My new boyfriend invited me to his house for a home cooked meal, that he would cook for us.  He was still cooking when I arrived so I ask if I could help with anything.  He said I could stir the risotto.  I wasn’t really sure what risotto was, but I stirred it just like he showed me to.  I noticed as I was stirring all the onion in this dish, yuck!  I hate onions.  I know that he is being so thoughtful by cooking this meal, and my parents did try to teach me that it was bad manners to not eat what someone had cooked for you.  So I know that I would have to eat at least a little bit on this oniony dish, even though I hate onions.  Did I mention I am an extremely picky eater and don’t really jump at the idea of trying new things?  He finishes cooking and we set the table and sit down to eat.  I start off with the greenbeans delaying having to try the onions and rice (I must admit you can’t even see the onions in the finished dish, it just looked like a creamy rice dish).  The greenbeans were tasty.  Okay the time had come it was now or never, how much did I really like this guy?  Was it worth eating the yucky onions?  I load up my fork and put it in my mouth, start to chew, and humm, it wasn’t so bad.  Actually it was rich and creamy and delicious.    Not only was this the first time to his house and the first meal that he cooked for me, but we also shared our first kiss.  That Sunday night was 8 1/2 years ago.  Risotto is now one of my favorite dishes and Cory and I have been blissfully married for the past 8 years.

It isn’t a hard dish to cook, but it does take a little extra TLC.  You almost have to stir it constantly.  It isn’t something that we have every week, so I always feel like it’s a treat when we do have it.  This week I decided to treat myself and cook risotto even though I was the only one here.  Cory is the planner in our family and he does a majority of the cooking, but since he isn’t here I start cooking all by myself.  So I sautee the garlic (I skipped the onion since it was just for me), toast the barley (now we use barley instead of rice), add the white wine let it cook out.  Pour some chicken stock over some saffron. I am following all the steps in the recipe so good, I feel like Queen of the Kitchen.  Then I am ready to add the peas, for a pop of color.  I look in the freezer, ummm I can’t find any peas.  We always have a stash of petite peas for risotto night in the freezer, what now?  I take a look around in the pantry and refrigerator (both are super bare because I don’t like to go to the grocery store and Cory hasn’t been here)

.  The only thing I see that might work is mushrooms.  Since I don’t have a lot of options I decide to go with the mushrooms.  It turned out to  be fine with the mushrooms instead of the peas, but it did look extra bland.  45 minutes later and it was ready.  I did a good job; it was delicious.  Next time I know to look for all my ingredients  before I start cooking, but I am happy with my mushroom barley risotto.


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