Sunday, March 10, 2013

a good meal

We had just finished our light evening meal of grilled drumsticks (chicken, lest you think I'm inventing a new twist on fried ice cream) and parmesan roasted asparagus, when I sat back in my chair and Gemma climbed into my lap. I was feeling pleased with myself because have you even HAD grilled chicken drumsticks recently? I have a friend who refuses to eat any chicken that has been cooked on the bone and I am sad for her because this is truly one of life's simple pleasures. And since we adopted my cousin's gas grill, it's so EASY. Crank your grill up, season your drumsticks with a salt/pepper/garlic/cayenne mixture, and then throw them on the grill after it has gotten super hot and you've turned it back down to medium. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning every 8 or so. In the meantime, wash your asparagus and put it in a 9x13 pan, spray with cooking spray (unless you've bought coconut oil and are looking to use that everywhere - melt a little and drizzle it on), sprinkle on some salt, top with shredded parmesan (or romano, but FRESH) and bake at 425 for about 8 minutes. Or maybe it was 12. Until it's delicious. I might have forgotten a carb. But I kind of figured we'd probably had enough that day already.

(Also, does asparagus affect dogs the way it affects, ahem, humans? Actually, I've heard asparagus doesn't have that certain effect on everyone, that it's hereditary. While I can roll my tongue and Joel can't, and Joel can bend his hands back a certain way and I can't, the asparagus effect is one we both have going for us, you're welcome. Anyway, my question was more, do dogs have the same sorta thing? I mean, I'm in no way going to follow Albus around to test this theory, but the fact remains that he loved the asparagus. He also loves broccoli. Like, he does tricks to EARN it. And goes completely crazy when he sees me pulling it out of the fridge. He also loves salad. Is this normal?!)

So there I was reflecting on the simplicity of the meal (and potential effects) while Gemma sat, facing me, on my lap. She inhaled and cocked her head to the side in a way I recognize as the precursor to a while or complaint and I, being the ninja-mother I am, quickly brought my hands up and began stroking her face and neck and shoulders and arms. She was stopped cold. Wait, that sounds like she was afraid. Stopped...warm? I don't know. She was frozen (there's another cold reference - what the?). She sat there, me rubbing her arms and back, going into a trance-like state. I could actually see her emotions fighting on her face - quickly losing that desire to complain, surrendering to complete relaxation.

Then, almost as if she could hardly even believe it herself, she wistfully murmured, "I just love you so much." She was snapped out of her trance momentarily as my body began to shake from giggles. A grin broke across her face and shrugged. "Well, I do."

For all the moments, recently, that have left my fingernails digging into my balled up fists, willing myself not to lose my patience with her, this suddenly seemed to even the score. Life's simple pleasures: Chicken, asparagus, and Gemma's affection.

It was a good meal.