|My typical lunch - alone|
Actually, a more accurate statement is "I don't cook sit down dinners anymore."
I have always liked to cook. While never a gourmet cook (one has to like fish, veal and lamb to qualify for that vaulted title), I consider myself a pretty good cook. In fact I am an excellent cook.
When I moved in with Bill once of the first things I bought was the New York Times cookbook. I prepared and cooked many a meal from that cookbook.
Over the years that Bill and I have been together I have cooked many meals for company. The gay gene really came out in me. I may have missed the "Broadway Showtune" gay gene but I definitely had the "Let's have company over for dinner" gay gene.
Early on in our domesticity I used to cook a full breakfast and a full dinner EVERY day for Bill and myself. Almost every weekend I would have friends over for dinner. I so enjoyed trying out new recipes (a "no-no" actually) on my company. Oh how I loved the wave of accolades when I hit a home run with a meal.
|Me at our dining room table at our house in Philadelphia, PA - 1969|
That formula worked out well when we lived in center city Philadelphia when I was able to walk to work. We lived in center city Philadelphia for eleven years.
In 1980 we moved out of the city to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I was now a commuter. No more the big breakfasts and certainly no more sit down dinners during the week, I got home just too late.
Bill and I began eating our meals on different schedules. During the weekends I still had friends over for dinner, usually Saturday night. The list of friends dwindled but I still enjoyed cooking my favorite recipes and serving them to Bill and our friends. We lived in "the country" outside Downingtown for twenty-five years.
Then 2006 happened. I sold our house in Pennsylvania and moved to Casa Tipton-Kelly here on the beautiful coastal shores of southern Delaware. I no longer commute. I work part-time, usually 3 pm to 11 pm two days a week. I'm on call. I often work during the days and weekends.
Once in a great while Bill and I would go out for breakfast but I never cook breakfast at home for the both of us. Bill doesn't eat lunch. I do.
|One of my favorite lunches - grilled chicken and soup - Rehoboth Beach, DE - 2012|
Bill has his "dinner" around 4 in the afternoon. I have my dinner, when I'm not working at the hotel, anywhere from 6 pm to 11 pm. Yes, sometimes I have dinner right before I go to bed and don't tell me it's bad for my weight. I still weigh the same as I did the day I graduated from high school in 1959 (160 lbs.)
|Me - dinner at Cracker Barrel somewhere in Virginia - 2012|
The first couple of years at Casa Tipton-Kelly we invited friends over for dinner. I still liked putting on a big dinner but maybe not so much now. I think some of the fun went out of it was when I was told what my guests liked and didn't like. One guest I couldn't cook any chicken dishes because she had visited a chicken processing factor and couldn't bear the thought of ingesting one of those feathered fowl, even though there were plucked by the time they reached my dinner table. She likes fish and steak. I don't cook fish and steak. We haven't had steak in over forty years. We also don't eat veal (another fav of hers) or lamb. A habit I got from my father, who once worked in a slaughter house, I don't eat baby animals.
|Me - dinner at Panera Bread Johnson City, Tennessee - 2012|
Shortly after we moved in I met another long term gay couple who I invited over for dinner. I had them over a few times but ended that relationship when I discovered that just because two couples are gay doesn't mean they are compatible. We weren't compatible at all. They were like Martha and George in "Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolff!" Plus, "Martha" complained about everything I put before him from the size of the fork to my choice of beverages to be served with the meal. I soon ended that friendship without regrets.
For a while we had another "friend" over occasionally for a Saturday night get together. That worked well for a while because I could again put on a nice dinner without fear of not serving the right food or having utensils large enough to shovel the food down one's gullet. Occasionally our "friend" would invited us over to his house for dinner. While I never particularly cared for what he served (unlike my former guests I was never rude and complained), both Bill and I did enjoy the camaraderie of a gathering of friends.
But alas, all good things must end. This former friend took offense to something I wrote about in my blog (actually several things) in which he thought I was referring to him. He sent me a terse e-mail saying "Sorry I wasted your time. Bye!" Just like that, an end of what I thought was a solid friendship.
|Me - breakfast at Hampton Inn Virginia - 2012|
These days I cook for myself. I eat by myself. Bill cooks for himself and also eats by himself. At this time of our life this works fine for us. And to be quite frank, I have no desire to do the formal company sit down dinners. The magic has gone folks.
|Me cooking breakfast in our Philadelphia kitchen 1969|
Yesterday I met a friend for lunch. We met at Panera Bread. The food was good (I had creamy tomato soup and half Cuban panini sandwich. Excellent lunch, good company and I didn't have the stress of cooking on a hot day. And you know what folks? I like it.
Tonight I'll have a grilled hamburger (on my George Foreman grill), a big tablespoon of my homemade potato salad (I make the BEST potato salad) and maybe some homemade salsa and a fresh corn on the cob ear of corn. That's all I need for dinner these days.
For breakfast I have a bowl of cereal (usually Corn Chex) and a banana or strawberries. Lunch is a bowl of soup from Panera (I buy a quart at a time), a hummus wrap sprinkled with Feta cheese and Doritos chips on the side. Don't tell me about the calories. As I said before, I still weigh the same (160 lbs) that I did when I graduated from high school fifty-three years ago (1959).
Will I ever cook a sit down dinner again? Maybe but I don't plan on setting a spread out anytime in the near future and that is just fine with me.
|Me - lunch in Toccoa Georgia - 2012|