As we text back and forth about recent events, I am laying down two strips of bacon in the pan. The smell fills my small kitchen in Austin, Texas, while my texts speed towards another Austin, far away in Virginia. A julienned bunch of asparagus wait on the cutting board.
She tells me about her job and what she’s been doing and I read her text in the moments after I’ve scraped my chopped asparagus from the pan, where it sautés with the left over bacon fat.
I pour the whisked egg mixture into a pre made pie crust, then add the chopped red bell peppers, asparagus and bacon. I dot goat cheese around the quiche and slide it into the oven. I sip my wine and reach for my phone on the counter.
I swirl a fat pat of butter in a pan while waiting for her response about my latest news.
We haven’t talked for months but even the cold screen of my phone seems to radiate her particular voice, and attitude. I can see her bright, caring eyes peering through her glasses at the screen as she types, her lips pursed or smiling widely.
I replace the lid on the home fries I’m making and tap back a response until the potatoes start to sizzle and then I hit send.
Then I stir them again and repeat the process, lid on, text reply, wait for the sizzle.
When I mix the salad greens and pull the quiche, which is now golden, I reluctantly tell her I have to go. Dinner is ready is a phrase she knows well.
No one here seems to be as interested in food like my friends back home. They enjoy food but don’t get too excited about it. I can’t describe my passion for bacon wrapped Brie and figs to my new friends here without sounding like a curiosity. No one invite me over to dinner just because they want to try a new dish. My excitement over my CSA box is appreciated but not shared.
We have other things in common, and I am happy to have them as part of my new life here but nothing compares to the fun I used to have, discussing menu ideas with this circle of women.
Ian can get excited about my food, and couldn’t stop raving about the quiche I made, or my home fries. I am grateful at least, to have some one who so thoroughly enjoys the fruits of my friendships in Virginia.