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It doesn't take much for me to tick off Tarun - I just have to be me! He returns the favor in his inimitable ways. My ability to deal with emergencies and tall ladders and his big picture thinking and culinary skills provide the necessary reserves when we check each other.

Yet, he managed to checkmate me....

Tarun conjures up amazing dishes. He starts with recipes or a taste from memory. We suspect he then adds a dash of soy sauce to Indian dishes, garam masala to western dishes, and barbeque sauce to everything.

I love his magic in the kitchen but...the maaaaan...lovvvvves...raisins!

I do not like raisins. I will never like raisins. When a raisin lands on my molars, it tickles my teeth and a nine-alarm fire goes off in my brain. We are used to discovering raisins in his dishes and I've learned to subtly push them to the side of the plate. I binge on his cooking, so my protests against his raisin-infused products have been understandably low-key so far.

Yesterday he made a gorgeous batch of ooey-gooey brownies...with...(head in hands)..a ton of raisins!

On the first bite, my teeth triggered my brain to panic and I thought...he wouldn't!....and on the second bite....oh hell, he did!

HOW on earth am I supposed to find brown raisins in brown dessert? Yup, checkmate!

Caught in the chaos, I texted one of the kids because it takes a village to manage the parents in this family.

When I confronted Tarun, he laughed. Clearly, raisin-head knew how this would land.

It took courage but I delivered an ultimatum: "If you put raisins in brownies again, I will leave you." Yes, I will leave over ruined brownies and no I have no place to go.

This led to serious negotiations. Don't add raisins, he said no. Add to one half of the pan, I said no. We settled on using different pans that will be marked conspicuously.

Our Sunday ended peacefully after a nod to the chief ingredients of our happy marriage - great cooking, avoiding checkmates, and writing a blog post to officially protest raisins in brownies.



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