I have a pink tool bag.
It’s filled with pink screwdrivers, a pink level, a pink tape measure. It used to have a pink hammer too, but I accidentally busted it in half last year.
This little tool bag has served me well over the last eight years. My mom gave it to me my freshman year of college – stating that I shouldn’t be away from home without a way to fix things. She got it in pink because she loves me and I love pink.
I have carried this bag with me ever since. Through every move – across state lines and back again. I had it with me in South Carolina, it lives in my coat closet now. It stayed on a top shelf in my apartment junior and senior year of college.
It was there, and it was then, that it was frequently borrowed by my neighbors. I was the only girl on my floor – the three other apartments being occupied by males and their male roommates.
At first, they mocked the pink tools – their petite size and their “feminine” hue. Then, little by little, the knocks on my door increased.
“Can I borrow your hammer?”
“Hey, do you have a screwdriver?”
“Wait…are you baking?”
That last one was unrelated to tools and home improvement, but it happened nonetheless. Inevitably, the scent of whatever I was making would waft across the hall and into the other apartments. They’d come over for a few brownies or a slice of cake or warm cookies.
Eventually, being the caretaker that I am, this knocking and talking and sharing evolved. It became Sunday Suppers – once a week I would spend the afternoon making us a family meal. We'd sit around my tiny table, forgetting paper due dates and looming midterms, enjoying conversation and whatever food I had prepared. Roast chicken, green beans, risotto. Lots of risotto.
It was in that apartment, four flights up, that I first made risotto. In that tiny kitchen on that even tinier stove that I learned the wonders of Arborio rice slow simmered with chicken stock. It was during those meals that I made some real friends and deepened my love for mushrooms and Parmesan.
Do the same. Make risotto. Make friends. Find the recipe on Ernessi’s site!