Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Starch

I had a very interesting day today - for starters, after a harried night of knowing I had lost my purse like an idiot, not to mention losing all of the gift certificates we got as wedding presents, I was pleasantly surprised this morning by a call from building security - someone had turned in my purse, with everything inside it. My faith in the basic kindness and goodness of people has been restored!

After such a stressful night, its not surprising that I went straight for the comfort food: Pizza and pasta. On Cherry St. in downtown Seattle is a little cafe that I stumbled across today for lunch, thinking that it was the restaurant that is in fact next door to it. The food was good although sadly overpriced, but what really struck me was the menu: pasta, whatever cut was made that day, prepared in myriad ways. One element, extended in so many delicious directions. (By the way, if you go to Cafe Bengoli, get meatballs)

Tonight, my husband and I sat down to dinner, again seeking comfort. We decided to try out Tutta Bella, a Neopolitan style pizza joint by our home. Again, I was struck by how a simple starchy base can be taken in so many directions, given so many different tastes. Our quatro stagioni pizza was decorated in quadrants, each representing a season and each with a distinctive taste - earthy mushrooms, sweet roasted peppers, savory prosciutto and roasted onion, salty rosemary ham. The crispy-yet-chewy, slightly salty crust ran through it all, acting as the unifying element.

I fully admit that it had been a long and stressful day for me. I had to work late to make up the hours i'd missed running around with security and getting in to downtown. I ended up taking the wrong bus home and nearly got squished by man who smelled like piss and was easily twice my size. I started off the meal as a not very nice person. Starch, though, worked it's wonders. By the end of the meal, we ate tiramisu together, happy in our fullness, loving people again.

Whether it is flatbread, pasta, rice, or potato, it seems that starch is forgotton, taken for granted - and in this day and age, deliberately avoided thanks to carb phobia.Today, I appreciated it's role in the dish in a way that I usually don't consider.

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