Remember the last time you were on a deadline and desperately pressed for time or just way too exhausted from work or life to even remotely consider mustering up the energy to look through the fridge (except to retrieve that last ice-cold beer you saved for yourself behind the carton of milk – oops! sorrry, honey!), let alone make dinner? Remember the last time you picked up your phone just to call your friendly neighborhood pizza place to rescue you rather than calling your significant other to let them know that dinner is ready to be served? I do. In fact, it seems as though it’s all I ever do lately.
I grew up loving pizza. I don’t know anyone who didn’t. It was, in my opinion, a luxurious reward for good behavior. In other words, it was a parent’s laziness or lack of time resulting in a most marvelous treat of a meal for us as kids, and even as adolescents. In most cases, it was the meal succeeding a busy day of fun to which everyone would gather around for a slice or two.
However, instead of having to call for an instant pizza, I can now proudly say that I can make my own – albeit, not quite as conveniently. Pizza is a most wonderful thing. Endlessly versatile, it’s hard for anyone not to love some variation of it. Now, pair that gourmet handmade pizza of yours with a bold glass of wine or better yet, a homemade sangria and this, my friends, is what being a mature adult is all about.
The apartment is still a mess, albeit now deemed “home.”
All I really see are empty cardboard boxes lying around in a not-so-neat pile off to the corner, unopened garbage bags of who-knows-whose kitchenware, and wrinkled articles of clothing strewn over the vast beige carpet floor. It just wouldn’t be appropriate of me to humiliate myself (or my wonderful roommates) by publicly displaying photos of our self-inflicted, at-home chaos. At least, not yet. I do, however, have photos of my first meal cooked within my new kitchen! Despite the literal, physical clutter and mental, emotional disarray, I felt my first surge of untarnished happiness and elation. With the counter top cleaned and most of my ingredients mise en place, I stationed myself in front of the cutting board, knife in hand, to chop my first onion, making my eyes water. Though I don’t normally find onion-chopping nor tear-jerking moments (of any sort) very pleasurable, I embraced it joyfully. In that moment, being blinded by the streaming tears that stung my eyes was the most comfort I felt in days, weeks even. With all the changes any move brings, this one in particular held so many implications for me: a deepened sense of independence that I hold yet consistently yearn for, a reunion of old friends, new friends, and past roommates, and the often times heart-wrenching process of letting go to move on, to grow.
And to think, all this from one onion, eh? Continue reading
I think I may have mentioned this before , but among other things, I love pasta. I really do. There is no discrimination whatsoever between fresh and vibrant red sauces and rich and creamy white sauces, not to mention every other ethereal sauce inbetween. Once upon a time, however, this wasn’t so.
I was inexperienced, un-worldy, and young younger. Back then, I was somewhat deluded and convinced that The Old Spaghetti Factory was the paramount of all things or places quintessentially pasta. A conviction that has not, I admit, entirely eluded me due to sentimental memories. It was precisely here where my love affair with pasta first truly begun. Of course, nothing has really ever beat Adela’s spaghetti and meat sauce at home, but it was at this American spaghetti chain restaurant (can you believe it?) that I began to widen my horizons, sort of. What, you ask, could have possibly initiated and marked such a revolutionary moment? Spaghetti with butter and cheese. It’s emulsified butter and cheese in pasta water that elicits a smooth, nutty, and luscious flavor – a most simple, modest, and rustic staple in the realm of pasta. It’s the classic foundation for many other beloved creamy sauces which makes this impossible to dislike for amateurs and connoisseurs alike. Continue reading
They really do, don’t they? Think about how many things, good things, tend to come in threes. Let’s see..there are three primary colors, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Twilight series (for all you crazed fans out there), the three Musketeers, the three wise men, the Chipmunks, the Jonas Brothers (not really, but I like to joke every now and then) and of course, presumably three meals a day, correct? I love the number three and with the Holy Trinity of this dish being chicken, asparagus, and pasta – my unreasonable love for this inanimate number is only reaffirmed. “Why?” You might wonder to yourself. Because three central things: chicken, asparagus, and pasta combined make one hell of a good thing.
Heck, that hell of a good thing brought forth three other good things. One, I got to cook something new. Two, I saved money by eating at home. And voilà! Three, I get to pass on the goodness to you! Don’t worry, you can thank me later and yeah, I’m sure that it’s a total coincidence that your favorite number magically happens to be three now too.