A Love Story
My heart was won by eggplant parmesan.
On our second date the short, dark, and handsome guy I had been set up with on a blind date invited me to his place for dinner. It was clearly a bachelor pad. He slept on a futon, the nicest thing in the place was the TV, and I had to bring the wine—and the corkscrew. But he cooked. The first guy to do that for me. And I think it got him to second base that night.
On our third date we drove all the way to Little Italy from DC. Still dating giddy—we talked the whole way there, the whole way back and the in-between part too when we ate antipasto at Amicci’s and bowls of house salad with garlic heavy red wine vinaigrette dressing and he got his first glimpse at my gnocchi obsession.
On our wedding day we introduced everyone to the idea of open seating and non-traditional wedding foods. Instead the chef served up Cuban sandwiches, and mashed potatoes, and vegetable spring rolls with plum dipping sauce, and all our other favorite foods.
We chose a restaurant for our reception because we wanted the opposite of wedding food. (And to make our parents crazy.) I had promised myself I would eat—but instead I twirled and beamed and drank champagne. Finally, it was just the under 30 crowd and our rock-a-billy band hanging at the bar when the owner brought out a big platter of sushi. I don’t remember chopsticks. Just grabbing a roll with my fingers, dipping it into the soy sauce, and a single drip hitting the front of my dress and running down the pleats before I popped it into my mouth. I didn’t care. I was deliriously happy and hungry.
Our honeymoon was spent in Greece. We discovered Santorini tomatoes and take-away gyro stands where they smashed fries in between the pita and meat and we washed it down with orange Fanta. Our last night we ate oven baked mushrooms amid the ruins and our newlywedness.
All our trips since are measured by our meals—fried chicken and cheddar waffles at Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn, pork shoulder at Avec in Chicago, and flaky and fruity pop tarts at Boston’s Flour Bakery. I take pictures of food like people take pictures of their children—lovingly and addictively.
When we had our first kid we tried to introduce exotic foods like acorn squash and edamame. And he wants chicken nuggets and cheese sticks. At least his sister likes eggplant parm.