Monday, October 20, 2008

First Supper in a New Home

I have been in San Francisco for one week, one sunny beautiful week during which M. has cooked nearly every meal. I have made toast, yes, and coffee, and lunches for myself. Last night I even started the rice and washed the lettuce for our salad. Oh and I made cake, a beautiful gingerbread birthday cake stuffed with two kinds of ginger (ground and crystallized) and diced pears. But one cannot live on cake alone, even if it is cake that is served warm with a spoonful of soft butterscotch sauce over the top.

So now it is my turn to cook the dinner. There is no pressure at all. I am not worried that I'll accidently burn something or make a meal that tastes horrible. I am not worried that I'll scratch a favorite pan or break a favorite plate. I am not worried that it will be a dismal failure and that because of my failures I'll never be allowed to cook dinner again. Not at all.

Ok, maybe there is a little bit of fear, a tad bit of worry that the meal (practiced once before with very good results) will not be good. I pray to the kitchen gods that the skillet will be hot, but not too hot; the knives sharp, but not too sharp; and that the sausages and plums will braise perfectly in their rich juices, creating a perfect sauce to be sopped up by large chunks of soft bread and chewed alongside a spicy, peppery arugula salad.

There is no pressure at all, but this meal must be just right.

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