Monday, November 21, 2011

Catching Up

I have a lifelong friend named Cricket. She didn't start life with that name but she adopted it once she turned 21 because everyone called her by her nickname, anyway, and because she loved the quirky idea of being a seriously competent doctor with the rather frivolous name of Cricket. Once the judge pronounced her legally Cricket, she charged penalty fees if we forgot to use her new name. Whenever I think of her before the name change "Linda" comes to mind; my memories after age 21 are all labeled "Cricket."

Cricket and I have been friends literally from the playpen on - our mothers were great pals, our fathers were close and dear friends, and the two families each had four children of roughly the same ages, so we all got along like a house afire. Their big, rambling house in Michigan was a home base for us, one of the few unchanging things in a Navy life.

Crick and I have taken very different paths in life - she to medical school and obstetrics; I, via a somewhat wandering and checkered route, to career counseling with college students. She had three kids; I abstained. She chose Seattle; I left the west coast for Rochester, NY. But, whenever Crick and I get together, our friendship blossoms like a flower. Even when we haven't seen or talked to one another in a long time, we pick right up where we left off, as comfortable and easy as if we had seen each other just the day before. We differ politically but we share great memories and a sometimes wicked sense of humor.

All this as prelude so that you can imagine what a pleasure it was to get a call last week from one of Cricket's sons, a young pilot who was in the area getting some additional flight time. We met him out in Danville at a restaurant called the Peasant and the Pear, which we had heard about on "Check Please, Bay Area." It's a good show and has steered us to some very good meals.

As we caught up with Peter's doings and learned about his plans for the future, My Beloved and I each enjoyed a dish of Lobster Carbonara. Although it was the most expensive thing on the menu, it was only a couple of dollars more than the other choices, so we each ordered a glass of prosecco and went for it.

The restaurant lighting does wonders for my complexion, not so much for the photograph - but the dish was as close to heaven as I expect to get before dying. The sauce was creamy and lemony, rich and delicious. The pasta was wide, thin and silky. The lobster meat was generous, tender, perfectly cooked and simply out of this world. The carbonara had little squares of crisped pancetta and a handful of fresh peas, topped with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. And the serving was so fulsome that I had to bring some of it home.

I enjoy a chance to know Cricket's kids as adults, now that they are all grown up. It's another frame in the film of memories we have unreeled over our lifetimes. I have always respected Cricket's ambition, profession and quirky sense of humor, but it's fun to learn through her children that I respect her parenting, too.

I'll have to call her soon - it's time we caught up.


Blogger Hungry Dog said...

A lovely post and homage to your friendship with the fantastically named Cricket! It's lucky to have a friendship that can span a lifetime. Also, the carbonara looks and sounds delicious. I happened to make a carbonara myself last night (though not with lobster) and am beyond pleased I have leftovers for lunch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Very nice, Zoomie. Wow, friends with your friend's kid.
So. That lobster pasta dish looks and sounds wonderful, but in what fevered menu writer's mind is that "carbonara"?
I guess we're done misusing "Alfredo."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, yes, pasta dishes are almost always better the next day. Hooray for leftovers!

Cookiecrumb, I was puzzled, too. All I can think is that the peas and pancetta with pasta = carbonara? What will they think up next?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Nope. No peas in Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Still, it sounded delish.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I did some research and confirmed that you are correct, but I was surprised as all "carbonaras" I have eaten have had peas in them. I guess this is a mongrel, as are most things American.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Probably nothing more than a yummy and colorful bastardization. On the other hand, I have cooked carbonara with forbidden onions! Recipes, schmecipes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011  
Anonymous JonathanN said...

Interesting post, I am so glad that I have visited your site. Really useful information!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011  
Anonymous Jay said...

Friends are just simply amazing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011  

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