Dating sites are really fine tuning their viewing audiences these days. If you are a lactose intolerant, Trekkie, with a house full of cats there’s probably a site dedicated to people who are perfect matches for you. Refining your likes and dislikes narrows the playing field when it comes to dating. Preferring men with hair to those without, would make signing up at a site promoting mostly bald men a waste of time, for example. Having religious or ethnic preferences certainly would be something you’d want to make clear before entering into a first date. Children in the house a really big check mark. There are men and women who simply are not interested in dating partners who have already started their families without them. There are sites targeting certain age groups, sexual preferences, even those honing in on occupations such as farmers, or chefs seeking fellow foodies. Researching this writing I was surprised to find there were sites specifically targeting people who have like diseases, or those having a preference for a particular breed of dog. Pug lovers have a site targeting other pug enthusasts. Who knew?
Lactose intolerant? No worries. Go to Gluten Free Singles to find your soul mate. Perhaps you want a financially secure man, or are married but like to leave the barn door open? Literally, there is something for everybody. Was I in the market for a mate I believe it would be like showing a starving man the door to the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Bellagio.
Before dating sites, your choice of mates was limited to your surroundings or your capability of attracting one I would suppose. People you worked with were an option. Not always a good choice, however. Should you break up, unless you quit or work in a different building, you’re going to run into your ex every day at work. This left those potential love interests outside of the workplace doing whatever activities or lifestyle you pursued outside of work. These were pretty much the pools we laid our lines in back in the day. Nowadays the world is a dating playground. Many sites fill their photo albums with people from all walks of life hailing from all parts of the planet.
We are funny when it comes to romance. Often we do more research when purchasing a few shares of stock then we do when choosing a mate for life. I’m not one to talk. I’ve said “I do” four times. My mother suggested after the last I do laundry on Saturdays or find a suitable hobby. Pheromones, I would suppose, have a lot to do with why we jump into relationships perhaps not the best for us with both eyes wide open.
Often I look at couples and wonder what brought them together in the first place. People have said this about Rick and I, very different people. We met on a dating site. I was number 241 on his list of suitable partners. The only thing we shared in common was being on the same site. Other than that if his favorite color was blue, mine would be purple. Chinese food number one on his list, would be found on the bottom of mine. Looking back I would have had ten children if life would have worked out that way, Rick sometimes questions in decision to have two. Yet, we cohabit beautifully, having few disagreements and finding each other endlessly interesting. Perhaps it is our very differences that imbue the life into our relationship? As usual I have no answers, only questions.
Looking for love seems to continue to present challenges for us humans. Keeping it once we’ve found it, the enigma. Perhaps we should take our lead from other members of the animal kingdom who mate for life. Swans, for one, are known for their lasting bonds as couples, sometimes swimming next to one mate for life. Wolves, belying the use of their name to identify philanderers, are very family oriented creatures. Family units, or packs, usually consist of mom, dad, their offspring, and their offspring’s offspring. Bald eagles, our national symbol, are known for choosing one mate and remaining with that bird until either its death or theirs. I had a friend who had lovebirds. Aptly named, Wilbur, the male of the duo, lost Ruby, his one true love, after the birth of their first eggs. Inconsolable, the bird stopped singing, lost his feathers, and no matter how many potential mates were introduced to him following Ruby’s passing never formed an attachment again. Awwwww. Poor old Wilbur.
With Hallmark gearing up for Valentine’s Day coming up next month love will be in the air. I know Valentine’s Day is around the corner because while in the drug store I noticed hearts filled with chocolate commingled with the discounted Christmas decorations on the shelves. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find Easter bunnies commingled with the hearts before the end of the month.
Yesterday we cooked together making moussaka. One of our favorite dishes, but a bit of a production, it was fun to share the stove for the afternoon and enjoy our yummy creation in the evening.
3 large eggplants, sliced 1/2″ thick
1/3 cup olive oil (plus or minus)
1/2 lb. ground lamb
3/4 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fines herbs
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
4 cups whole milk
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. white pepper
Salt to taste
Preheat oven t 350 degrees.
Brown lamb and beef in large frying pan with onions and garlic over med-high heat. Drain on paper towels. Return to pan. Sprinkle wit cinnamon, fine herbes, nutmeg, and parsley. Add tomato sauce and red wine. Mix well. Simmer for 20 mins.
Remove stems from eggplant and slice in 1/2″ slices. Toss ends. Sprinkle salt over both sides and allow to sit for 1/2 hour. Rinse well under cold water. Pat dry.
Add 2 Tbsp. of oil to large frying pan. Heat over high heat. Add eggplant in batches cooking each bath until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Spray bottom of 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Layer 1/2 of cooked eggplant on bottom of pan. Top with all the meat mixture. Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add remaining layer of eggplant and top with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Bring milk to scalding temperature (do not boil). Melt butter in large deep frying pan. Whisk in flour. Keep whisking and cook for 3 mins. on low. Gradually pour scalded milk into flour/milk whisking continuously. Allow to cook, whisking all the time, until mixture becomes thick. Add white pepper and salt.
Pour evenly over the top of the eggplant/meat in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Bake uncovered for 1 hour until bechamel is lovely golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 mins. before serving.