I made myself cook after Howard passed. I could sense this was a necessary discipline that must continue if I was going to craft a real future for myself. It’s true that I cheated sometimes and went out to dine, mainly so I could be with other human beings at suppertime. Eating alone is not fun. I tried, however, to make cooking for myself a constant and also cleaning up the kitchen. Eventually I realized that by cooking and sharing I could have company at dinnertime. I made it for a friend who lives around the corner and we ate together. I should do this more often, because sometimes she offers me dessert, too. In fact, she is one or two up on me in the sharing effort!
One of the toughest things I tackled was a simple black bean skillet casserole that Howard and I had invented. It resembled spaghetti, but the addition of black beans and some liquor from the can made the flavor more interesting – so did the addition of shredded pepperjack cheese at the end. How had liked it so much he would eat it two nights in a row – this despite the influence of a friend of ours who declared he would never eat leftovers the very next night. I used to accuse Howard of having caught this malady from our friend and neighbor. That made him laugh as he spooned up another helping of the black beans .
It was a tough time when I prepared and ate the black bean casserole without Howard, but I’m glad I did. It was a milestone in my healing process.