I knew that feeling. I was living in Spain then, and I fell for my husband like that: hard and fast and utterly blind.
With love, came a desire totally new to me: a longing to cook for the object of my affection. I came clean to him about my feelings, then asked him to dinner.
“Oh! Can you make me a traditional American meal?”
A Thanksgiving meal is the most traditional meal I could think of, and since my flat had a kitchen with a two burner stove, I thought I would try something traditional for my family: macaroni and cheese.
I knew it started with a white sauce. This was before the internet, and I did not own a cookbook, so I was working by memory, from what I recalled of my mother’s very dubious cooking skills.
Equal parts flour and butter, some milk, and lots of cheese. In fact, whenever there was doubt, I just kept adding different types of cheese. There are many varieties of cheeses in Spain, and I think I added some of each kind, just to make sure it was good and cheesy and American-tasting.
My boyfriend was punctual, the pasta was made with no burning, but the cheese sauce didn’t look quite right, so I added one of those foil-wrapped Laughing Cow wedges to give the real cheese a slight artificial and truly American tang.
We sat at the narrow gray marble-topped table and I placed a heavy, a suspiciously heavy, bowl of macaroni and cheese in front of my boyfriend. He hesitated over it and inhaled deeply,
“Mmm-mmm, smells SO good!” He plunged his fork into the hardening white surface of the macaroni and scooped a glob into his mouth, “Oh!”
I took a bite. No wonder I couldn’t understand what he was saying, I could hardly open my mouth. The cheese had set up like cement between my teeth. I soldiered through about half a bowl but decided this was not a good thing to be putting into my system.
My boyfriend acted delighted. He even asked for a second helping.
Love is not only blind, it can also be incredibly kind.