It's been over two years since Lee and I lived together, and some of my favorite memories of that year took place in the kitchen. (Our homemade Thanksgiving springs to mind as being an epic success, while my pancakes-in-the-shape-of-your-initials where we ran out of milk and I had to substitute yogurt was decidedly less so.) And something about firing up the same espresso pot two years later in a totally different kitchen in a totally different city warms my heart a little.
But still, I think it's safe to say that we've both become better cooks over the past year. I mostly credit David with this, since our kitchen dates in Oxford were where we tried out falafel, ratatouille, and homemade bagels, experimented with various kinds of crepes and french toast, made up biscuit, cookie, and bread recipes, tried every conceivable form of vegetarian pizza and stir-fry, discovered parsnips, and made everything from stuffed peppers to candy pie to gigantic salads for dinner parties. In the meantime, Lee became the kind of cook whose food is on a food blog. And tonight, I met Sarah at Spitzer's for a beer and then ran up to Lee's for dinner, where we made cranberry and pear salad and reheated leftover Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding with one of his friends who I knew from back in the day and Tabitha, his poodle, who I did not.
When Tom arrived, we hugged and he was like, "So, how was... wow, the last two years?"
I didn't really know how to answer that, so I just said, "Um, you know. Ups and downs."
Which is true. But I'm realizing more and more that the ups of the past few years have vastly outnumbered the downs, and I think that realization is dawning on me as part of being around some of the people who have meant the most in my life. Going for a jog with your ex who lives eight blocks away is special, but so is living across town from your brother, getting an apartment with your best friend from high school, grabbing brunch with your best friend from college, going out with both of those friends together, getting drinks with friends from Oxford, introducing your boyfriend to all these people when he spends the weekend in New York, and then bumping into various friends from college in bars, on the subway, on rooftops, and in seminars that you crash at various law schools - and doing all of that in two weeks. You can't even script television shows like this.
(Incidentally, the bread pudding was so good that I ate until it hurt a little. Lee also made post-dinner espresso, which I pretty predictably drank even though it probably means that I'm going to get about four hours of sleep tonight. Despite your best efforts, some things do not change.)