High on my list of things I’ve always wanted to do but finances, scheduling or partner interest always got in the way was going to some small town for a rustic fall weekend, even though it risked cementing my unconditionally yuppie status. I mentioned this to my delightful husband a month ago, in a “maybe we could pull it off this year” kind of way and a day later, he had the whole thing booked. Cue: swoon.
I find it funny now — what with my obvious fascination with stirring up soups aplenty — that a couple years ago I didn’t care for them at all. Everything about the taste of vegetables boiled in flavored water until their structures compromised made my stomach turn and to this day, even the liveliest minestrone invokes a bad memory of flavor-sapped herbs and formless noodles. Even those that came close to passing muster were so laden with salt, I’d find myself aching for a glass of water after a bowl of something that was supposed to be soothing.
Look, I’m not going to call Friday night’s dinner a disaster. For one, my husband would jump its undeserving defense and hey, nobody went to bed hungry, did they? But, I hated it. It was a tremendous amount of labor for a just shy of average outcome, none of the dishes lived up to my taste bud’s anticipation of them and even looking at the photos as well as the ample leftovers the next morning, ugh, I just wanted it all to go away. We can’t be great cooks every night, can we? I suppose some disappointing baigan bharta, oily cauliflower with onions and tomatoes and lackluster naan are small prices to pay for lucking out round one with garlic soups and sable cookies.
Today exhausted me. A Thursday 5 p.m. deadline inexplicably became a Wednesday 2 p.m., and somehow, on what is supposed to be the deadest (inventive language like this is what I get paid the big bucks, folks) news week of the year, I was under an avalanche of it. Plus, there were other insults to injury: I had my first warm latte of the cooler season and spilled a good sum of it on my pink shirt, I stepped in a puddle and my surprisingly absorbent sandals remained damp and cold all day and I realized that flame-tinted leaf I’d seen this weekend and considered sort of a fluke, might not have been. Don’t get me wrong — I love fall — just not in August.