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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Killing Thor

A few weeks ago I cooked a very special dinner for my boyfriend. If you have been reading Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven for any length of time, you know that I can be quite a disastrous chef. But Thor is so special to me, and I decided to break my vow that I would never cook for another man again. When I was with CT, I cooked dinner almost every night for him. I wonder if that's why he so often decided that all he wanted for dinner was broccoli and Smart Dogs (vegetarian hot dogs).

So, I told Thor I was preparing stir fry. I thought I had a pretty fool-proof recipe. Although, technically, I was "cooking", I'm not crazy. I know my limits as a chef, so for dinner I bought pre-chopped stir fry vegetables and a jar of Korean BBQ sauce. I heated the pan myself though, and stirred the vegetables a few times. I also cut tofu (they didn't have pre-cubed tofu) and fried it up. I put his plate down in front of him, and he smiled at me. "How sweet," I thought to myself, "he is deeply touched by my gesture of love and is smiling warmly at me." He kept smiling. Smiling and not eating.

"Is something wrong?" I asked.

"Toddy, do you remember when we talked about things I'm allergic to?"

"No," I answered. "Of course not."

"I'm allergic to soybeans," he admitted.

"You're allergic to soy - - but that is what tofu is made from!"

"Yes, I know," he said with an apologetic look on his gorgeous kissable face.

"And there is soy in the BBQ sauce!" For some reason, I felt the irrepressible need to keep stating the obvious.

So, he picked at the vegetables, and his throat only closed up a little bit. I think that if you cook dinner for your boyfriend and his throat only closes up a little bit, you can consider yourself a success. Anyway, I was determined to try again. The next day we had a hike planned, so I brought protein bars and bananas for the hike. "Thor, I know you can't eat the protein bars because of the soy, but I also brought you bananas!"

"Toddy," he said gently. "Remember my story about bananas?"

"No," I answered. "Of course not."

He then reminded me that he likes the flavor of bananas, but he can't actually eat a banana because the texture makes him gag. For one brief moment, I thought about how this might impact my sex life with Thor. He gags when he has bananas in his mouth? I quickly put selfish thoughts out of my mind and decided I had to start listening to him when he spoke of food. Or I could just listen to him everytime he speaks, but I think it is best to start small. Baby steps.

On Sunday night, we grilled non-soy products on the barbecue. I put non-soy barbecue sauce on turkey burgers. He can eat turkey; I know this for a fact. I've seen him eat an entire pound of turkey in one sitting. The dinner was great, and I felt like a gourmet chef. The next day, he called to say that he had to cancel our date for the Drammy Awards. "I've been coughing all day. My allergies are killing me."

"Were you allergic to something we cooked last night?"

"Remember when I told you I was allergic to Mesquite?"

"No," I answered. "Of course not."

Thor has been miserable for three days. Not only did we cook on Mesquite coals, but I am sure there was Mesquite in the BBQ sauce. Thor's allergic reaction to the Mesquite weakened his immune system, and he caught a cold. So, on Tuesday night, I went over to his house with a pound of turkey breast, some Gorgonzola pea salad I had whipped up earlier (yeah, right) and a couple of peaches. He wasn't hungry, so I told him that maybe he should just eat a peach to keep up his strength. He said nothing.

"You like peaches, don't you?" I asked.

"Do you remember what I told you about peaches?"

"No," I answered. "Of course not." Actually, I didn't say that. I just started giggling and, after a moment, both of us were laughing hard. "I don't think you listen to me when I talk to you, Toddy! The only time in my life I have ever thrown up was after drinking peach schnapps and eating peaches at the same time."

In all fairness, Thor is only allergic to four or five things, (I can't remember the other one he told me) so it's not like he's high maintenance. But he's going to worry I'm trying to kill him if I keep offering him the very foods he's allergic to. I'm the worst boyfriend in the world. I am going to have to start keeping a list of foods I can't bring my man. Or maybe I'll just let him cook from now on. I'll eat anything. And, for the record, I don't gag on bananas.

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