Not to toot my own horn, but I'm not too shabby in the kitchen. I taught myself to cook years ago, mostly out of financial necessity because eating out was killing our budget. My poor husband endured many a burnt dinner, choking down meals that may have looked appetizing in the cookbook, but didn't turn out so pretty in my own kitchen.
Until we moved to Japan, I wasn't an overly adventurous cook. But living overseas awakened my taste buds, introducing me to foods and flavors I never in a million years imagined I'd not only eat, but grow to crave.
I have never visited Spain, but my husband has. Upon returning from his first visit, he regaled me with mouth-watering tales of tapas. I never fully appreciated his stories (mainly because I was insanely jealous and slightly resentful that he was experiencing such amazing cuisine while I was eating macaroni and cheese at home with the kids). And then we dined at a tapas restaurant in the states, and I finally understood the appeal.
Tapas are basically appetizers. Really good appetizers. But it's not just about the food. It's about taking the time to savor each bite, enjoying good conversation, and sipping wine.
Tonight, I dusted off the tapas cookbook I purchased months ago, dropped the kids off at the free Parents' Night Out at the Y, and shared a wonderful meal with my husband. Instead of listening to kids fighting, we listened to Spanish music. Instead of scarfing down our meals, we took our time. And instead of trying to have an adult conversation while 2 little mouths constantly interrupt, we actually did have an adult conversation. I think the 2 plus hours I spent in the kitchen today were well worth the effort.
Now time for siesta!