The past week has been pretty full. Getting ready for appointments can be exciting and fun. It’s also tiring. Last Sunday we gained an extra hour. It felt great. I got an extra hour of sleep and was able to make it to church after weeks of non-attendance. I saw old friends and met some new ones. But after just a short time out I was feeling tired. I’m not sure if it was all the talking, change in medications, or just that old beast, ALS, but I just wanted to go home and vegetate. My way of sneaking back home was to suggest that we grab a fast food meal to take home for dinner later. Joe suggested we go out to dinner. I reluctantly agreed.
You see, many people know that my husband Joe likes food. He enjoys cooking and trying new foods. I never really was a culinary adventurer until I met him. A favorite phrase of his is Food is Love. His suggestion turned out to be a good one for more reasons than just one.
We went to an Italian Restaurant. It was one of the better Italian restaurants considering our locale. The menu wasn’t designed to accommodate my idea of easy-to-eat foods while dining out so I was already planning to skip the appetizer. Joe nudged me into revealing that the caprese salad really did interest me. My fear of struggling to cut the tomatoes was gone when Joe agreed to eat the tomatoes leaving the mozzarella for me.
The tables were far enough apart to give us our own space. Joe commanded most of the conversation since talking and eating are not my thing anymore. ALS with its frustrating speech and swallowing problems can really help you become a better listener. We enjoyed our meals. We lingered over our meals. His was espresso chili rubbed filet. Mine was polpettone di carne or for us non-Italians, Italian meatloaf with smoked mozzarella and fried parmesan polenta, also described as meatloaf made in heaven. It remains a wonderful and tasty memory.
As it turned out, the meal was not the most important part of evening after all. It did, however, make for an intimate dinner in a perfect atmosphere. It helped transform the evening for me and was just what we needed. My husband got a break from cooking and cleaning up. I was able to take as much time as I needed to eat. Gone was that tired feeing of earlier in the afternoon. We spent time without wasting words. We enjoyed each other’s company. And those troublesome tomatoes tasted even better because they were fed to me by the man I love.
If you’re in the neighborhood of Cary, NC, I recommend the meatloaf at Lugano Ristorante.
P.S. The photo is not Lugano’s meatloaf. Their presentation is indescribable and delicious.