I didn’t always know how to cook. I didn’t always love cooking, either—in fact, there are many days where I don’t love cooking. It’s time-consuming and messy. Things don’t always turn out right. I will almost always forget a key ingredient.
But I do love food. I have always loved food, even back when I ate the same few things over and over again. I like to play with food, sometimes to the point of disgusting everyone around me—grapes and ranch dressing do not go together, and there is such a thing as too much garlic salt on popcorn (though I maintain that that was not actually my fault).
Part of loving food, for me, is learning how it works. So I screw up recipes weekly, buy regular ol’ Bumblebee instead of fancy Italian canned tuna, mistake anchovies for sardines. Most of the time, it turns out fine. When it doesn’t, I curse and startle the dog and eat it anyway, a lesson learned.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(a.) from Greek ephemeros for day
Lasting only a short time.
It takes days to do it right. Salt, meat, broth. Hours of cutting, rubbing, soaking, waiting. Hours more of conversation, of checking beneath the lid, of tapping fingers and biting back every “how much longer?”
The scent blooms into the kitchen. Everyone complains—not because it’s bad, because it is so mouthwateringly good, so tempting, surely a finger dipped in the sauce would be—a light smack on the hands, a laugh, and the questions cease.
When the time finally comes, it’s gone in minutes; a dish made more delicious by how quickly it’s gone and how long until it’s tasted again.