“What do you want for dinner tonight?” JD asks as I recline in the lazy boy near the window, feet propped up with a Wendell Berry book in my hand. It’s Saturday night, date night. And for us, date night means we eat dinner at home. “Ummm tacos!” I respond, eager to get started on tonight’s meal. “OK, but we need to go to the store to get some tomatoes, onions, lettuce, tortillas, and hot sauce. Hey, maybe I’ll make some salsa too,” my gourmet husband answers as he grabs the keys. “I’m coming with you, because you need supervision when traveling to the grocery store alone.” Our grocery bill may or may not be significantly higher if one of us doesn’t keep the other in balance when meandering through the grocery aisles.
60 dollars later, JD and I leave the grocery store with two new beach chairs, and all the necessary ingredients for homemade salsa, spanish rice, and tacos. The beach chairs were only ten dollars each…
We take our places in the kitchen and at the grill, JD jokes that I am his little Latina wife (only not at all – have you seen how white I am compared to my husband? Light brown hair doesn’t help either. The only thing going for me in that department is a curvy figure…) as I prepare the rice and taco meat. Apparently I have gained a knack for making rice, because it is now my dish of choice. At one time, JD even went so far as to say I prepared the rice just like his mom and aunt do (flattery or a tremendous compliment, I’m not sure which – but in this family, rice is not cooked in a rice steamer, so I appreciate the kind words). Rice and chocolate cake – dishes I can serve in confidence.
JD stands at the BBQ on our lanai and grills the vegetables for our homemade salsa. He has a talent and a gift when preparing food.
When my husband makes a meal, he doesn’t do it to check it off the list of household duties or to fulfill a task. Out of quiet necessity, my husband pours his love into his hands as he prepares our dinner. Each seasoning added is well thought through and deliberately placed. He worships God as he serves me with his cooking. It is second nature to him. I don’t think he consciously serves with the intent of worshiping God; he just does it because his life is flavored with the love of Jesus.
Preparing dinner together has become one of my favorite activities in life. We’ve created a rhythm in the kitchen as we take turns sauteing, steaming, cooking, chopping, and grilling. Almost like a dance, we move around our tiny kitchen space to create a meal that is experienced in the preparation much more than what sits on our table in complete form.
And so our date night, although spent inside the normalcy of our own home, becomes an experience of unity, love, and refreshment.
I like Saturdays.
And in case you were wondering… JD’s salsa was perfect. Absolutely perfect.