In this new economy, we don’t have a Hamptons house to give up, or a second car, or even a first car newer than 10 years old. We don’t have violin lessons or ski weekends or a gardener or housekeeper to give up when we try to tighten up the budget. We’re pretty much bare bones already. What we do have to give up, is eating out.
It makes me kind of sad.
Eating out has always been one of the joys of my life. It’s hard not to embrace the restaurant culture when you live in a town filled with nearly 20,000 of them. And I’m an equal opportunity eater-outer. I’m happy to sit down to steak au poivre at the Four Seasons, and I’m delighted to grab a slice at my local pizza joint. But lately, I’m doing little of either.
So this weekend, for the first time in ages, Nate and the kids and I took ourselves out to a fabulous meal at the incredible restaurant responsible for his current indentured servitude. He was happy to see what it looked like in the actual dining room, as opposed to the windowless basement room in which he peels heirloom tomatoes for 12 hour stretches, three days a week. I was just happy to have a cute gay maitre d’ show us to our table, and a perfect Italian white white to distract me from the fact that Sage was gnawing the tops off the focaccia bread and discarding the carcasses on my plate.
I was happy.
But it was when I bit into mounds of fresh sheep’s milk ricotta sprinkled with coarse sea salt and spread on crusty, olive oil-dappled toast–made by someone else, served by someone else, cleaned up by someone else–that I realized I felt more than happy. I felt like me again.
It’s crazy, the things that make us feel complete. For me it was ricotta.