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Funny Romance Inspirational



"Why don't you make your own soups instead of buying pre-made ones from the supermarket?" I asked Nuno at the time.


"Because they're so good, not expensive, and it's enough for me." he replied.


"Yes, I agree they're good, but soup is such a special and personal food that should be made by us or by those who take care of us and love us. Soup is an act of love." I told him, trying to convince him to make his own soups. But I quickly realized that I had to start making his soups. It's not much trouble, and I know what goes into the soups. I feel more at ease knowing that he's eating soup made by someone who loves him, and that love translates into the food we make.


"Okay, from now on, I'll make the soups and leave them here for you to heat up." I told him. At that time, we weren't together every day due to work commitments. And so, I began making them. I made the Chickpea Cream that he loved so much, and I could see the delight on his face the first time I made it. His surrender to what I said about eating soups made by those who love us.


With the passage of time, we managed to align the cities where we lived and got married. Nuno is one of those men who loves to eat. He revels in food. He lives to eat, and he eats a lot. But it's not just any food – he loves our traditional cuisine, the kind I learned to make from my mother and grandmother. Simple, flavorful, full of character, and seasoned with love. It's based on garlic, onion, and olive oil, and in some cases, butter and lard.


Always attentive to what he told me about the meals his mother made for him and the foods he enjoyed, I delighted his palate and heart with my creations. Often, I had never made certain dishes before, but I didn't back down. I researched and remembered the tricks and teachings of my grandmother, and the time she devoted to making any dish.


In the past, three grandchildren lived with her, and she managed to make each of us our favorite dish at every meal. Even if we told her not to bother because we liked any food she made, it didn't matter. She loved pampering us and expressing love through her food. With her, I learned that cooking requires time, patience, and many grains of love. That's why cooking is a pleasure for me, an activity to which I dedicate my heart and soul, preparing everything without much fuss, letting it sauté slowly, elaborating with great patience, and finishing with pride. The aroma guides us on what to do next or add.


Nuno delighted in my creations and treats. He is a happy man. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach... perhaps it is. I think it might be because a man falls in love with the love he feels with every bite. As I said, Nuno eats a lot, but he is a very elegant man. His luck is that he is a very active man, and what he eats doesn't accumulate in his body. Science says the brain needs many good nutrients to function, and I believe that a significant portion of the food he eats is digested in his brain, as it would be impossible for it to be only digested in his stomach.


But one day, in the midst of a conversation over bites, Nuno says to me, "This is so good, could you teach me how to make it?" And as if to provoke me, he adds, "Because one day you might leave me, and then I'll know how to cook." and he smiles.


I confess I had some resistance to teach him. No one likes to share their tricks! Also, I thought that if he ever thought about leaving me, he would think twice.


I found it very sweet of him to want to learn. He is a traditional man, like my father, and such men don't cook. He is very active and has enormous responsibilities, and I couldn't see him "wasting" time cooking when he had much more delicate tasks. But if he wanted to learn, I didn't object.


One day we started, and I taught him how to make my soups and the tricks to make a delicious soup. He was a very attentive and respectful student, and I was even amazed by his dedication and submission. Nuno usually manages teams of people and is usually the one talking and delegating. But Nuno was very focused.


A few days later, he said to me, "I'd like to learn how to make the pork with cockles that you make so well." and I said, "Of course." I taught him how to prepare and organize the ingredients. I always liked to pretend that I'm a chef with a cooking show where the ingredients magically appear already prepared in their respective bowls, and you just have to add them. But since I never had a production team to do that work for me, I always did it myself. Similar to a cooking show, the ingredients group and organize themselves to enter the scene.


I also explained the cooking times and the various tests we do to see if everything is going well. All with plenty of time and patience. At some point in the process, I realized that cooking might be good therapy for Nuno. For him, it would have a therapeutic aspect because Nuno is a very restless man, and this is a task that requires an exercise in patience and waiting. Two characteristics that are not Nuno's strong suit, but he would learn. I was thrilled with this new, more peaceful activity for us, without the adrenaline of jet skiing or kitesurfing, which were our favorite activities.


After a week, Nuno wanted to learn how to make Spaghetti with Mussels. A dish that seems to have few ingredients and doesn't require much work, but it does. It requires dedication, time, and love, just like any other dish, and that always makes a difference.


You've probably eaten dishes made by someone in a hurry and without patience – it shows. And I was doing a good job, teaching Nuno the importance of ingredients, especially healthy ones, and the magic of love in the food we prepare. Nuno suggested doing certain tasks and steps for some dishes, and I let him. I was delighted with my student who wanted to spread his wings and be the one to cook. Nothing better than the gratification of a good lesson and a student ready for the world, I thought.


