Here’s an entry into the bright-side-of-life journal: Rachael broke her leg in a skiing accident last weekend — a bad break that required full-anaesthesia surgery and twelve weeks’ recovery. Yet it broke below the knee, at the end of the skiing season, and at precisely the time I happen to be around! I don’t believe in fate, but it’s darned lucky that I can play nurse. Lucky for both of us, really: the showering of gratitude from friends and family members, the feelings of responsibility and adulthood, the perfect excuse to play in the kitchen, and having a Buffy-watching companion, are all great balms for twenty-something-itis.
Before Rachael got home, we celebrated Joan’s birthday with sesame snap cookies — perfect for the woman who sees the ravaging effects of bad lifestyle choices every day as a nurse, and chooses to avoid processed and refined foods like the plague they are — and a rather Italian-seasoned tempeh stir-fry that I didn’t know I was making until I showed up. Joan reminds me of a hummingbird, beautiful and poised and high-energy. Her sister-in-law, Carol, is equally a ball of happy energy, but with a silly ease that cares not what others think. Their husbands, Rachael’s brothers Allyn and Gib, are mellow counterpoints to their partners, grounded and chill. Though, as I’m fast learning, all the Dorr siblings will talk your ears off if you give them half a chance, long and strolling ballads of life.
I woke up Wednesday morning, the day of Rachael’s homecoming, ready to organize the moving of her bed downstairs, and the resulting cascade of furniture finagling. I thought there would be brothers, band members, someone with half an iota of upper-body strength. Shows what I know: Scott woke up and admitted it was just us two. Could we do it…? After an hour of pondering, scootching, pushing, and wishing Rachael didn’t have a mechanical frickin’ bed, the answer was: Heck YES!
Now I have a captive audience for my delicious concoctions: fluffy warm slices of whole-wheat no-knead bread topped with scallion-sunflower pesto or lentil-walnut pate, rosemary beet and red lentil soup, lemon-tahini kale chips, and a fantastic seat-of-my-pants salad with massaged kale, apple, celery, scallions, almonds, dried cranberries, and umi plum vinaigrette. Not only that, but Rachael has coached me to making a top-notch espresso. My culinary skills know no bounds! (Except, of course, for animal products — Gavin and his girlfriend Amy are staying the week, and the meat they left marinating in the fridge this morning caught me off-guard and left me nauseated. I could barely bring myself to pick up eggs for Rachael last week. Oy, I’m getting worse, aren’t I?)
The glass is half full. Or perhaps the espresso mug. Because otherwise it would be too strong, right?