Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Orchestrating a Dinner of Spring Pea Risotto

My mom was in town over the holiday weekend. For three days we dashed back and forth across the city like crazy women. She was on a mission to help me get wedding details finalized: we picked up the dress, scouted ribbon and other fineries, bought lipsticks and lingerie and honeymoon clothes and met with florists, bakers, and event managers.

At the end of each day we were very, very tired, craving food that felt like home.

On the first night, I made her dinner. Eating out in San Francisco is thrilling, but there's something immensely satisfying about cooking a full meal in my own house for the woman who, over my lifetime, has fixed me thousands of dinners. That doesn't mean I didn't put her to work -- I did. She peeled and chopped garlic for the roasted garlic and walnut vinaigrette. She peeled and chopped the golden beets for the salad. She set the table with my grandmother's china.

Meanwhile Sean stirred and stirred the risotto. Inspired by the green pea risotto at a M.F.K. Fisher event in Sonoma a few weeks ago, I'd found the recipe in a recent Food & Wine Magazine.

And what was I doing while all this kitchen madness unfolded? I can't really remember. I opened the wine, yes, but that came as we were serving plates. I watched the setting sun push its light all the way into the back corner of the kitchen. I stared at the flowers in their vase on the dining room table -- the antique glassware I bought to use as our wedding lunch centerpieces.

I didn't really cook dinner. I orchestrated it, watching as a simple springtime meal made its way to the table with the help of three tired and hungry cooks, and much anticipation of more good meals to come.

1 comment:

Megan Taylor said...

Um...can you make this dinner for me? Or, you can orchestrate while I cook? That risotto looks INSANE!

I love your description of the group effort. It's so true - someone always has to peel while someone chops. Someone's got to drink the wine while someone stirs and stirs. It's just better that way...

Cooking with people is just about as fun as sitting down to finally enjoy the meal with them. I just really love your description of togetherness and family.

Lovely post!


p.s. Regarding the wedding prep, what are the ribbons for???