Nothing prepared me for what would follow those lessons.


One day I come home after a long and tiring day at work, and to my surprise, I see Nuno at home, in the kitchen, preparing dinner, as I understood.


I put my things down and said, "Love, I'm home, I'll help you right away." Quickly, I put on something more comfortable to be at home, entered the kitchen, and said, "Come on, what are you making? Do you want help? Is there something I can do?"


Nuno, who was particularly proud, replied, "Get out of my kitchen, you don't know how to cook! I do!"


I was completely stunned and, thinking he was joking, I said, "Come on, stop it, what do you want me to do?" But Nuno was relentless and continued:


"I am the Chef now," which made me burst into uncontrollable laughter because in the span of two weeks, I had managed to create a "chef"!


"So go do something else, set the table if you want, but from now on, I'm the one making the food. You don't know how!"


I left the kitchen, calm but completely incredulous about what was happening, but I accepted. "Fine," I thought, "if you want to cook, go ahead."


I confess that I loved seeing his proud demeanor when he came to the table with the food ready, when he sat down and analyzed my first bite and expression.


"Isn't it good?" which wasn't a question, it was an assertion.


"Yes, love, it's great, you're on the right track," I honestly told him.


"Of course, I am! This is in my blood, and I make absolutely irresistible food."


To not discourage him, I agreed and fueled his desire to cook. I think he elevated himself to a very high level for a beginner, but I accepted. In the end, I liked seeing his dedication. I just didn't like being accused of not knowing how to cook, especially when I had been his teacher. But in a very traditional way, I let it go.


Indeed, and six years since we've been together every day, I have rarely cooked. I let him embrace his new "skill" and the task he imposed on himself, and we are happy. Cooking doesn't bother me, but not having that obligation is undoubtedly liberating.


Seeing him cook is absolutely sexy to me. So, I lose the status of a good cook, but I gain the joy of contemplating his charm in the kitchen. I accept it.


These days, Nuno considers himself a Gordon Ramsay because, like everything he does, he always aspires to and compares himself to the best, in anything. Just like in surfing, I am fully aware that when he gets on a surfboard, he considers himself Kelly Slater.


And every day, he tries to surprise me with his creations and treats, and I accept it. After all, it feels so good to eat food made by someone who loves us.





December 09, 2023 05:38

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17 comments

Belladona Vulpa
12:47 Dec 17, 2023

Beautiful story, I enjoyed reading it! At some parts you go between past tense (he was) and present (he is), but the story flowed very nicely and was interesting and engaging! Also, nice how you show the personality of the characters and their special relationship with each other and with food!

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Martin Ross
18:26 Dec 09, 2023

Almost nothing pleases me more than delighting someone eating something I cooked. Great, warm story!!

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Joana Sério
18:51 Dec 09, 2023

Thanks Martin!

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Catarina Rosa
17:04 Dec 09, 2023

Cute and playful story 👏 loved it!!!

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Joana Sério
17:11 Dec 09, 2023

Thanks Catarina!

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Mary Bendickson
15:51 Dec 09, 2023

I have never enjoyed cooking but looking at it like this maybe I could rethink it. Enjoyed your first entry and welcome to Reedsy. Thanks for. The follow.

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Joana Sério
16:55 Dec 09, 2023

Thanks Mary!

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Philip Ebuluofor
15:17 Dec 09, 2023

Fine work. Easier to follow. Sounds like fiction and nonfiction at the same time.

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Joana Sério
15:26 Dec 09, 2023

Thanks!

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Philip Ebuluofor
15:33 Dec 09, 2023

My pleasure.

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Kailani B.
16:33 Dec 20, 2023

I love cooking but this story makes me really appreciate how nice it is when someone else cooks. Thanks for the sweet story!

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Rebecca Detti
16:03 Dec 19, 2023

I really enjoyed reading this! Thank you for sharing Joana

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Joana Sério
18:59 Dec 19, 2023

Thanks Rebecca!

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Bárbara Sério
11:08 Dec 11, 2023

Amazing story!!!

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Joana Sério
12:02 Dec 11, 2023

Thanks Bárbara! Please share your Stories too!!

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08:33 Dec 09, 2023

Very nice and true story. Plus your writing is so simple to read, very elegant and passionate. The way you describe Nuno and the enthusiasm and devotion in everything he does or makes, is perfect. He really tries to be a “chef” in everything in life, and he is lucky to have you for a teacher and a partner. I’m a fan!!!

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Joana Sério
05:20 Dec 10, 2023

Thanks!

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