Some Like It Pot

So you’d think after four decades I might at least have the basics figured out.  What pocket to keep my keys in, where the umbrella should go, having a consistent wake-up time or remembering not to touch my face after I slice hot peppers -  stuff like that.  For such a creature of routine as I am, it feels simultaneously hilarious and crippling that I can never ease my way into one. Instead, most of the time, I  go through life feeling like my shirt is on inside out and backwards.

Oxford shirt, and, yes. I’ve done that.

Even in the kitchen, that one space in my world where the rules seem clear and I feel safe within a radius of my instincts – I go through weeks when I find myself feeling clumsy and error-prone.  Not that I expect perfection from myself, but, again, I’m at the point where a stir-fry or a roast chicken or a loaf of bread shouldn’t present many technical difficulties.

It’s more like a feeling that certain things I prepare frequently really should taste a LOT better than I’m willing to candidly admit.   And maybe it was time for a couple of tweaks. . And sometimes, luckily, I can even get things right.

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Relationship Advice from the Balthazaar Cookbook

It’s funny the compromises we make in the kitchen.  Especially when other diners are involved.

You’ll buy the cheap cocoa when you’re cooking for yourself but spring for the Valrhona when you make a birthday cake.

Or you’ll make creme angliase from scratch when company is coming but you’ll melt vanilla ice cream when it’s “only family.”

And don’t get me started about garnish.  Or which tablecloth I use or whether said tablecloth will be ironed.

It’s fascinating to observe how many different ways the preparation and sharing of food echoes the nuances of your relationships, and how subtle distinctions and  economies of effort play out.   I thought about this this past Saturday when I had David and Laura over for dinner.  It seemed like A good way to kick off the year, and a good way to start to emerge from the antisocial shell I’ve been hiding in for the last few months.

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