Back in the summer of 2001, the first thing I ever fixed for HH in Holly’s Diner was Moroccan Chicken. I spent 45 minutes prepping the food, an hour and a half cooking the meal with constant stirring, fussing and tasting to make sure it was perfect. It was a recipe I had fixed before for friends and family on special occasions, and viewed it as my “signature” dish. I served my beautifully colored, fragrant masterpiece-of-a-dish one evening as we visited and ate.
I should have known something was not quite right, but he had not been visiting the Diner that long, so I was not tuned in to all of the signs. My first clue was not that he didn’t ask for seconds, but that he didn’t finish what was on his plate. I have since learned that he always finishes what’s on his plate.
About two years later after that we got married, I offered to make Moroccan Chicken again - since it took so much time I didn’t make it that often. He declined and “fested” up that he remembered the dish but didn’t like it. He said would never have wanted to tell me that after cooking for him for the first time and run the risk of hurting my feelings. It was the curry and turmeric in the recipe – which I have since learned are not his favorite. Fortunately, although he didn’t finish that first meal, he has like just about everything else that has come out of Holly’s Diner for the past five and a half years (last night’s Chicken Molé is now another story for another time).
One of the many things I love about HH is that he loves to eat, and appreciates that I take the time to cook and try new things. If I am trying a new recipe, although he may be skeptical at first, he always tries it and gives his input – refer back to fried chicken for more on that! He gives texture comments, seasoning suggestions; he’s constructive and kind about his input not critical. I love that he loves to eat and compliments me on the meals I serve – what a wonderful thing, positive feedback on something I enjoy and spend so much time on!
I have not fixed Moroccan Chicken in over seven and a half year, and needless to say the recipe is no longer in my recipe binder. But many other culinary delights have graced our plates at Holly’s Diner, with HH saying “Mmmm, Honey, that’s delicious!” – At least most of the time.
Happy Valentine’s Day, HH. I love you more than you know.
Note: The Valentine's lapel pin in the photo is courtesy of my good friend DSS. She was inspired by the rolling pin. Thank you, DSS for visiting the Diner.