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Vanilla Cinnamon Walnuts & Blueberry Vinaigrette – A “Connection”

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Emily & Jef had a fun conversation in the library in Prague this week.  It was That One conversation I’ve been waiting for on The Bachelorette: the one that skyrockets the underdog to the top of the heap list of suitors.  Jef is now in the running for one of two roles – the sad guy to get sent home after the “take this key to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite” night, or the next Bachelor (a.k.a. the dreaded first or second runner-up slot).  I’m with Kristan – I don’t see Jef winning in the end getting the final rose because he’s WAY more Ali’s type than Emily’s.  It’s the shoes, people.  

So anyway, this reality TV conversation was about whether or not they wanted to live with their significant other before they got married.  (They said no.  Tsk, kids.)  This is maybe a conversation most of us have had (or creatively avoided) at some point in our lives.  It’s a fun one.  I’m (obviously) pro living-together.  

If Rick & I hadn’t lived together for a handful of years before we got married, then he wouldn’t have been so chill this week when all the lawnmowers ran out of gas and I just abandoned the dead rider in the middle of the front yard, walked back to him and leaned against a tree to watch him mow & wait for his LawnBoy to die so he’d go fill up the gas cans.  He never asked me to go fill up the cans or why I wan’t doing it of my own volition.  He knows.  It’s something I don’t do.  I mean, I might have done it once or twice in the first few years we lived together but I don’t anymore.  The hours of pouting it induces is just so not worth it for Rick.  It’s way better for everyone involved if he just does it himself. 

He’s admittedly my “Gas Man.”  (Srsly, he came home from work today & said that, having just come from filling the spare propane tank for the grill.  Unbidden.  That’s what I call A Connection.

Those dumb little things, equivalent to toilet-seat-leaving-up, are the things couples should figure out early on, in my opinion.  Sure, they’re probably not deal-breakers, but aren’t they just a lot easier to blow off after a while?  You just come to expect that the husband is going to leave all his papers all over the house.  You don’t ask (aloud), “WHY is the cable bill in the BATHROOM???”  You don’t have to beg for spare, clean horizontal surfaces in the kitchen, dining room & living room, you just pick up his crap & move it to his spot on the bed.  You learn to deal.  Civilly.  Quietly.  Peacefully.  Passive-aggressively.  (Hey, I learned ALL those conflict resolution techniques from him.) 

It’s so easy now to look at him with sad, angry eyes on those mornings I just don’t want to go to work.  I don’t have to Fake It ‘Til I Make It.  He doesn’t take my morning moods personally anymore, he knows it’s not his fault.  (Because clearly, it’s opposing counsel’s fault.)  He knows on those days when I get home before him and he finds me on the couch wrapped in a blanket that we’re probably having leftovers (or popcorn) for dinner.  And that’s totally okay.  He knows automatically when I get those really bad headaches that I just need to be put to bed like a five-year-old.  And HE draws the blinds, knowing the light causes the pain. 

He just knows now.  That’s the best.  It might’ve taken several years, but hey, he’s a guy.  And since he’s such a mean grillmaster he gets a lot of slack.  We have a Connection.

When we first moved in together I wasn’t actually sure we would ever get married.  But it wasn’t a test.  I believed then we were meant to be together.  I knew our intentions of making a “go” at it were as strong as any newly-wedded couple.  I mean, we had a Connection!  (Wait, did I already say that, like ten times?  Sorry, it’s a Bachlorette-themed post.)  And even if I wasn’t sure then, I was definitely sure the day I threw the ice scraper at him when he was so kindly scraping my windshield and it was about five below outside.  He stuck with me through that nonsense.  And now I know all I have to do is thank him for the gas ;-) 

 Who wants to take bets on Emily & Jef?  Then how about Jef & Ali??? 

PS ~ Go team Sean.  Now THEY have a connection.

Oh yeah, the food – here’s the salad I wanted to show you a while ago.

This time I used blueberry pomagrante juice instead of whole blueberries and just shook up the ingredients in a jar in lieu of getting out the blender. 

I also added some incredible roasted walnuts with vanilla & cinnamon, inspired by a great salad we had last Friday night at Harvey’s.  Do this: 

Vanilla Cinnamon Walnuts

            1 tsp canola oil

           1/4 tsp vanilla extract

            heavy dash cinnamon

            heavy dash salt

            1/2 packet of Splenda or 1/2 tsp sugar

            2 cups walnut halves

Mix together the first five ingredients in a small bowl and toss in the walnuts until coated.  Toast them over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet for about 6-8 minutes until fragrant & darkened to an oak-y brown.  Cool before tossing on salad.  Amazing with that blueberry vinaigrette, strawberries, apple matchsticks, blueberries & feta cheese. 

Served alongside a bourbon glazed salmon from How Sweet It Is

Yum, yum, yum!

I think I finally figured out how to make litigation bearable.  Rewards:  reality TV, good food, a nice night in the backyard, and a tall glass of wine.  I can think of worse coping mechanisms.

About kozubalk

Lawyer by day, baker by night, full time creative spirit.

One response »

  1. I love you!


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