A lot has happened over the past few days:
Andrew and I became domestic partners and I am now eligible for his health insurance. It will start March 1st. YAY! This was all in the midst of Snowmageddon, one of Chicago’s worst blizzards since the 1960s. It was a beautiful sight.
I saw Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. It was wonderful and I immediately just wanted to read everything I could about the making of the movie. I learned that they lived in a house together for a month from 9-5 and would have birthday parties. And during that time, they also learned how to pick fights with each other. And that they shot the Past portion first, and everything they did in the Past, was their first time doing it — in other words, no rehearsing. And then they lived together for the month, and then they shot the Present scenes. It was brutal, but it makes a lot of good points. In most movies, the plot revolves around finding love and the hunt and that after you’ve found it everything is honey and roses. Blue Valentine proposes that anyone can fall in love (and of course, it’s about timing and charm and charisma — all things that Ryan Gosling has) but more importantly it’s about staying in love and having to do mundane chores and raise a daughter. It’s the what happens after the wedding that never gets really looked at. And the movie takes place over two days, but because they intercut the past and present it is hard to forget that it is over such a short time. It is a perfect movie; romantic and poignant.
Hot off the heels of seeing Blue Valentine we had our friend Sarah over for dinner. We made chicken piccata, brown rice and peas, and steamed broccoli. It was delicious and a meal that Andrew did all himself — he usually cooks all the meals. On most nights, I get home from work around 830, and he has dinner waiting for me every night. But in Sarah’s gratitude for having her over, she was genuinely surprised that we cook every night. We usually decide what’s for dinner in the morning, and the when I come home it is ready. We cook every night. We couldn’t afford to go out every night or even three nights a week. But more importantly, we love it.
Before I moved to Chicago, I was in Pittsburgh alone and in graduate school. I survived off of Trader Joe’s and Wendy’s. It is undoubtedly harder to cook for oneself as opposed to cooking for two or a larger family. And, when I moved to Chicago, I was a cooking disaster. Andrew’s Aunt Val took me under her wing and taught me how to prepare meals — everything from lamb and couscous to roast chicken to soups. I will be forever grateful. And, I am now at the point where I can think of something I want to eat and make it without a recipe. I can analyze the different elements I want the dish to have and add them according to taste.
Andrew is so totally in love with Cook’s Illustrated and Chris Kimball, and we have backlogged issues, two massive cook books, and special editions. They include valuable information about techniques, but I am so much more comfortable with just winging it. And after the meal, we determine if it’s something we’d want to eat again and if it’s a weekday (easy) meal or if it is something more suited to a weekend when we have more time. So I was thinking that I would start including recipes into my meals, since I talk about food so much.