What a strange day yesterday was in the foothills of Northern California.  In the morning the dark sky ominously moved over the roof of the house and in minutes we were suddenly surrounded with large floating snowflakes on all sides.  In the afternoon the sky again darkened, and we had a good pelting of hail.  In the meantime, my rose bush is blooming and my tomato plants are dropping cherry tomatoes on the deck.  Odd stuff, Buckwheat. Truly.  Sometimes lately the world just seems off, can’t explain it.  It’s like the cycle has shifted slightly and my feet just don’t feel as secure on the ground below them as they usually do.

This week has been one of those weeks that leaves one, or at least this one,  feeling tired and wishing for a little time on a sailboat in the southern seas with just the wind in my hair and a casual line bobbing in the water, but yet, I find myself firmly planted in the now and wishing I was in the then or a week or two ahead, if you get my drift.  It finds me wondering how I got where I am.

This, oddly, put me in the mindset of exactly that.  If you’ve read my blogs at all, you would certainly know that in my life I have found myself in many relationships.   For whatever reason, karma, personal energy, fate, whatever your beliefs, we follow either a path of our own choosing or a path chosen for us.  I have no answers for these questions, only unanswered questions which I keep a log on and hopefully will get a chance to ask at a later date.

I met my other half ten plus years ago on an on-line dating site. According to the media, one in five relationships these days begin in such a place, but at the time it was relatively new. Back in the day, I was one year out of a two-year relationship, working for a dot.com company in Silicon Valley. In truth, with the sixty-five plus hours I was logging on the books there just wasn’t much room for anything but a hot bath and a pizza at the end of my days.

Having been married four times and widowed twice, and being in my late forties, work seemed like the logical place to place my focus.  I had accepted an excellent job as a graphic designer with a high-tech company, and with stock certificates in hand, had fully immersed myself in performing my part in taking the company public.  All good.

That year I had dinner with a dear friend of mine that was going through, what she described, as a “dating slump”, and she had asked if I could help her create a profile on-line.  After sharing a bottle of wine one evening, this seemed like a great idea.  My friend, feeling somewhat nervous about putting herself out there, asked if I would make one as well, so we created one for her and one for me.  Whatever, many things seem like a good idea with a bit of the grape under your belt, so I put a picture up, added a  brief profile, and went about my business.

My other half, ,who was recently divorced, was being prodded by his family on his end to get back out in the world, so had also posted a profile.  Apparently, on his list of 230 possible matches, I was number 228.  It seemed, according to the site, that of the 20 plus commonalities we might share, other than being a male looking for a female and visa versa, we shared almost nothing.  For some unknown reason, he kept coming back to my picture, and after a great first date, including a hockey game, a hot dog, and a tall beer, the rest was history.  In truth, the site was correct, we share little in common.  He likes liver and I hate it. I could each fish every night and he could go the rest of his days without it.  I’m a morning person and he’s a denizen of the night.  I am right-brained where he is decidedly left.  I dive into the water first to find out later if it was deep enough, where Rick would test the water, analyze the impurities, and have someone else dive in first.  Very different humans he and I.  However, with little in common but our love for each other, we find ourselves cohabiting very well. Nothing is set in stone.  Don’t disregard that person that seems the most unlikely.  You never know.  Sometimes you have to take your liberal self into the least liberal territory to find a match.  Trust me, it’s worth the stretch.

Often, we share cooking space together, but usually we are not cooking the same thing.  Last night we created this recipe which was truly excellent.  The veal, I know, I know, but sometime’s Susie’s got to have it, was out of this world.  The lemon butter sauce just added a nice touch.  I served this over angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Just really good.

Veal Cutlets with Lemon Butter Sauce

6  6 oz. veal cutlets pounded thin
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Hungarian paprika
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
oil for frying

Lemon Butter Sauce

4 Tbsp. butter
Juice of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup dry sherry
1 Tbsp. cornstarch blended with 3 Tbsp. water to make a paste

Mix together flour, pepper, salt, and paprika place in large baggie. In two separate pie plates place beaten eggs in one and bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese in the second. Dredge cutlets in flour. Dip in egg mixture. Dip in cheese/bread crumb mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.

Heat oil in large skillet. Cook cutlets until golden brown on both sides. Do not overcook. About 3 mins. on each side.

Drain on paper towel.

In skillet over medium heat mix together butter, lemon juice, parsley and broth. Bring to a low simmer, just under boiling, and cook for 5 mins. Return cutlets to pan and cook an additional 3 mins. turning once. Add sherry to pan and cook an additional 2 mins. Thicken sauce with cornstarch as needed.