A Love Letter to Pesto

Dear pesto, It wasn't love at first sight. In fact, I thought you smelled precisely like vomit. "Eat it," said my hardworking mother, cooking dinner after a twelve-hour hospital shift. "You'll like it."

This seemed improbable. But I was hungry and knew this was all I would be getting.

That first bite: revelation.

You shared many more nights with me after that first one -- the awkward middle school years with that lapse-in-judgement perm, the high-stress high school years where getting up at five and going to bed at eleven seemed perfectly normal. But it wasn't until college and beyond, when I was finally cooking full-time to feed myself, that I really came to appreciate your irresistible attraction and congenial simplicity.

Oh pesto, you got me through some dark, lonely nights. Your comforting carbs meant I could make a huge batch and parcel you out slowly over several nights. Your greenery and the sleekness of olive oil made me feel like I was putting good, solid things into me (rather than cheap hamburgers and spinach salads and microwave pot pies, which were my other most frequent staples). You were always warm, always willing to pair up with ravioli or tortellini or toasted French bread.

And then, when I met a marvelous man who loved to cook -- oh, the stroganoff! the curry! the mashed potatoes from scratch! -- you stepped aside while I nurtured this new relationship. Then, when I shyly asked you back, you came at once, sharing your bounty with both of us.

Thank you, pesto, for everything.

All my love,

Olivia