chapter 1Amanda Frazek was easy to admire. She was tall, trim and toned. She had a brilliant mind and yet she was down to earth, with a quirky sense of humor, a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that could fill a room with delight. At age 30 she was the chief resident in cardiology at the DePaul University Hospital in Chicago with a brilliant career ahead of her. Most days she was happy and content, but she wanted something more out of life. Trouble was, she couldn't quite put her finger on just what that something was. She loved her job, make no mistake about that. The idea that she would spend her professional life helping mend broken hearts thrilled her beyond belief. But that's where the passion ended and that's why she felt somehow unfulfilled.
Max Braverman was the chief dietician at DePaul. He devised the menus for all the patients and all their special needs, and he was good at his job. The hospital had won numerous awards for the quality and flavor of its cuisine and it was all due to Max. You could say that Max had a love affair with food. He saw how much pleasure a good meal prepared with love and affection could bring to even the most depressed patient. Not surprisingly, Max was an excellent cook himself. He fairly beamed when someone he cooked for broke out into a radiant smile at the sheer delight that one of his meals brought them.
Of course, Max and Amanda knew each other professionally. So many of Amanda's patients were on low fat, low sodium diets and Max knew what a challenge it was to make their food taste like something other than cardboard. He worked tirelessly blending all sorts of herbs and spices to bring a splash of color and a dash of flavor into what could otherwise be a very dull meal.
Amanda frustrated Max, although he was too polite to say anything about it. What drove Max to distraction was that Amanda treated food simply as fuel, something to wolf down in order to give her enough energy to get through a busy and challenging schedule. Here he was, working well into the night trying to devise meals for people that were healthful and yet delicious and Amanda basically ignored his efforts.
And so these two lives paralleled each other, close in some sense but hardly touching. Then one day it happened. Amanda had been assisting Dr. Nick Triokis with what had been a fairly routine by-pass procedure when a previously undetected aneurysm burst and all hell broke loose. A five hour operation turned into a twelve hour nightmare. Fortunately, due to the brilliance of Nick's surgery, the patient survived. But both Dr. Triokis and Amanda got out of the operating room both drained and famished. They trudged into the kitchen to get something to eat. Max was there. He had heard of their ordeal and knew they would need something special to perk them up and yet soothe them down.
That was the first time Max cooked for Amanda. But it wouldn't be the last!
27 chapters, created 6 years , updated 5 years
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