Per usual, the pace of things tends to pick up as Kevin gets closer and closer to going back to Chuck. Suddenly the list of things he wants to do around the house gets longer and more pressing, we work harder to try and cook a nice meal and eat outside every night and we think, "Why didn't we start this sooner?"; we realize we should've been taking a morning a week to go see a movie while Maria has the boys... And then all of a sudden August is knocking on the door and we're trying not to let it inside, because when we do, that means this idyllic hiatus we've had is pretty much done.
And also, I'll be 33, but let's not mention that because then the wrinkles on my forehead will deepen so much that I will lose my car keys in them.
It's really cute -- Kevin downloaded an iPhone app by Weber that has all these grilling suggestions, and he gets so excited to try any new thing from it. As much as he's looking forward to tackling a new season, new scripts, new challenges, our lovely family dinners have become the best part of the day, and once he's back we'll barely have any. I know that part of it is weighing on him, as well as being gone so much when he's used to seeing the boys for so long every day. He's the happiest father; I don't envy him how conflicted he's going to be when work revs up and he's stuck late at the office and doesn't get to tuck in the dudes, or won't have time to sit with them at breakfast because he has to a) get an extra hour of much-needed sleep, or b) hustle back to the edit bay.
For now, though, it's great. The other night he found a grilled lobster tail recipe, so we did that, and it came out perfectly. Our sauce-making leaves something to be desired, though. I mean, all our attempts came out just fine, but neither of us has developed an eye for when the damn things are reduced enough, or whether it should reduce at a simmer if the recipe doesn't explicitly say to do it... The champagne-vanilla butter sauce we made for the lobster tails was delicious -- and had the benefit of doing something that should've been on my 101 in 1001 list: Use All The Gift Champagne We Have In The Fridge But Don't Drink Because We Don't Like It And Also I Don't Really Drink Much Anymore -- but it definitely hadn't reduced down to a quarter-cup by the time we took it off the heat, and I don't think last night's balsamic reduction was as reduced as it could've been, either. They still TASTED good, so maybe it doesn't matter. Sauces are for patient chefs. But since we don't have in our mind's eye an estimate of how long these things take, and we are not patient but in fact antsy about getting everything on the table at once, we get panicky when the rest of dinner is warm and ready and the sauce is still puttering away on the stove.
However, I love sauces. A lot. I once turned to Jessica and said, apropos of nothing, "I'm REALLY into sauces right now." So I've decided I want to become really adept at making them. I want to be a saucy chef. This will become infinitely more difficult when Kevin isn't home and I'm trying to keep two dudes from climbing up onto the bookshelves, but let's pretend for this one glorious moment that I'm up to the challenge.