Emily: Olivia puts up with a lot from me. While she’s been visiting for the past week and a half, I have done things with her that she would not otherwise dreamt of doing.
Olivia: Like spend good money on seeing a Nicholas Sparks movie. Or ordering a made-up-in -Emily’s-mind drink at Starbucks. And I’m positive I’ve never gone through so many orange lights in my life.
Emily: And then there are the things we are only able to get the gumption for when we’re together. I don’t think either of us would have made carrots into heart shapes for chicken soup, alone. Or made sidecars, complete with glasses rimmed with sugar and lime rind, on a weeknight. Maybe the most fun are the things we both enjoy doing alone, but become genuinely squeal-worthy when we’re together.
Olivia: Such as our obsession with checking off recipes in our cookbooks. Or our obsession with cookbooks at all, for that matter.
Which leads us to....
Jamie Oliver Meal 1.0
The cookbook, scored for $14.99 (original price $49.99): Happy Days with The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver.
The theme, inadvertently: Italian.
1) Shrimp with Chili, Parsley, and Garlic on Ciabatta Toast.
Our favourite recipe from the evening. Surprisingly simple and flavourful. Add a salad and double the recipe to make it a delicious meal all on its own.
2) Classic Penne Carbonara
Technically delicious, but we both found the visual of runny egg yolk at the bottom of the bowl a bit of a mental hurdle. If we made it again, we’d reduce the egg mixture and maybe cook it a bit longer. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong with bacon, so try it.
3) Cannoli Siciliana
(canolli biscuits with ricotta-pistachio-chocolate filling)
We hate to criticize Jamie, but we have to wonder if he ever actually made this recipe or served it to anyone. The cannoli were really crispy, the filling was delicious but difficult to squeeze out of the bag (became a 2-person job just to fill the cookies), and the raspberry sauce drizzled over top created a quandary: is it, or is it not, a finger food? Knife and fork are impossible, but fingers are downright messy. It was still delicious, and the next day we omitted the raspberry sauce and enjoyed the cookies again.
Favourite moments of the ordeal (besides eating...and check-marking)?
Olivia: Emily speaking aloud to the non-present Jamie Oliver in the grocery store, as if evoking a patron saint.
Emily: the hypocrisy of eating half a box of Viva Puffs in the car on the way home from the grocery store, and then enthusiastically cooking this meal as if we care about fresh herbs and fine ingredients.
Emily: I’m incredibly thankful for friendship. But it’s one thing to bond over browned butter and vintagey dishes and singing along to the country station. It’s another to be stretched and encouraged by each other - and what I really love about Liv is not the way she will literally tuck me in at night if I ask, or say “me too!” about how I feel, more times than I could count, but it’s the fact that she points me to Christ. There is true joy in the kitchen while we cook Jamie Oliver recipes, not just because we both enjoy chopping parsley and frying bacon, but because there’s love of Christ in both our hearts.
Olivia: Right on and back at’cha.
That’s dorky, but truth.
Thanks for reading (and sorry for the ridiculous photo quality)! Recipes on request.