Satisfactory Combinations

I love my husband. He's a great partner, a fantastic father, and a hard worker. He's good at stuff I'm not good at. When Angus was born, he showed me how to change diapers. He's really bad with names, but he can always figure out who the voice is behind cartoon characters (of course, he can't remember the person's name so then he has to say 'you know, that guy from the movie with the junk yard and the flower pot' until I figure out who he means (because I'm the one who's good with names, but I never know who the voice is).

But I wouldn't say we're soulmates. We're less Heloise and Abelard than Jamie and Paul from Mad About You. We often don't get each other. He tries to explain a problem he has with Angus's hockey or baseball coach and I'm going 'huh? Leave the poor guy alone, he's a volunteer!'. I try to explain why we don't need to get all bent out of shape over one bad mark Angus gets and he's all 'homework is important! He needs to learn he can't just get lazy when things get difficult!' He comes home and I try to describe something totally infuriating or incandescently transportingly wonderful that happened that day and I end up sort of wanting to hit him over the head with a wooden spoon because he doesn't automatically get it.

This is all okay. Soulmates are over-rated, largely fictional, and often doomed in very unpleasant ways. I was never under the impression that marriage wasn't supposed to take work, so I consider this sort of thing a minor irritation and not a sign that we're not really meant to be together.

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Yesterday I was trying to bake something called Chocolate Macadamia Cream Satin for our dinner party tomorrow. We have potluck gourmet-ish dinner parties every couple of months or so with a group of friends, and this time I'm doing dessert. I had to bake a buttermilk chocolate cake and then slice it in half and put cream cheese white chocolate gelatin filling in it and put the top back on and then cover it in whipped cream and macadamia nuts and chocolate shavings. I was careful to read the entire recipe over a few times, because I've been burned before by starting something and realizing I've missed the part where you have to chill it for two hours or use a different bowl or read to it in Japanese or whatever. I still somehow managed to add the final ingredient to the cake batter, set the stand mixer going, then walk back to read in the recipe 'beat only until combined', before swearing and rushing back to turn off the mixer. I thought I might have to do the entire cake part again, but it did eventually set without burning. But the outside set quite a bit before the inside, which meant when I sliced off the top layer and tried to move it to a plate, it sort of fell apart. I put the filling on and stuck the top back on in pieces, figuring I could hide the damage with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, so I wasn't devastated, just irritated.

When Matt walked in and asked how it went, I said "oh fine, except the cake was a little hard to work with because I overbeat it a little..." and he immediately said "oh, I HATE when recipes say that! Don't tell me not to overbeat! I'm an overachiever! I always overbeat!".

And a thousand butterflies took wing. Apparently, in matters of baking, he's totally my soulmate.


Anonymous said…
The fact that your husband knows that some recipes say not to overbeat impresses me. My husband cooks, but stuff like Caesar salad or Kraft Dinner. Definitely nothing that would caution against overbeating.
alison said…
I heart this post.
Rosemary said…
Beautiful. I want to hug you and this post.

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