For Colonel Tomatoes

Wednesday is, in my opinion, the worst day of the week.  There is never anything on TV, there is no point in going out to do anything and worst of all:  I never know what to make on Wednesday.  Absolutely never.  I’m never sure which it is: a week half-finished or a week half-started… it’s always so situational.  This particular Wednesday definitely felt like we were only half-starting the week, and Abbie and I were both painfully aware that the weekend was oh-so far away. Down-trodden, I felt myself lumber over to the fridge to scavenge up some food.  With little to no sense of awareness I opened the door and looked blankly inside and then there they were.  I stood staring at the corn and tomatoes that Abbie and I had picked up the Sunday before.  My brain raced to remember why on earth we thought we’d need 6 ears of corn and 6 tomatoes, when memories of Yumly scrolling washed over me. I had saved this recipe for such a day as this. The perfect fun, delicious, and vibrant meal solely meant to dispel the mid-week blues.

It was about this time that Abbie suggested that we just order some take-out. Now, as a rule, I’m a pretty big fan of take-out.  I couldn’t claim to be lazy if I weren’t.  However, I’ve also lived enough to know that it’s rarely filling and almost never has the ability to chase the blues away. So when I offered to make Stewed Tomatoes and Corn (recipe credit: Serendipity and Spice) it came as a shock, not just to Abbie but me too.  Even now, I’m unsure who blinked first.  We both stood staring at each other not really believing what I’d just said. Had I – my pridefully lazy self – in fact, just offered to cook?

Slowly she nodded her head in affirmation and, to further both of our surprise, offered to assist.  Now I’m not going to pretend that she never helps out.  In fact, she does quite often. But on a day like this? No. Normally she snags a bowl of ice cream, sits on the couch and plays Tetris until my hanger (hunger+anger) inspires me to grunt my way over to the stove. raw tomatoes and cornStill shaken by this turn of events I passed her each of the tomatoes to dice while I began shaving corn kernels into a bowl. I can honestly say that never in my life have I ever thought to myself “Yeah. I’m going to shave some corn. And it’ll be awesome.” However, having now shaved corn I can say with absolute certainty that it’s right up there with waiting in line at the DMV.  Ordering a pizza was getting more and more enticing, until one stray corn kernel popped off the ear I was working on and made its way into Abbie’s pile of tomatoes. Abbie being the tomato-dicer was the first to notice the intruder.

“Hey! Your corn’s invading my tomato pile,” she made sure to inform me as she pointed at the stray kernel with her knife. I stopped what I was doing, took one look at the corn kernel, then looked her dead in the eye and told her quite seriously, “No. Colonel Tomatoes is just doing his job.” At this point, both of our grumpy moods turned into slap-happy-sillyness, as we made up stories about the military tactics of Colonel Tomatoes. All desire for pizza completely vanished as the prep-work seemed to finish itself.

The tomatoes and corn (Colonel Tomatoes included) were tossed into a skillet with a quarter cup of water, turned on medium heat and then covered.  Abbie and I exchanged a glance that said in no uncertain terms: “That’s it?!” With a look and shrug that said “I guess so?” I began making a pot of rice while, as predicted, Abbie vanished back into the living room to play some Tetris.

It wasn’t until I removed the lid from the skillet to stir our concoction for the first time that our apartment was flooded with the delicious aroma of what we’d created.  The pleasant, warming scent erased all thoughts of ordering take-out and replaced them with embarrassment for ever thinking such things.  How dare we resort to overpriced, prepackaged delivery nonsense when we had a fridge full of fresh vegetables waiting to be prepared?Stewing Tomatoes

A few short minutes later and I had placed some rice on our plates, covered the rice in the red and gold aroma fest and was bringing dinner to Abbie, on the couch.  Still exhausted sounding she said thanks as I walked back to the kitchen to make my own plate when I heard what I always want to hear when I cook for her.

An excited Abbie proclaiming “Oh wow! That’s awesome!”

Having now prepared my own plate, I returned to the couch to sit next to Abbie to play some Tetris.  I was elated that she’d perked up so much and couldn’t wait to enjoy something that made her so happy.  As soon as I sat down I heard her ‘adorable’ voice asking me for something to drink… And I of course obliged her. After all…. she didn’t realize it’ll be her turn to cook for me tonight…

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