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strawberry soup, infections and the insanity of a newly minted housewife

August 18, 2009

Tonight I came across one of the curious reasons that I just, simply, love myself.  I have a tendency to document and save bizarre and unexciting details because I enjoy the memories that they jog later on; and in the kitchen I discovered the notepad on which, for the first six weeks of our marriage, I wrote down what we had for supper every night.

Anyways, I discovered in reading over this list that I was definitely the most neurotic new housewife ever turned loose on an unsuspecting husband.  I was probably partially attempting to prove to my disbelieving family that I could actually nourish and possibly even excite the tastebuds of my new husband.  Maybe I was trying to prove to myself that I could cook.  Maybe I was just psycho.

A little background: when my husband and I were married, not only did I move across state to join him in a little apartment which contained only a closet-full of decorative dishes, silverware, an old futon and a new mattress set, but I planned to start my new, very first full-time job four days after arriving back from the honeymoon.  On top of everything, I developed an illness in the weeks leading up to the wedding that turned into a full blown infection during our honeymoon – which meant that the folks at my new job were about ready to quarantine me in the file room within an hour of my arrival.  It was nearly two months before I got my full strength back.

Ah, I remember those days well.  The excitement of being newly married and the desire to be together every waking momenth; the stress of being professional and remembering what seemed like a million new faces and facts at work; the endless trips to WalMart, Ikea and Target that seemed to produce more chaos in our apartment than they calmed; the horrible cough and utter exhaustion that dogged everything I tried to do.

What then, I ask you, was I doing making chilled white wine and strawberry soup and cranberry/cashew salad for supper a week after arriving home from our honeymoon?  I remember that soup.  I didn’t have a blender, so I pureed my strawberries by hand with a food chopper and a fork.  And it produced a batch the size of a jumbo popcorn bowl.

A few days later, I was grinding peanuts (again, by hand) for use in my Dad’s special Hawaiian breaded chicken recipe.  Hacking, coughing, nauseous and exhausted, with a housefull of partially put together Ikea bookcases and unpacked boxes; and I am grinding peanuts with a stone bowl and cup.  It was less than week after that that I was whipping up risotto.  We didn’t eat until about 8 pm that evening, on a work day.  I’m having trouble coming to grips with the fact that I was at the grocery store buying arborio rice when I didn’t even have basic canned goods in my pantry yet.

The mind boggles.

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