Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He Makes My Life Easier

Too many accidents have led to arthritis and constant back pain. Some of the everyday tasks in the kitchen tend to aggravate the muscles of the back, and can have consequences that last hours, if not days. One of the most annoying of these is sautéing ground beef. There's something in the motion that feels like it's ripping me apart by the time I'm done.

For most of our married life, I did anything I could to avoid cooking anything that used cooked ground beef. We didn't have spaghetti as often as my family would have liked, even though it was one of my better recipes. If you think about it, if you cut out the cooked ground meat, there go your tacos, burritos, taco salads, chili, and more than a score of other tasty and inexpensive meals.

Just before John retired, I had so many "helpful" friends tell me I wouldn't like what I was going to get. They said I'd have half the money and twice the man, including whatever problems we had together. Well, the half the money would be true if we still lived in California, but since we paid off all our bills before moving to the more affordable State of Colorado, our money goes further than what we were getting while he was working. As for having twice as much of him, that's been a blessing. Yes, I'm gradually working my way back to the ground beef.

One of the ways he makes my life easier is to take that job away from me. We buy ground beef from our local Sams Club. I get about six pounds at a time, and he puts it in our biggest skillet. He sautés it so beautifully that every grain is separate and equal. It's almost democratic. It's perfectly seasoned with salt and a little onion powder. Once it's drained and cooled, I waltz in and use the vacuum sealer he bought me. I separate it into airtight single meal bags, labeled and dated, and stick them in the freezer. When I want to make something using ground beef, I just pull one out of the freezer.

If you asked John, I'll bet he'd say it was no big deal. He figures he's just making a contribution to my feeding him. Actually, though, I know that he never complains, no matter what I serve. He does it for me. And you know what? It's just one of many things he says and does to make me forever grateful that he's home with me, and not still having to head out to work every day. If you're facing retirement, don't fear the "half the money, twice the husband" scenario. It just might turn out to be full of blessings and surprises.

No comments: