I love to cook. I find it calming and therapeutic to be in the kitchen; to chop, season, watch a pad of butter sizzle in the pan and slowly brown. Cooking demands I be here, present, otherwise pots boil over and the bread is burned.
Last month my lovely SIL and I went to New York for a weekend. SIL has a dear friend in NYC who just happens to perform on broadway, knows just about everyone, the amazing places to go and how to get into those amazing places. I fell in love with SIL’s friend and asked him about a bazillion times if he would be my NYC Bestie for Life.
My new Bestie laughed, shrugged off my proposal and almost as a tease recommended we go to a restaurant in Brooklyn called Misi. Which was booked until next 4th of July but it was okay because he knows the owner and could get us in at 7:30.
I thought this was lovely but who goes from NYC to Brooklyn, right???? We nabbed a disgruntled taxi driver and crossed the bridge.
And I fell in love. For the second time that weekend.
Misi was busy, bustling with an air of ‘this is not manhattan”. There were pasta chefs carrying trays of freshly made pasta from their secret pasta making room to the kitchen. Trays of occhi, pappardelle and bottarga, all looking like little delicious pasta pillows nestled safely in their little trays.
And I thought, ‘This restaurant loves me. Of course they love me because they have prepared this beautiful occhi. Just for me.’
We sipped martini’s until we were lead to our seat at the counter, right across from the kitchen.
And I fell in love. For the third time that weekend
I fell in love with the pasta lady whose job was to cook the pasta to al dente’ perfection. She moved the tagliatelle from a salted bubbly bath to a cooler little pool with confidence. She tested the noodly perfection of every dish that lapped in her pasta spa.
I watched in awe and finally said to her, “I love how you love these noodles”
Yes, it’s not something you say everyday, but when you compliment someone on their noodles, they feel the love.
It goes without saying that our meal was divine. It was a gift; chickpea pappardelle melted in my mouth until I danced in my chair and exclaimed, ‘this is so good!!!!’
The noodle lady gave me a wink.
The gift of a meal.
I have always moved through my kitchen with confidence but now, every once in a while, as I saute’ my garlic or chop an onion, I remind myself to love my edible creation as much as my pasta crush loved her oochi.