The Gastronomy of Marriage

gastronomy of marriageI FINISHED A BOOK! Woohoo! (Finally!) *ahem* Now that I've got that out of my system, don't you just love the cover of Michelle Maisto's The Gastronomy of Marriage? Just look at those squash. Don't they remind you of a pair of birds doing a courtship dance?

When you move in with anyone (and I've had some, erm let's say practice at this) it's a melding of lives. It takes time to figure, and sometimes negotiations, to figure out who does what. No two couples are the same. In our case I'm the cook, Lee's the cleaner. And he does all the dishes. (No really, I did them once and he growled at me.) It works for us.

Negotiating what to have for dinner though, can be trickier. I could live off of pasta. I don't need to eat a lot of meat. I'm not overly fond of chicken (I swear salmonella is out to get me.) I like vegetables. Lee is used to eating a lot more meat. He is kind of used to deciding dinner just hours before. Figuring out how we were going to work together in the kitchen even after two years of living together is a process for us, one that I expect to continue for the rest of our relationship.

Every couple does this dance. In the case of Michelle and her fiance it was about more than just a melding of lives, it was a melding of cultures. She's Italian-American, he's Chinese-American. She's vegetarian, he eat meat. Each are drawn to the traditional flavours they grew up with. How do they negotiate that?

By compromise. It helps that they both like to cook and can share kitchen duty. But then her soon-to-be husband takes on extra work to pay for their wedding. In exchange she takes over all the kitchen duty. Now she's negotiating the food terrain largely on her own. She also finds herself facing her own thoughts on gender roles. She doesn't want to be "the wife in the kitchen."

It was a nice read. Kind of short. There were recipes dotted through out the book. I get my only real disappointment was that although the book is called The Gastronomy of Marriage and we are there for the planning of the wedding we never get to see them married. It stops before their wedding day. That was a big of a let-down.