We met at what became our usual spot and ordered more than was necessary. We always did a good job at ordering food together. We were like children who had just come in after the streetlights came on, eager and hungry to feast on a family meal. We lived within five blocks from one another, so it was a pleasure to have nothing planned and then suddenly be sitting in our favorite hole in the wall. Having him so close was dangerous because I always wanted him to come over after work, if anything, I expected it.
My expectations of dinner that night weren’t high. It was spontaneous and I didn’t have time to obsess over what we would do or talk about. We cracked open two beers and sat in the corner of the small cement dining room. We ecstatically talked about our past few days and the normalities of our week.
“Your food is ready.”
I grabbed our meal, set the table, and our conversation naturally moved to his mother’s death. He spoke about their closeness and how she smelt. He shared stories about them having tea with the old woman down the street and eating Victoria Sponge. He told me she took care of the strays in the neighborhoods, even though everyone hated the foxes. He laughed about her passing judgments and applauded her when she would speak up if she felt disrespected. But his face sank as he looked everywhere but in my eyes when he told me about the day she died.
There were times in those first few months I felt he was closed off, but in that moment, he was completely vulnerable. I wanted to reach over and nurture him. I wanted to bring her back. I wanted to know her because somehow, I missed her too. I felt the void he must’ve felt and yet I knew I could experience one millionth of what that must've been like. In my head I told him it would be okay, but in real life, I didn’t know what to say. I grabbed a piece of the fried cauliflower hoping it would distract my throat from the knot and I listened.
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
1c flour (I used brown rice flower)
1tsp onion powder
1tsp garlic powder
1tbs nutritional yeast
Bottle of Franks hot
2 tbs butter
Preheat oven to 375F.
Chop your cauliflower into whole chunky florets, set aside.
In a bowl, mix your flour, water, and remaining dry ingredients.
Dip your florets, one by one, in the coating and lay onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Allow to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until brown.
In a small pot, over low heat, melt your butter and add the hot sauce.
Once your wings are done baking, dip them one by one into the hot sauce.
Plate and enjoy with some vegan ranch or mayo.