posted on Sep, 13 2017 @ 11:25 PM
So, my beloved bride of 20+ years is a “Chef”. I think I’ve mentioned this before. She’s a classically trained and certified “Chef” from
the CIA. (No, not that CIA).
Though her specialty was baking, she can out-cook anyone I’ve ever seen (including just about everyone on the “Food” Channel).
I’ve always loved to cook, and over the years I’ve learned I knew absolutely nothing about cooking, nothing at all. I’ve had to learn every
single thing I ever thought I knew how to do all over again…the RIGHT way. Just seemingly simple stuff is WAY harder than I ever thought. I mean,
who can screw up an egg, right? In time I’ve learned to cook the proper way…to cut things the proper way so they cook evenly, to not go gonzo on
spices and just let flavors blend, to know what cooking styles work with which ingredients…it’s endless.
On a side note; when we were first married I had to reinforce a wall in our house to hold all the cookbooks we had. Literally, had to reinforce the
wall! The ironic part was…not a single one of those cookbooks was hers; they were all mine. (I collect cookbooks). (And yes, I do have Julia
Child’s, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in a 1961 cover)
She had one. Just a single cookbook. (Honestly, I don’t even know the name of it…some exotic French book). When we first met she had two
knives, just two. They were probably two of the finest cooking knives known to mankind, but she had just two. I had maybe thirty (all nice, all
exquisitely sharp and good steel, but nothing like these two knives). I digress.
I built an entire house around a kitchen. Just the simplest ingredient could turn into absolute magic with some little trick I’d never even thought
of. Legend has said some could turn water into wine…I’ve watched it happen, right in front of my eyes. It’s just that incredible!
Anyway, I’ve tried to take notes, feeble as I may be; I try. There are tests, you know, to see how good you are. Certain foods. Things like
(true) Blintzes and Soufflé’, Osso Buco, Lobster Thermidor and so many more. They will make an amateur just crazed to even attempt it. (Padded
room, straight jacket, type stuff). I’ve learned…much the hard way. I might even be able to hold my own now (just so long as I never had to go
up against her). I can cook a nice dish.
So, it’s a long introduction to a thread, and I apologize for that, but without context a thread is nothing.
I've traveled the World, I really have. On my very first date with my (then to be) wife, I told her I would fly her to the South Pacific and we
would eat onion rings (crazy, but one of her favorite things) on a remote island somewhere, a deserted island. On our first date…we did just that.
We ate onion rings (I had to tell this guy even what they were) on Tioman Island in the South China Sea….on the beach….at night. And I swear to
God this is the truth, we sat there and watched Hale-Bopp comet overhead, so bright it cast a shadow off the water! Our first date.
I spent a lot of years in Asia, working. Don’t know if I’d do it again, but it was an experience, and it was a life changing thing. I’ve seen
a lot of things I wish I could “un-see”, but I guess it just goes with the territory/experience. As I traveled that part of the world I realized
how valuable life is…to some. And, how worthless it is to others.
But, this is about food, and cooking, right? Again, context is everything…
So I learned to cook. I learned to cook really good cuisine, not just “dinner”. I had help (as I’ve said); I had a partner. She pushed me to
do it right. I’ve cooked a lot of really great things since then, a lot of really, really, great things…under the tutelage of that gal, my
wonderful bride, whom I love more than words can say.
So tonight I sent her an email saying I would cook her dinner (we trade off). I said I would make “Singapore Noodles”. It’s an easy dish, and
one we both know you can’t even get in Singapore actually (they’ve never heard of it). It’s just a fried rice noodle dish with curry, shrimp
and veggies. There’s a trick to it, to make it right…and it turned out just right.
Of all the things I’ve done in my life, many of them difficult and trying beyond description…to hear her say…”Remember that one time we sat
on the beach in Tioman and watched that comet all night long?” “And, how we rode the hydrofoil back to Singapore??”
You know, maybe you don’t learn everything all at once, but every now and then…maybe you learn just a little bit.