four ingredients. Canned pineapple-not terrible. Mini marshmallows-kept with popcorn in the grocery store so, technically, still a food. Pistachio pudding mix-oh dear. Finally, the Lord & King of poor taste-a tub of Cool Whip. Billed by its very makers as an 'edible oil product.' And you mash these things together, go read a long book with big words while it sits and the flavours meld together, and come back and eat it with a big spoon with a dude who was born in a leather jacket and smells like sex and then you marry him. Easy!

Our edible romance continued as I modified the baby sandwich to contain a hot pepper and fed those to him while we watched Miami Vice dvd's on summer afternoons. Now, I try a little harder. I'm trying to take this wife shit more seriously. Pans of roasted vegetables. Homemade waffles for breakfast. Dinnertime, I typically do this:

His is the one on the left with every spice in the kitchen dumped on top of a jerk marinade. Mine is on the right, white as its maker, nary a stray speck of pepper to be seen. We're just all kinds of jungle fever around here.


[I listened to Springsteen's Born in the USA as I wrote this. The way he delivers the line, "at night I wake up with my sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head," just kills me.]