As I write this, there is something strange going on here in Kapalama. My house is filled with appetizing aromas: rosemary and garlic and warm spices and meat caramelizing, dripping fat on  the floor of the grill.

And I had nothing to do with it. My son-in-law, who has a restaurant background, is cooking.

My sole contributions: Shopped. Pulled the spices out of my impossibly crowded pantry. Stepped back.

Do you have any idea how hard it is for someone as OCD as me to step back????

He made jerk chicken from a recipe in a book he brought with him from Anchorage, all recipes built around chilies. (Although the darn book insists on spelling it chilli — which always makes me think of being cold). This recipe is a symphony of flavors, from allspice and brown sugar to chilies and thyme. We used boneless chicken thighs but I think it would have been much better on the bone. It was still hugely mouth-pleasing.

And he made these KILLER roasted potatoes: Our daughter tossed Russet potato spears in olive oil, garlic powder, a teensy touch of cayenne, a sprinkle of black pepper and one sprig of minced rosemary from my poor, dying bush. (How can it be that I, of all people, can’t make rosemary grow, when I’ve seen people who can’t cook worth a lick with immense healthy hedges of rosemary?) He roasted the potatoes until they were almost done, tossed them around a bit in the olive oil juices, spinkled them with Parmesan cheese, let them cook through and then browned them very briefly under the broiler.

I actually got jealous when my husband made the Happy Man Noise.

There’s just one drawback: The Dishes Rule — them that cooks, don’t wash. Since I invariably cook, I invariably don’t wash. Now I gotta. Darnit.