It was an auspicious Saturday. The MTA had passengers transferring between local and express train lines because of repairs. Once in Brooklyn, I was relieved to finally be en route home. Then, the conductor played the last trick. The train was skipping a few stops, including my destination. I had to walk down a few flights of stairs to board another train. As the next train came to a stop, a striking man would notice me wearing a yellow halter dress. “Beautiful,” he thought. I took a seat in a separate car, unaware of his interest. Peering into the window, I saw the same man that had observe me a few minutes prior. At our destination, we exited onto the platform at the same time. Similar to a screenplay and cliché as it may seem, we saw each other at the same time. It’s one of those moments when other people move in a slow blur. “I’m going to love this man,” I thought. We slowly walked up the stairs, but our distance from each other was a few feet. I would frequently turn around to meet his intense stare. He’ll later joke with friends and family about his initial thoughts of me, “Hold on, baby… I’m coming.” Once outside, he gently tapped my shoulder to politely say, “Excuse me…” We walked through a park to talk about life. Then, he placed a right hand to his chest to say, “My heart… you’re different… my heart feels warm.”
One of the first dinners I made for him was Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce. I remembered this dish, because he said shrimp was a favorite. As we continue to date, he occasionally says, “…I’m enjoying the process of us coming together.” It’s been two years since that auspicious Saturday afternoon. He warms my heart, too.
Aug. 28, 2011 Update:
Read the story embroidered at The Brooklyn Love Exchange project by Iviva Olenick. Collecting stories from friends, acquaintances and strangers, she maps love in the borough of Brooklyn, NY through the Brooklyn Love Exchange. Using tales of romance to create embroideries, this project is an extension of her Were I So Besotted project, in which she muses about experiences along the path to finding a fulfilling, life-lasting relationship.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce
1 small onion; thinly sliced
2 to 3 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 small garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
3 tbsp. Cilantro Almond Pesto
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. large shrimp; locally wild-caught
2 to 3 cups baby spinach, cleaned
1/4 to 1/3 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. fresh ravioli with butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potato filling
Garnish: Roughly chopped scallions, toasted pecans and basil
1. Cook ravioli according to the manufacturer’s directions. Gently toss with olive oil. Place aside and keep warm.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the onion and ginger. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper, the pesto and spices.
3. When the red pepper begins to soften, add the shrimp and wine. When the shrimp is almost done, add the spinach.
4. When the shrimp is done cooking, add the cream.
5. Adjust seasoning.
6. Divide ravioli in separate bowls. Spoon Shrimp and Ginger Sauce on top. Garnish with scallions, toasted pecans and basil.