Yesterday was Gian Luca and my two- month anniversary. Some people may think its silly to celebrate by the month, but hey, why not. Really, I would like to celebrate everyday that we are together, because each day, when I look at him, I am reminded that he was given to me, that he is a gift.
So, how did we celebrate our two months of newlywed bliss? With food of course!
For our one-month anniversary, Gian Luca took me for sushi at our favorite Japanese place, Tiger Sushi. Going out for dinner is an amazing luxury, much like the first month of marriage; everything is new and special and seemingly better than ordinary. But this month, when he asked where I wanted to go, I just pointed to our kitchen, because, through our daily life, I have learned that the ordinary is more precious than the special.
The thing I love best about marriage is the everyday living; waking up to listen to the birds singing outside of our bedroom window, the rush to leave the house for work together in the morning, the way we set the table for dinner and our communal forgetfulness. Sure, these are all things that I could do alone, but together, everything is better, because I am reminded that there is someone else in my life, someone else to look at, to count on, to love.
Of course, staying in does not mean skimping on luxury. Last night’s dinner took planning and it all started with a phone call.
“Mom, I need help,” I said as I walked to work. Besides being an amazing mother, she is also my dial- a- chef, giving me recipes and ideas when I am at a loss. Like yesterday morning, when I knew I wanted to do something special, but just couldn’t figure out what.
Before making the phone call I had searched through Mario Batali’s cookbook, looking for the recipe for Pici, thick strands of hand rolled pasta that is native to Tuscany. But the recipe called for Semolina flour and I had no idea where to find that here.
Next, I looked for the recipe for Zuppa Inglese, Gian Luca’s favorite dessert, but that too seemed impossible to recreate in Minneapolis. (If we were in New York, I could probably get the stuff delivered to the apartment).
But, as usual, my mom was full of ideas. “Make drunken shrimp,” she said, stopping me in the middle of the street. That would be perfect. She quickly recited the recipe to me and as I walked in to work I was excited.
Working in a restaurant only engages the foodie imagination in me, and by the end of my lunch shift, I had coordinated the rest of the menu. We’d have dates stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and wrapped in prosciutto for an appetizer, porcini mushroom ravioli for a first course, then the drunken shrimp. Dessert would be light: mixed berries with a bitter chocolate sauce.
I am great at procrastinating (which is why this blog is a day late!) and if I am not on a strict deadline, I will put things off. By the time I was finished making a few phone calls, checking email, and strolling dreamily through the supermarket I only had 45 minutes to work. Luckily, one of the reasons that Gian Luca and I work so well together is that he is perpetually late as well.
When he arrived home, I was almost finished cooking. Together, we dropped the ravioli in boiling water and began setting the table as we do every night. He sliced the bread while I set out the plates, folded the napkins into small triangles, and laid out the flatware. It was only then that we realized we had forgotten to buy wine.
“Oh well,” he shrugged, “we don’t need it.”
He was right, we didn’t. The dinner was just as special without it.