He always said that I was enough for him. No, to be precise what he said was that the two of us was enough for him. “I’ve led a pretty wild life; I’ve done everything imaginable and now I am ready to settle down. I’d like to do that with you.” Being newly two, it was all very exciting, very romantic, extremely time consuming and fulfilling and I needed little more than just being two.
His meaning was clear to me from the beginning. We would always be two, like an island, two as a single, closed unit. And two in the kitchen, one cooks, one washes up. One cooks, one bakes. One makes the main, one brings the dessert.
A table for two. We sit facing one another, a hand stretched across the table, fingers lightly resting on the back of the other’s hand, hands pulled back sharply as the waiter approaches and begins to pour the wine. “Who will be tasting the wine tonight?” and I always nod towards my husband. Two dishes meant to be shared, and although he allows me to taste his he never tastes mine. One dessert, two spoons. Always.
Plated Stories has turned two. So much has happened in two years, so quickly the time shoots by. One hundred blog posts, two workshops and one conference presentation, awards and nominations. We began Plated Stories on a hunch, on a whim, with the desire to create something different, a food blog that doesn’t simply feature, glorify the food we place on the table, the dishes we eat, but one that celebrates, that explores our total experience, at once very personal and very universal, of food, physically, emotionally, nostalgically, sensually. When you pick up a fork, when you ogle an orange, when you close your eyes and smell, taste, touch an ingredient, when you stand at your counter and whisk or crack an egg sharply against the side of a bowl, where does it take you? What do you think of?
Two years of working together, the work sometimes work but more often than not play, in an attempt to continuously find creative, artistic inspiration, grasping at that inspiration and channeling it elsewhere in our lives. Plated Stories, two years of playing together on this playground. Jungle gym, teeter-totter, swing, slide. Up and down, back and forth. Side by side. The two of us.
Two years of our readers inspiring us, encouraging us, giving us ideas. What will the next two years bring? A change of mood, a change of direction. We’d like to be a little bit terrible.
And Then We Were Two
There were four of us, two girls, two boys, yet isn’t it always rather natural that four divides into two sets of two? One would think that quite naturally we would divide into two boys and two girls, or the two elder and the two younger but it was never like that. My older sister paired off, became two with our youngest brother and I became one of two with the older of the two boys. Two and two. Often two against two. We would sit at the dinner table face to face and face off, the two of us on one side, the two of them on the other and our parents, one at each end of the rectangular table like bookends. And as we ate dinner, because we were four happy eaters, we would try and outstare the other two, making discreet grimaces and signs invisible to the parents, just to make the other two burst into an angry fit or burst into tears. But all in good fun because we would be joyously giggling all the while. Well, two of us would be.
There were four of us, four woman working together and wouldn’t you know it but a natural affinity grew in twos like rose bushes gently intertwining, each pair on a different side of the garden. And so we paired off, two by two, like we did when we were kids, the Buddy System. And off we marched in our own direction and our two became one, working together, teaching together, blogging together. Two just seems to work so well together; two opinions, two visions become so easily one.
Like a best friend, always in on the secret.
Tea for Two
Muffins tins march along two by two, always an even number, divisible by two! Two layer cake pans in each size for just the right size layer cake, two. Poptarts two by two, pairs nestled snugly in foil packets, just the right snack for me as a kid, whether cherry (unfrosted) or chocolate fudge (frosted, of course).
Why do cans of chopped tomatoes or sliced mushrooms, cans of corn for salads in the summertime come in three?
And then there are the pairs, the foods that are just better when they come in two, with their Best Buddy: peanut butter and banana together on toast (you thought I would say peanut butter and jelly?), bacon and eggs, fish and chips, macaroni and cheese. Burger and fries! Cake and ice cream, franks and beans.
Yes, both milk and sugar in my coffee, two turning something dark and bitter into a sweet treat. Two scoops of ice cream, coffee and chocolate.
Mustard and ketchup, salt and pepper, soup and salad, lettuce and tomato, does one ever appear without the other? Two rolls so gently off of the tongue, naturally.
We had one son before we had been married two years and then we were three. Three changes so much that two didn’t have, our house became a home. And we would take turns carrying him in his pouch, close to our chests, or pushing him in his stroller. His turn then my turn, feeding, bathing, dressing, carrying him to the babysitter. Life changes when you are two and become three, when one is added to the mix.
Two years later we had another son and something changed, once again, our world was jostled by that second son and then we were four. And four became a family. And then we each had one son, two of them, two of us. We each had one son to carry, to feed to bathe and dress, handing each son back and forth, taking turns but never again empty handed.
2 + 2 = 1