A Bite Here, A Lick There

Itstarts with an olive.

I use two fingers to hook a pale green Castelvetrano from its briny pool out of the jar in my fridge and pop it in my mouth. It is 5 o’clock, and I have a half-hour to prep dinner. My three boys are momentarily subdued by screens and the weight of the day hits me. It is time to unwind.

The olive is salty and toothsome and immediately takes the edge off while I get to work steaming broccoli and defrosting chicken. I reach for two more. But what’s an olive without a glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Its minerality is the perfect compliment, and there happens to be a bottle in the fridge.

Just a small glass, because I am not trying to get inebriated before the kids get to the table.

I warm up buttered egg noodles and check to see if they are too hot. A spoonful slip into my mouth. They’re perfect. Chewy, buttery. I rummage through the fridge for some cheese for my youngest and slice off a wedge of aged cheddar for his plate. There is a small hunk left, so I nibble on it between two more sips of wine.

The house quiets, and a low hum settles over me as the meal comes together. I pivot from my cutting board to grab the silverware and reach for a handful of roasted almonds along the way. One-by-one I crunch through each savory nut. Quickly they disappear.