April 25th, 2008

Cooking Dinner

Today I have set the bar very low for myself. I have three goals and two of them are accomplished. First, I wrote my journal pages. Second, I got the kids up and to school. That means the only one left is to make dinner.

That might seem like a funny goal, but assuming I accomplish it, it will have good results.

Obviously, if I make dinner, I get to eat dinner, which is not something to take for granted as I keep seeing more news about hunger and the rising cost of food staples.

I get to enjoy dinner. I’m adapting a recipe tonight. I’m grilling some grass-fed New York steaks and serving them with a simple béarnaise butter. The same butter gets mashed in with fingerling potatoes. Brent is getting tired of it, but we are also having asparagus, because the season is short and I love it.

I get to cook dinner. Sometimes I get so wound up in ideas and words and papers and thoughts and concepts that I lose my balance in the universe (yes, I am a weird hippy person and I have a license to say these things). I need to touch actual things, make something physical. Mushing butter around with herbs using a fork and watching the butter squish up through the tines is about as physical as it gets, what with the shine on the bowl, the feel of the smooth butter, the scent of the herbs, the satisfying thwack of the fork on the bowl, and the continual taste-testing to see if the flavors are right.

Add the sizzle of the steak on the grill. I like the smell of steak better than the taste of steak. I have to pay attention when I grill because I am new at it. Cooking outside was, in my family, the purview of the men, possibly because it allowed my father to smoke outside in peace with his drink while he fiddled with the food. My brother learned to join him in these pursuits and eventually surpassed him in ability to cook foods over fire, to consume smokables, and to down drinkables. It turns out that grilling is not rocket science and it has the added bonus of being easy to clean up after.

I get to eat dinner with Brent. No matter where the day takes us, no matter what we work on, we will come back together at that time. What I cook will nourish our bodies and what we say will connect our minds.

Anything else I accomplish is icing on the cake, so to speak.