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Verses from my Kitchen: Egg Fried Rice with Prawns

May 20, 2011

Egg Fried Rice with Prawns

I met my wife three and a half years ago. In that span I've been fortunate to spend the vast majority of my time with her. We take holidays together, travel as such and do almost everything as one entity. We rarely spend nights away from one another, and I love it that way. In all this time we've probably only been apart for 2 days. Well, that was until a month ago when my wife shot a wedding out of the country and misery was my company and sadness was my friend.

And that takes me to this weekend and my trip to Washington.

Some people laugh when I say I don't like being away from my wife. They say it's healthy and good for you and only lets you appreciate each other more. I say that's bullshit. So, with a blogging conference set to start in a day, I'm faced with the obstacle of being away from  my best friend for three days. And it makes me appreciate where we are. And where we've come. Together.

Three and a half years ago Wendy and I went on our first date. We sat in the bar area at a high top in a restaurant. We ordered one glass of wine after another and shared appetizers and conversation. And by the time our date was over, we were dancing in the parking lot under the stars with the music from her car guiding us. I'll never forget that moment in time, now forever locked in my mental safety deposit box. It was the start of the next chapter in my life's tale.

We were inseparable after that. Each night was spent at her house or mine and we'd always end up spending the evening in the kitchen where I cooked by the stove, she sat at the table and we shared stories and asked questions. Time flew. I soaked up every new memory as it formed and relished the chance to share food and life with her. I like to think I won her over with each passing meal, another reason to have her come by and stay for a while. Or forever.

In those days, like the ones today, food connected us. My wife isn't a "foodie" but she loves eating great food and loves sharing stories over a glass of wine. We spend weekdays sharing space around our dining room table and enjoying what life has presented us. We eat and laugh and smile. And I wonder why I'm so fortunate. And I think back to that first day and feel amazed at my circumstances.

Even on busy nights we find time to share a meal and story or two. We talk about our day and where we're going. And I wrap my love around those plates of food and enjoy the smile on her face when she eats. Kind of like that first date. The music plays above us and we'll break into an impromptu dance and for a moment I'm taken back to that parking lot all those years ago.

Last night we ate this for dinner. Lively flavours, wonderful colours and great taste. The best company a man could ask for. A quick meal on a busy night. The perfect meal to share and reminisce, and to remember the days when everything felt so different. And be grateful because of where we've come, together.

I think about the hectic year that was: our wedding, our new house, work, new projects and career turns. And I always appreciate that time we share over dinner because it makes us slow down and appreciate it all as it unfolds. And each night at that table I drift to a time and those early days when all we had was each other. Just like today.

So as I embark on a great adventure in another country, I'll be taking all my memories with me. As is usually the case, whenever I want to express myself, I write my wife a poem or cook a meal. When she leaves for a night or that week away recently, I hide notes and letters in her bag so she can read them when she's away. And no matter where we are physically, it's as if we're still together.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!  

**This is the first poem I wrote my wife:

Two become one: J'adore

Listening to jazz--
punctuated by falling rain
as it hits each window pane--
my mind wanders in and out of you,
curious, yet

I make excuses
why you're not quite right for me
when really
I've no right to say--
but every one before you
has ended in just
so why should now be
any different?

Not that I'm looking for a
not just yet, but
when my heart finally decides
to fall for this mysterious woman
in the unwritten pages of my future,
when I'm no longer a fool for trying
because I don't have to try
I just have to be

and then I'll be here
and one
with you
and we'll make love
listening to jazz
punctuated by falling rain
as it hits each window pane--
and we'll laugh at how incomplete
the music was before us
and we'll weep at the beautiful harmony
we create--
you and me...


At May 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM , Blogger Brian Samuels Photography said...

Mike... you may be one of the most romantic guys I've ever met (well, digitally met). That poem is so sweet.

And what a great recipe you have here. This is just the kind of thing I like to make for dinner.

At May 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM , Blogger Wendy Lewicki said...

I am so fortunate. This man is an angel. Miss you already Michael! xoxo

At May 21, 2011 at 12:10 AM , Blogger Marnely Rodriguez-Murray said...

Mike, I just love reading your posts! You are both so lucky to have each other :) Thank you for sharing your beautiful words....

At May 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This is so adorable, I feel like I've stumbled upon a movie script. Your wife is a lucky woman (and it's so great you realise you're lucky to have her!)
PS Just found your blog via Pickles & Cheese!

At May 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous domenicacooks said...

Hi Mike-enjoyed meeting you at Eat Write Retreat. I haven't written a poem in more than two decades but you remind me of me. I don't like traveling without my family either. It makes me feel (oddly) tethered and untethered at the same time. Which is why I guess I kept zipping up and down the GW parkway this weekend between home and the conference. So glad you were able to join us and safe travels home.

At May 25, 2011 at 5:38 AM , Anonymous Anne said...

How sweet of you to express your love for your wife, the things you spent together and your love for cooking...your wife must be lucky to have you <3


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