Do you know what you want, what you really, really want?

One of the things I always try to shove in between knife skills and how to roast chestnuts to drink with vino novello is, know what you want. Not what your kids want, or your husband or your wife or your best friend, but you. And it can be very unsettling to talk about, so I just give it a quick mention and then start pouring the wine and stirring the sauce.
I say start with what you eat. Everytime you eat a meal dream about exactly what you want to eat, and at least every once in while be sure to get it. You have to be careful though, because it tends to rub off onto the rest of your life and you find yourself boarding planes to Italy to cook for fabulous groups of people that have an amazing zest for life.
I’m leaving tonight, so I’m too nervous to cook. I’m going to wilt some spinach with garlic and salt and olive oil, set it over a colander to drain, and then give it a squeeze. I’m going to pour a little more olive oil into the pan, get it hot, and then fry a few eggplant slices, and sprinkle them with salt and a grind of pepper. Then I’m going to thinly slice some surprisingly good looking tomatoes I have (from sitting around so long), dress them with olive oil and salt and drop of the best balsamic, so good you could drink it, but only a drop, slice my fresh mozzarella di bufala, and put the whole thing on the best piecs of focaccia known to NYC from Sullivan Street Bakery.
That’s what I’m dreaming of.

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