Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I am in the apartment alone. spiceboy is in the East Village, cooking, and soon I'll leave the apartment, hail a cab on Second Avenue, and zoom downtown over the bumpy streets and through many yellow lights that are just turning red, to join him for dinner.

Last week and this week, our house is full of food. Moreso than usual. It's as though spiceboy has woken from a long summer's nap and decided that it's time to fill the people he loves with supper.

On the kitchen counter is a loaf of cornbread, yellow and wrapped tightly in cellophane, which he baked on Sunday morning.

In the refrigerator is a creme brulee ramekin filled with something custardy and delicious-looking which I'm sure we'll share later on tonight. I can't wait for him to unwrap it for me, to explain it to me, to hand me a fork and watch my face as I taste it, waiting for my verdict. I love that I am his first taste tester and his food critic and his sous-chef when he needs one.

Tonight, the air in the apartment smells of something that is at once spicy, savory, and sweet. It's exotic yet familiar.

Next to the computer is a list, scrawled out in spiceboy's loopy handwriting on a scrap of paper:

fenugreek seeds
black peppercorn

Some of the ingredients in our dinner, no doubt. But it's something more--and that's where the "familiar" comes in.

It's the smell that made me fall in love with him--and with food--way back when, in his little restaurant on that little street in that perfect little pocket of time in Pittsburgh, when there was so much possiblity, and the dreams of bigger things to come.