Rosemary and Thyme Mushroom Polenta

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“What’s going on with your…” Roo started, waving a fork towards the vicinity of my face.

“You mean this?” I asked, pointing at my eyes.

“Did you…are you trying something new?”

“What, you don’t appreciate the Clockwork Orange look?”

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“It’s just,” he paused, “different.”

I looked down, pushing the polenta onto my fork. “It’s what happens when your eyeliner pencil breaks mid-application at work.   I got my left eye done and then the tip broke off when I was starting on the right.”

“Why didn’t you just wash it off?”

I sighed. “Well, that would have been the obvious thing to do.”

Roo furrowed his brow.

“You know how I am in a panic.” I said, between bites, “I ran back into the office and tried to sharpen the pencil.”

“With a pencil sharpener?”

“With a blunt pair of scissors.”

“It looks fine.” Roo replied, turning his head slightly, trying to hide a smile.

I sighed, grabbing a napkin and dipping it into my water glass.

“What are you doing?”

I started wiping off the botched makeup job on my right eye, “Trying to fix it.”

“Babe, I don’t even know why you put on makeup.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s like,” he paused, “you’re like Beyonce. She looks even better without makeup. Unlike Nicki Minaj who just needs more and more piled on.”

“I don’t know whether to be more surprised about the Beyonce or the Nicki Minaj reference you just made.”

“Fine. It’s like this dish,” he said, tilting his plate of mushrooms and polenta forward. “It doesn’t need a whole bunch of stuff piled on top of it to make it better. It’s just great the way it is.”

I smiled. “You know I would have preferred Rihanna, right?”

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Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

I sighed and closed my laptop. “I just ordered $400 worth of shoes.”

“WHAT?!”

“I need a new pair of shoes for the wedding we’re going to. I can’t wear any of the ones I own.”

“Why not?”

“You know why. Stinkee got to them.”

Roo laughed, “They’re not that bad. No one will notice.”

“There are chunks missing! I can’t go to the wedding, looking like I anxiously gnawed on my shoes the whole car ride down.”

“It does make a great story.”

I didn’t laugh. “Listen, I’m planning on returning all but one pair.”

“Ok.”

Three days later

“So…I’m not returning any of the shoes.”

“Lys, you can’t keep them. You said it yourself, it’s $400 worth of shoes.”

I looked up from the floor, hugging the ripped open box, “I like them all. I didn’t think I would, but I do.”

“I’m going to say it again, it’s $400 worth of shoes.”

I started pulling out pairs of strappy heels, creamy colored pumps, then a set of ruby peep toes for good measure. “Look at them! Who knew I had such good taste!”

“Lys, you wear leggings and a t-shirt to work everyday. How are you going to wear those on the train? Never mind the bus.”

“I could do it.”

“How are you going to afford your share of groceries?”

I looked away, “We could totally still eat well.”

“What, what will we eat besides ramen noodles and canned fruit cocktail the whole month?”

“Polenta.” I replied, still feeling Roo’s eyes still on me. “Polenta with roasted veg. Super affordable and delicious.”

“Yes, I love polenta, but the shoes. We’re trying to save up for a house, remember?”

“But what good is a house when there are no cute shoes to wear walking around it?”

“This from the  girl who makes everyone take off their shoes upon entering.”

“Polenta, Roo. And cute shoes. It’s a win win,” I replied, and began carefully putting my children new shoes back into their own boxes.

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