And they're off

Me & My Butter Cookie, August 30, 2007

As we settled into our seats, I went about the business of nesting with various lotions and potions and a healthy supply of herbal tea while Jen dutifully pulled out the stack of guidebooks and email suggestions she had been collecting for the past week.

With the precision of a tactical cartographer, she began strategically mapping out our weekend by cross-referencing all the places we were going to eat, what their specialties were and what important monuments were in the immediate vicinity. Away from the touristy restaurants near the Colosseum was a small local osteria with excellent pizza. The oldest gelateria in Rome was somewhere around the Trevi Fountain. A cafe at the Piazza Navona had the best tartufo in the city. A little hole-in-the-wall cafe around the corner from the Pantheon makes super-secret cappuccinos. And a restaurant offering a to-die-for dish of trofie that was purported to induce spontaneous bursts of plate-licking.

The level of preparation she invested in this gastronomical vision quest was amazing. Hell, if it were up to me, we would have just wandered into whatever cafe we happened to be passing by when we got hungry. That was the extent of my plan.

Although both approaches have their merits, in this particular case I must admit...her way turned out better.

I often muse at the fact that so many wonderful aspects of my life are a direct result of my Butter Cookie's purposeful meal planning, the most obvious being my present status as a happily married ex-pat, but not the least of which is a genuinely soulful appreciation for food.

To enjoy a good meal with someone like Jen is truly a pleasure and our three-day food fest was nothing short of a transcendent experience. Since then, food has inextricably worked its way into my fondest memories, with the tiniest inklings of certain tastes and smells spontaneously transporting me back to many magic moments in time.

For this reason, this blog is a bit of an homage to our friendship as well. A tribute to our shared passion for that plate of trofie that literally moved us to tears.

Of course, it's distinctly possible that the free-flowing vino da tavola may have exhorted some influence over those tears...

But I like to think it was the trofie.

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