The old girl went out for dinner last night. And lunch actually, but lunch didn’t go so well, so I thought I might give it another go. Lunch was cheap bread, and frozen gnocchi with a sauce of that particular red that you can only get after years of chemical research. Plus I was having a silent killer of a fight with my husband, so lobster fresh enough to be doing push-ups in the butter, would have been the same as chewing on old paper napkins.
For dinner I was with my girlfriend, and bless her soul, she got up more than once to run around with Ferdinand so that I could taste my food. The best part of the meal was the anticipation. It isn’t often, never to rarely really, that I get to taste what other cooks are cooking up. With my whole heart I love to sit at someone else’s table and eat someone else’s food; it is one of my favorite things of all to sit with my friends and eat and drink, and it is hard to stop myself from kissing the hand of the host in appreciation for the opportunity. But eating at a restaurant is different for a cook. It is a chance to see what the Jones’ are up to, and to really think about do you like it, don’t you like it, and why.
I felt warmly welcomed and comfortable being there, which without that, I may as well sit home and fight. The food was a hard one though. It wasn’t bad, there was nothing bad about it, but when I got home and was thinking the whole thing over, what I liked best was the wine. It was delicious. It was a distinctive but smooth flavor, with enough character to be music in the background that might make you cry if you listened closely to the words, but otherwise just sounded beautiful in the background. As a house wine, it was a fantastic choice by the chef.
Of all the courses there was a sauce for a risotto that sang to me, that at the end of the day I didn’t feel belonged on a risotto at all, but the flavor was one of the most difficult things to get with long cooked sauces; distinctive clear flavors, one perfectly balancing the other, even after having been on the stove with everything melting together in the pot for hours. With every other plate, I never would have been able to eat the food, and then recognize the cook again if I had the same food somewhere else. I think it must be a problem that comes with having cooked for a long time for someone who demanded anonymity. Don’t do it. If you have to take ten minutes or ten years to think about what it is that you and only you really love, do it, and every once in a while have only that with nothing else. Then put it into your food. And your life. And your love.
It reminded me to take the risk to find out exactly who I am.

1 thought on “Research

  1. Your writing transports me, to the point where I realize I am so caught in the words and their beauty that I have reached this amazing and long sought after state of relaxation with my morning cup of coffee. Keep writing. It is, with cooking, clearly your gift.

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