Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Lesson Before Dining

I am a control freak who loves to cook. Cooking allows me to be master of my domain and take full ownership over the art I am creating. I generally HATE anyone in my kitchen while I am putting my chisel to marble, sculpting a culinary delight which will last in people’s memories for generations to come. This weekend, I uneasily broke with that tradition.

The meal was a delicious mustard and herb chicken, involving a bread crumb, rosemary and cheese topped oven roasted chicken breast, delicately placed on top of a bed of linguine flavored by a slightly peppered garlic and mushroom cream sauce. In a word –
heaven. This homemade dish is comparable to entrees I have sampled in 5 star Italian restaurants, particularly due to the amazing simplicity of the seasonings and the toccata of flavors blending in a symphonic harmony still resonating in my taste buds. The mustard harped over the chicken lightly, while the bread crumb topping added a more mellow note, contrasting the tangy Dijon. The cream sauce, though a bit peppery, soaked well into the linguine, in which small bits of feta had been tossed. The final crescendo – a very fragrant and buttery California Chardonnay. The meal was nothing short of Beethoven’s 5th.

After enjoying this ecstasy, I reflected on the creation of this masterpiece. Although a great symphony usually has a single composer, it normally requires the teamwork of said composer, a conductor and a legion of musicians to bring his vision from pen to ear. This time around, I allowed a lady friend to enter the kitchen with me, and acting as the composer, I directed her to which spices to prepare, what ingredients to sauté and when to toss the pasta. And while I initially felt the angst of another person, possibly unskilled and brutish in their understanding of culinary art, being in my kitchen I began to enjoy the time spent. There were good laughs and playful exchanges throughout, and not one detail of the meal was ruined because of it.

A new spice has been added to the rack of my life – working together to create something beautiful. It was in realizing the joy this brought me that I resolved not only to be more open-minded about allowing another into the sanctity of my kitchen (or my blog – Sabor, La Artista Culinaria, Mbali), but to allow people who I see are trying to help my goals to get close so that together, the sum of our friendships can build a legacy for all of our lives. The thought crossed my mind of how this dynamic strangely mirrored the vision I have for families everywhere – building together for a better tomorrow. I wonder how many other people have closed off their kitchens…

-The UE

PS – Welcome goes out to the newest contributing members of the Taste and See community! I have asked a few of my closest foodie friends to give me their perspectives and add a little diversity to the TnS experience to offer the reader a more fulsome viewpoint on life, growth and FOOD. I hope that your weekly input will add the sprinkle of powdered sugar a
Nutella crepe needs to be perfect!

No comments: