As mentioned earlier (and enthusiastically), Tina is back! Which means I got an excuse to take an evening off from studies and work to hang out, have fun and cook us some dinner.. A task which proved a little more difficult than I’d expected, but hey.. It was her first days home and I’d promised to cook her a welcome home dinner of whatever she wanted.. Which wasn’t really much, it was all just rather complicated.. First things first, she wanted chicken.. Which baffled me about as much as that one day when Louise was sick and asked me to bring her milk.. Louise doesn’t drink milk.. And Tina doesn’t eat chicken! So for her to request that was more than a little weird and scary, as it meant I’d have to come up with something involving chicken that she’d actually enjoy.
Her wishes on top of that were about as humble as they were vague. All she wanted was “something involving pasta, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, black olives, sun dried tomatoes and rucola.” Hmm.. Okay.. Well, having had a bit of over-exposure to olives and not really being sure on how to fit the briney taste into things, I vetoed that part. I thought of vetoing the rucola as well, but Tina really loves the stuff, so.. I was left with some pretty simple wishes.. Of a very summery character.. For a menu that had to be put together on the 2nd of December. Which gave me a bit of a headache because my mind, culinarily speaking, is pretty much listening to the weather and has gone into an infinite stews, ragouts and slow simmered foods loop which made putting together a summery menu and pairing it with a light, crisp summer wine a bit of a nightmare.. But I’d like to think I pulled it off none the less.
So, on Tuesday, having fulfilled his assignment quota of the day, the Johan went shopping, he also went on down to Louise’s to plant a bag of oranges he’d stumbled upon at work in front of her door for her to find when she got home from work. An act for which he was later labeled a sweetie. He then went home and cleaned some as the apartment was much in need of a thorough cleaning.
At around 5:55, Tina wrote that she was about a five minutes walk away, so I set out to mix up a couple of Mojitos, something I’ve already ranted way too much about, so lets leave it at that and just say that they were much appreciated and went well with the talk we had while I prepared our summer-themed dinner consisting of well-brined chicken breasts fried in infused olive oil w/ whole wheat pasta tossed with roasted pine nuts, steamed broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and Parmesan cheese and, as a bit of a do or die experiment, a rucola based salad with baby spinach and other leafy greens, Chinese pears, walnuts and Parmesan flakes tossed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and black pepper.. No, I shit you not.. And it was even a hell of a lot simpler than it might sound.. And tasted damn good, if I dare say so.. Especially when washed down with a crisp, fruity, Australian Chardonnay and a good laugh.
Tina went so far as to say that it’s the best meal she had ever had, but I’m not sure I’ll believe her on that one, especially not since she’d already praised my Mojitos to high heavens.. I’m glad it made her happy though. Mission accomplished then, I’d say! And I kinda think I should cook for her way more often coz the Johan does like a bit of praise 😀 But yea, good times! Which weren’t made worse by our sharing the remainder of the wine over a talk and a good, old favorite.. An Eddie Izzard DVD.. Well, the wine and a bottle of my new favorite xmas brew.. An experience that Tina managed to kinda ruin for me as she took one sip of it before declaring.. “Tastes of caramel and malt.. Kinda like Harboe!” .. Which, to those who don’t know, is my absolute least favorite beer in the world. So, yea, that’s probably the closest I’ve ever been to slapping Tina around until she feverishly started explaining the reasoning behind the comparison as being based solely on a strong taste of malt, not any comparison in general taste.. Or quality for that matter! Phew!
But yea, good times, other than those little beer-related misunderstandings that could’ve so easily spurred tension amongst friends. Unfortunately, poor Tina wasn’t really feeling on top of her game and her stomach was giving her a lot of trouble, so at 11:30-ish, we had to abandon our original idea of an evening walk back to her place and call for a cab to take her home.. Which was actually another messed up experience in itself.. Seeing as the cab arrived right as Tina was getting herself ready to head out, I had to run out and halt the cabbie before he zoomed off. As I did, opening the door and declaring “she’ll only be a minute”, I looked at the cabbie and thought “Hey, I remember you.. From somewhere..”. I didn’t really think more of it, though, as I went and got Tina, said goodbye and left her to limp into the cab.
It wasn’t really till I was sitting around later, surfing the web and Tina wrote to tell me she’d gotten home safely and had enjoyed speaking a bit of German with the cabbie that I put two and two together and got that sudden realization of “Oh, yea..” of course I knew the guy.. I’d talked with him, too, in German, too, matter of factly.. As he was the exact same guy who drove Louise and I to the ER a couple of months back when she decided to suddenly collapse with severe abdominal pains on our way home from the Uboat.. What the frig are the odds? And just what the hell is this poor, German taxi driver thinking of me by now? I mean, this being the second time that I’ve hailed him to transport a pretty, young girl who was in severe pain or discomfort after a close encounter with yours truly? .. It really is a pretty bad statistic.. And a pretty bad ending to an otherwise lovely evening. I’ll have to call a do-over sometimes where nobody get to be sick.