It’s 996 miles, according to Google Maps’ initial calculation, from our little house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Manhattan, Kansas. That distance got a little shorter this weekend.
My dear friend Resa and I have started up a Recipe Shuffle, as we’re calling it (complete with dancing recipe cards in the header). Our rules are fairly simple. One week, I send a recipe over to Resa and she makes it, then reports back with pictures and comments on how it went. The next week, she shuffles a recipe over to me, and it’s my turn. We’ve chosen the first few weeks worth of themes and recipes, and we finally got the site off the ground over the past couple of weeks. This week was my turn to take her favorite main dish, fettuccine alfredo with prosciutto and peas, and see what I could do with it. (In short, it was awesome. You can check out more details at recipeshuffle.wordpress.com.)
But even more significantly, as I was making it, I felt just a little bit closer to my fellow foodie halfway across the country. This was something special from her table–even more so because it’s a recipe that’s evolved in her kitchen, something she can make without even a recipe anymore, just adding things until the dish seems right. There’s something comforting and homey about that, and I got to share a piece of that this weekend.
And this morning, with Resa still on my mind, inspiration struck. I was down at the Strip yesterday for the pasta and prosciutto, and I wanted biscotti, but alas, my normal source for baked goods was already closed. But I still wanted biscotti. And this morning I remembered–Resa makes awesome biscotti, or so I hear! So I borrowed her recipe, added a few ingredients that I had lying around, and just like that, my kitchen was warm and full of lovely smells, and I was full of foodie love. (Incidentally, I love the implications of that last sentence. I wanted biscotti, so I made it. We had everything lying around that I needed: dry and wet goods, almonds, cranberries, even chocolate, once I chopped up some of the Wilbur’s dark chocolate buds that I had in the fridge. How cool is that?)
And so this is a post of gratefulness. Of friendship, even over 1,000 miles and through marriages and jobs and dogs and kids. Of sharing recipes and sharing a piece of home, of finding new ways to stay connected in the midst of everything else that pulls us apart. Of bridging the miles with a common love and a common denominator: food.
Grazie, I say, getting a little teary-eyed, and thank you.