we suffered the tyranny of the afternoon sun
to embrace the soft evening,
eating, talking and drinking into the even cooler darkness.
I’m always surprised when people pride themselves on not having to taste anything when they prepare a meal. For me, it is essential to taste while I cook. Each time I hold up a spoon or dangle a mouthful from my pinched fingers I am looking to know what I’ve done. I’m also looking for clues about what still needs to happen.
How long should this cook for?
Does this bowl of wild salad need more vinegar or salt?
That kind of focus joins me, enticingly, to whatever it is I’m holding in my hands or tasting on my tongue.
Last night, I made my way to the table sipping on a deliciously cold and bitter beer. I watched people eat. I smiled to my neighbors. Sometimes I talked, sometimes I didn’t.
I wasn’t hungry by the time I took my seat because I’d already spent a good deal of time tasting bits of everything — the greens, the artichokes, the goat cheese — tasting and tasting right up until the heaped bowls of spaghetti were carried out to the buffet.
There are often days when the magical door to the table does not materialize and I remain in the threshold of making the the meal. Then, with the passage of time, I find myself at an entirely different table where the food and wine have given way to more and more words and I greedily hold out my plate.
7 May 2012
kamut spaghetti with tomato sauce
Parmigiano Reggiano and hot pepper on the table
tiny artichokes with goat cheese and a salad of Eden’s lettuces, wild arugula, mint and radishes
red mustard, beet greens and lettuces sautéed with saffron, onions, green garlic, currants and almonds
Special thanks to Jessie and David Washburn for kitchen assistance