There are boxes in our apartment.
Most of them are folded up for now, but only because Michael has misplaced the packing tape he brought home a few days ago.
You know what that means.
I always knew our time in Manhattan proper would be far too short for my liking, but it’s one thing to know this from an abstract perspective and another thing entirely to realize that I have to pack up our life in less than thirty days and leave our awesome little apartment. To say that I’m happy about it would be a lie (a few months ago with the possibility was brought up I literally burst into tears, and even as I write this I can feel them behind my eyes) but I can take some comfort in the fact that it is for a very good reason. In short, Michael was approached for and subsequently offered a position at what could be his dream company, and while in theory we could relocate to another part of the city, it would mean that both of us would be enduring long, arduous commutes and that is something my practical side cannot justify with the part of me that still wants to stay here.
We’re not moving that far–simply a 45-minute train ride from Grand Central up the shoreline–but I know it’s not going to be the same as walking six blocks to the 1 and going anywhere I want, or getting anything delivered at any time of day, or even simply listening to the rhythm of the city around me. There aren’t many places where you can treat a neighborhood or a park as a sort of literary/cinematic scavenger hunt, or spend an afternoon shopping at several gourmet markets and find different things in each one, or treat a train station like a legitimate food option (so long as it’s the Oyster Bar in GCT), much less have all of those things in one city. So expect periods of radio silence along with bursts of new posts, recipes, and early-onset-nostalgia as we figure out what we’re doing–it might get a little erratic until the dust settles.
Among the upsides of this development is that I’ve been able to milk some pretty good pasta dishes out of Michael due to him feeling bad about making us leave sooner than we had planned (and moving to somewhere I’m not wild about), and this amatriciana is so good that it’s almost worth all of the aggravation we’re going to deal with in the coming weeks.
Almost. After all, cured hog jowls can’t pack boxes for you.
We don’t usually work with guanciale because it’s not always available at Fairway, but yesterday we lucked out: not only did they have it, but we were able to try La Quercia’s take on it (and given how much I like their domestic prosciutto, I figured this was a no-brainer). A little leaner than what you can find in Italy–Mario Batali instructed to drain all but 1/4 of fat from the pan and use that to make eggs the next day in his recipe, but we didn’t come close to a yield like that–it still is delicate and delicious and a wonderful companion to some red sauce, pasta, onion and cheese. While not a light meal in the slightest, a bowl of this along with some great red wine and maybe a light antipasti is enough to drown one’s sorrow’s quite nicely.
You can find the recipe in Molto Italiano or here if you’re in need of some comfort yourself.