When my husband and I married I was 24 and he was 25. We both knew how to cook... a little bit.
But really, not very much. We both also worked long hours. The rule was that whoever got home from work first would start supper.
Lucky for me, he got home first a lot. His plan was to put a pot of rice on first thing, then go from there. I would come home from work and smell food cooking. There would be music playing. And he would be there. It was so good. I would ask, "What's for supper?" He would grin and twinkle at me and answer, "Chrissy surprise!" In general he would add some canned cream of something soup to the rice, with some leftovers. It was never very yummy, but I was usually hungry and any food seemed palatable.
Then one night I came home and smelled something really good. I hopefully asked what it was. His brown eyes sparked and he answered, "Chrissy surprise." My spirits sank. I lifted the pot lid. Fragrant steam rose to greet me. It smelled really terrific.
But it was green. A green, bubbling, gelatinous mass. The smell was beguiling, but the look struck terror in my heart. Fortunately I was young and brave. I tasted it. And you know what? It tasted nice. The best Chrissy surprise yet. I had begun to love Chrissy surprise. This batch had deli ham slices, chopped, and frozen peas, with cream of mushroom soup and rice and a lot of spices. After you got past the appearance, it was plain old yum.
This was the last time he ever made it. After that he began to consult cook books. And he became a wonderful, amazing cook, tackling complex recipes with aplomb.
Fast forward 30 years or so....
The man can now cook anything. My favorite meal that he makes is a Cajun shrimp scampi. Shrimp, butter, garlic, rice and some pretty wonderful spices. He made it this weekend at my request. And I savored every morsel.
I didn't realize back when we were new that those pots of bubbling surprise were terrific, but they really were. Made with a dash of new love and a lot of rice. It was so sweet... but today's meals are both more highly educated and more delicious. Terrific is a word I would use. Yes, my man makes terrific suppers.