There’s a certain person that I live with (not the cat) who, whenever he does the dishes, often leaves a pan to soak. This infuriates me because I consider it the ultimate cop-out. Also, what it really means is that when he’s done there’s still work to do because when I want to cook the next day, I have to scrub that pan that he soaked. So I’ve really grown to resent soaking the pan and people who soak pans. That is until…
Today Craig and I are celebrating our seven year anniversary. Our first date was at Lucien in the East Village and that decision didn’t come easy. See, after e-mailing on Friendster (yes, Friendster) we agreed to meet in the lobby of NYU where we were both students. Once there, we started walking to the East Village and I said, “There’s this great place called Momofuku” and he said, “Oh I’ve been to Momofuku, but there’s ___” (I forget what ___ was) and I said, “Oh, I’ve been to ___.” After a brief pause we agreed to go to a place neither of us had been before and that place was Lucien. The dinner was very nice (though I made the mistake of ordering cassoulet; beans aren’t a great choice on a first date) and the relationship, as you’ve all witnessed, has stood the test of time. But that little discussion on our first date walk foreshadowed an infinite number of similar conversations, some of which turned into fights. Fighting about food, in fact, is probably something every couple can relate to. So what’s the best way to avoid a food-related spat? Here are my tips.
In a town called Lynden, just a short drive from Bellingham, Washington, you’ll see lots of people sitting on their lawns offering you a parking spot for $5. That’s because, in the middle of August, it’s time for the Northwest Washington Fair, a celebration of community, agriculture, and rides that make you want to throw up.
Craig couldn’t contain his glee when he shepherded us newbies to the fair on the Tuesday before we left for Eliza. He, along with his sister Kristin and his brother Eric, had been going to the fair since as far back as they could remember. Now Mark, Diana and I would get to experience the magic ourselves.
When Jesse Eisenberg “plugged in” as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” headphones snug on his head, fingers fluttering away at his keyboard, I didn’t draw a line between what he was doing and what I do every day. He was in a world of numbers and codes, algorithms for Farmville animals and “poke” buttons that would one day rule the world. Me? I import pictures of food, edit them in Photoshop, upload them to Flickr and then use them in blog posts and my newsletter. Only, while doing that (and other kinds of writing), I’m also Tweeting, Instagramming, chatting, e-mailing, Facebooking and checking Google Reader in an endless loop. It’s easy to get sucked into that vortex, especially when your job requires you to sit at your computer all day. Two weeks ago, I realized that I was every bit as plugged in as Zuckerberg in that movie. Not only plugged in but also cut off. Cut off from other people, cut off from reality. And so, two weeks ago, I decided to make some dramatic changes before leaving for Eliza Island where Craig’s family has a rustic cabin just off of Bellingham, Washington.
For Craig’s birthday this year, I didn’t take him to a fancy dinner as I’ve done in years past (see here, here and here). This year his birthday had two components: (1) a dinner at home with his favorite foods; and (2) a weekend trip to Palm Springs. You’ll hear about Palm Springs later this week, but this post concerns that dinner at home. When I asked what he wanted for his entree, Craig, a little like Garfield, had one word in his speech balloon: “Lasagna.”
Here in L.A., there are restaurants that do a gourmet grilled cheese night. It’s a nice idea: you get to go to a fancy restaurant (like Campanile, for example) and spend far less money than you’d normally spend there for dinner. Only, I find it hard to justify spending ANY money on grilled cheese. It’s the kind of thing anyone can make at home (in fact, this may be the one dish that Craig–who doesn’t cook at all–is better at cooking than I am). Last night I decided that I’d do our own Gourmet Grilled Cheese Night to prove that you don’t have to be a fancy restaurant to spend your night frying bread in butter and waiting for the cheese to melt.
Cocktail-wise, Craig–who’s now our official bartender–has two drinks up his sleeve. The first, a Sidecar, I wrote about a few weeks ago. Now he has a new one, perfect for these chilly-weather months: a Manhattan.