It was while rolling up from flat on the floor into cobra position that it suddenly occurred to Sara that she could not actually remember the last time that she had had sex.
She could feel herself blushing, and stole a quick glance around the room to check whether any of the other women, similarly contorted on their purple mats, had noticed. They reflected into eternity in the mirrored walls. Rank upon rank of bodies lying on the floor, chests pressed up on their arms, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, while Chad who had recently returned from India where he had been learning the art of yogic flying and eating vegan food, corrected their posture with a bamboo stick.
Now she looked at him, Sara realized that he was in fact kinda cute. In fact, he was more than kinda cute. Which was strange, since usually she didnâ€™t go for wiry men. Or men who were shorter than 5 foot 3. Or men who were vegans. Or men who sniffed when they inhaled and grunted when they exhaled all the time â€“ occasionally was fine, of course, given the right circumstances, marathons, iron man competitions, and of course, sex.
Damn. Sex again. Down on the mat, breasts pressed uncomfortably into the rubber. And up again, rolling through the pelvis â€¦
Chad gave private meditation classes, she mused. In his apartment on the Upper East Side. Alone. Meditating. With Chad. In his apartment. Interesting. Though, that was a curious place for a d-list guru to live, now she thought about it. Maybe he lived on the top floor and people wanting guidance had to climb up all the stairs on their hands and knees, just as pilgrims of old had had to scale mountains.
Down on the mat, and another deep breath, and up â€¦
But there was no doubt about it. Chad was looking hot. In his leggings, wife beater and bindi spot on his forehead. And his little comb over. And so, if he was a little older than the usual kind of man she went for? How old was he anyway? Maybe 60 â€¦
Sara took a deep breath in through her mouth and stood up. She rolled up her mat, and walked out.
By the time she arrived at my apartment, Iâ€™d already started on the risotto.
Meanwhile, in a cottage in Maine, Lizzy had come up with the exact same solution to precisely the opposite problem.
She had now been in bed with J for four days solid, and the entertainment was not wearing thin. There was still plenty of wine. They could survive till the end of the week at least.
This meant that, although they could see the dock where fishermen sold their fresh catch from the back window of the cottage, and though they could hear the farmerâ€™s market â€“ so exalted in guide books – from the front porch, other than one slightly over ripe tomato, there was no fresh food at all in the kitchen.
J opened another bottle of white. Lizzy scrounged about and found a stock cube. He kissed her neck as she stirred the rice.
Risotto with roasted tomatoes (serves 2)
The magic of risotto is the love â€“ you spend 20 minutes of your time on something, youâ€™re putting love straight into it. Itâ€™s hokey, but itâ€™s true. Or if it isnâ€™t true, it ought to be.1 cup of rice 3 cups of hot stock 1 cup of white wine 1 medium onion Â½ cup of parmesan cheese (grated) 2 large handfuls of tomatoes â€“ Iâ€™m a big fan of the heirloom mini tomatoes at Trader Joes â€“ Iâ€™d throw in the whole box 2 Â½ tbsp butter 1 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper
- Dice the onion finely and fry in 1tbsp of olive oil and Â½ tbsp of butter on a low heat until it has softened. Season it with salt and pepper â€“ the salt will make it release water too, so it will be less likely to burn
- Pour / re-hydrate the stock into a pan and keep warm
- Once the onion is cooked, pour in the cup of rice and toss in the oil to coat.
- Add the glass of wine and let bubble for a moment so that the alcohol burns off.
- Add the stock one ladle-ful at a time, stirring constantly. Keep the heat fairly gentle, you want the stock to seep into the rice, rather than boil away into thin air.
- Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes in a good glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper, then put on a tray in the oven for 10 minutes at 325
- Keep stirring the risotto for about 20 minutes. You may not need all the stock, or, conversely, you may need to keep going with water until the rice is cooked â€“ the texture should be fairly liquid â€“ somewhere between a fork and a spoon.
- Stir the tomatoes into the risotto and add the cheese and the butter. Stir then take off the heat, cover and let rest for 2 minutes.
- Serve with a grinding of black pepper and more cheese.
- If you have basil leaves, rip a few onto each serving
- If you have basil oil, drizzle a tsp on top