June 16, 2010
Cooked last night, for the first time in more than two months, and it was such a joy. It wasn’t much – I made an apricot crisp, which took about 5 minutes, all my still-recovering foot could bear. But Fred and Sherry were cooking too, slowly stirring the just-ground polenta. Fred was marinating duck breasts – a Paula Wolfert recipe that is one of my all-time favorites, and constructing Fergus Henderson’s cauliflower, leek and white bean salad, a little symphony in white. Just as the apricots began to fill the kitchen withtheir lovely aroma Fred stirred cream and lime into corn, a recipe from Ad Hoc that tastes mysteriously of ginger. He made Alice’s almost-Caesar too– whole leaves of romaine drenched in anchovies and vinaigrette. No eggs, no croutons and we forgot the cheese at the last minute. I liked it better that way; it was such a ferocious plate of greens.
As we cooked we cranked up the blues until the kitchen was filled with sound and scent. Michael kept pouring more rose´, and soon we were dancing around the room. When Liz and Emily walked in, we put out cheese and nuts and that great local liverwurst while everyone took turns stirring the polenta.
Just as we went outside to eat the sun began to slip away, in a blast of golden red. The frogs began that deep thrumming, and I thought that if I could distill one moment of pure happiness, it might be this one.
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