Friday, September 20, 2013

When [He's] in Rome

Long distance relationships are hard. It takes a lot of effort to keep one going while separated, but it is doable. And with the right person, it’s worth it.

In our second stretch of time that we’ve been apart, we’ve really made the effort to show that the relationship is important to us. We Skype almost every day: talking about how our day went, complete with its triumphs and grievances. The important thing in any relationship is keeping the line of communication open, but it’s absolutely fascinating how many couples tend to forget that.

The other thing we do during our talks is watch Babylon 5 episodes at the same time together. He got me hooked on the series when he was visiting over the summer, and it is an activity that helps us feel connected despite his being 4500 miles away. We’ll watch one, at most three, and I’ll hear him giggle at my expressions.

(My Can't-Look-Away Expression)
(My Season Finale Expression)

Lately, he’s been having a lack of motivation where meals are concerned. He’s a lot like me in that regard; unless it’s a moment shared with people we care about, food is typically considered food and nothing more. Sure, we are creative with leftovers and think of new things of make, but the spark of cooking just isn’t there. So we came up with a plan to use Skype for more than witty banter and Babylon 5 marathons.

Now, we use it in the kitchen.

I don’t know who decided what the dish would be, but the point of this act of connecting was the following:

1. It would be the same dish.
2. It would be from the same recipe.
3. It would be prepared, cooked, and eaten simultaneously. (My lunchtime is his dinnertime, so it works out beautifully.)

Even 4500 miles away, we can still cook together.

The dish was a Roman classic: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. Any Roman will emphasize that it has three ingredients and only three ingredients. Always. No exceptions.

Cheese + Black pepper + Pasta = Delizioso

He got the recipe off of the Tales of Ambrosia site, and although I used gluten free pasta and the wrong cheese (It was a Pecorino Romano / Parmesan blend), it was absolutely divine.

I loved her trick of putting the serving bowl on top of the pot to heat it up with steam. The only differences were I made a fourth of the recipe (enough for one really hungry person or two just hungry enough persons) and I simply mixed the ingredients in the drained pot before putting it on the hot plate. Oh, and using a blend of cheeses. (I can already feel the Romans cringing from here…)

(image source)

I still stand by my statement in saying that Tinky√°da’s® Rice Pasta is the best I’ve encountered in my gluten-free journey thus far. We use many of their products in our noodle dishes, and their spaghetti pasta was perfect to use in this recipe. Did I mention it slurps like semolina-based pasta?

Now that's what I call quality.

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