Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

April 5, 2012

Recipe isn't lost in translation

I devour books, but I'm pretty choosy about what I read. I love classics, I don't believe most best-sellers ought to be, and no abridged books and no exceptions.

My husband also loves a good book. He has a beastly commute — around an hour and a half each way most days each week — so he relies on audiobooks to keep him sane. Although he is well read (or well listened, as the case may be) he has missed out on many books that I think of as obligatory; everything Bronte, most Dickens, Hawthorne, Eliot, Cooper, Cather, et al. Until a couple of years ago, he hadn't read the "Chronicles of Narnia." Gasp!

It is a wonderful thing that my husband is able to use all that time on the road to connect with all these books. There's only one problem. My husband is hard of hearing. This leads to some hilarious misunderstandings.

When my darling announced that he was about to start the Narnia series, I was thrilled. The boys and I quizzed him on where he was in the books every time he came home. We had a great time discussing the stories.

One day, while everyone was discussing the stories, I got a little distracted. I was half paying attention and realized I heard him saying the words "Weepy Cheeks" repeatedly. I looked to the kids for a clue. They looked confused. I looked at my husband and said, "'Weepy cheeks'? What do you mean?" He said, "You know ¦ the valiant mouse. Weepy Cheeks. Cute little Weepy Cheeks."

I suppressed a giggle and said, "Do you mean Reepicheep?"

He insisted, "No! I mean Weepy Cheeks. The mouse with his weepy little cheeks."

It went on for a while like this and ended only when we retrieved our copy of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" from the shelves and showed him Reepicheep in black and white. My husband acceded good-naturedly, but was disappointed. "Oh man? That just changed the entire story for me. I'm going to need to re-listen to the whole thing!"

God love him.

The point is this. Sometimes things get a bit lost in translation. So many potentially good dishes are muddied and confused when put into a slow cooker and left alone for hours. They leave you with weepy cheeks and nothing valiant for all the time you spent sniffing at the tantalizing air.

This recipe is an exception.

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