Influenced by what I read, see and hear, the following is what I used to believe until last month: The vast majority of young women are not anxious to marry until they’re in their 30’s. They love their independence, and single women are doing better than men in the workplace. In the meantime, they’ll freeze their eggs.
I was with Endorfina when she received a call from one of her college friends who has a 25 year old single daughter who is highly attracted to a 30 year old single guy with an impressive income. Now here’s what surprised me: The mother was excited and practically ordered her daughter to marry the guy; and the daughter, more excited than her mother, wants to marry him, and they had planned a “marry-the –man” strategy including the wedding itself.
I remarked to Endorfina that in this day and age this was not a common situation. Caution is in the wind for young women and at age 25, it’s best to wait. Endorfina then set me straight and told me what I didn’t know. She said that many young women are looking to marry the right guy and the mothers are pushing them to find them provided they have sufficient income to maintain a comfortable life. She emphasized that it’s the men, and not the women, who are reluctant to get married. She told me that this was common knowledge and wondered how I missed the boat.
Though Endorfina is a very savvy lady and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, which fact she hides well, I do not generally accept single source descriptions so I called a number of other mothers, including those with married daughters. They generally agreed with her.
That night while sipping on my martini, I was thinking about the situation and what advice I would give to the mothers to transmit to their daughters which would increase their chances of getting them to the altar. Then something obvious, but woefully underappreciated by young women, jumped to mind. It’s the man’s stomach! G and I are both Italian and reared in a home where homemade “supper” was served every night. And did we look forward to those tasty meals and energetic conversations around the table.
I asked Endorfina to tell her friend to tell her daughter, who, like most young American women, doesn’t excel in the kitchen, that one way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Montaigne, the father of the modern essay, observed that there’s nothing more pleasurable than good food, good drinks, good company and conversation. They are door openers of person to person positive communication.
In order to overcome the daughter’s culinary cooking ignorance and encourage her, I recommended a simple- to- make but very sophisticated and knock- out pasta dish. It’s one of G’s specialties. The recipe is as follows:
– One pound of pasta. G prefers fusilli but it can be fettuccine or most other pastas including wide egg noodles.
– One can of tomatoes. Make sure they are not crushed but peeled and whole. G says crushed tomatoes are not as tasty. G prefers the San Marzano brand, but others will do.
– Five good sized shallots or the equivalent.
– Eight cloves of garlic.
– One-half stick of sweet butter.
– 8 tablespoons of olive oil.
– One and a half cubes of beef bouillon.
– Pecorino or goat cheese (optional).
G uses a big frying pan so the mother should buy her daughter one. What makes it easy, even for me, is that you put everything in the fry pan at once and then turn on the flame and cook away under medium heat!
Chop up the shallots in not too small slices and garlic in halves, with a knife. Put butter (cut in 4-5 slices) and olive oil in pan. Add shallots and garlic. Empty the entire contents of the canned tomatoes in the pan and then crush with your hands. Break up the beef cubes with your fingers and sprinkle over the contents. Then begin to cook at medium heat for about 25 minutes and, very importantly, stir periodically.
Regarding the cheese, for his taste G, if at all, uses it sparingly in order to compliment and not overwhelm the taste of the “gravy” or sauce but most men and women pour it on which, though a sin according to G, is okay if it stimulates the man’s appetite and achieves the woman’s objective. Make sure it’s pecorino from sheep and not parmegiano from cows.
Now here’s G’s secret that he uses in all his pasta gravies or sauces. Make them at least 4 hours before, and let sit in the fry pan on the stove or even the day before and put it in the refrigerator.
Men usually like meatballs and garlic bread with their pasta. G has a prize winning recipe for his meatballs but refuses to divulge it. He suggests that the daughter buy meatballs from an Italian deli, and even though they may not be good, the sauce will make them taste okay. If she can’t make reasonably easy to make garlic bread, then G suggests that she should give up her gastric strategy approach to her potentially future mate for she’s a hopeless case. A simple arugula salad only with salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil and red or white vinegar blends harmoniously with the pasta, meatballs and garlic bread.
Regarding the pasta: G usually places the pasta in boiling water and cooks for about 20 minutes and not less. He says that the cooking- time labels on the pasta containers are usually wrong particularly when addressing al dente. Don’t forget to add the salt to the boiling water- about two tablespoons and periodically stir.
I checked with G to make sure I had it right, and I could hear something like, but not quite, a giggle. I asked, “What’s so funny?” He replied, “Crushing the tomatoes by squeezing them with your hands. It’s interesting to note that for some women it’s a subtle sexual stimulant experience. I like to do it. Maybe, if the situation presents the right moment, the lady should ask her potential husband to do the squeezing or do it both together! Lorenzo, catch what I’m getting at?” I thought G’s imagination was running a little bit wild and changed the subject.
Endorfina sent the recipe to her friend who sent it to her daughter who then prepared it for her lover- and it was a tremendous success. The guy went bananas over the pasta and told the daughter that, would you believe, she convinced him to marry only a woman who can cook. He said he’s tired of eating boring takeout food with a woman. He, of course, didn’t make a marriage proposal to the daughter over G’s pasta but the encouraging door-opening stomach opportunity was successful.
The mother, now sensing a gastric strategy to make her potential son-in-law a real one, implored Endorfina to ask G for other simple, uncomplicated dishes for her daughter to make in her stomach strategy approach. He, reluctant to divulge his culinary secrets to the world said, “Let me think about it.”
Perhaps in future posts he’ll change his mind. I’ll do my best.