Sleepless in the Kitchen
Just about the only upside to our darling W's frequent flying? We get to spend some quality time communing with the kitchen spirits. Particularly in the dead of night - daylight hours whizz by in a flurry of activity, but when night falls, it's hard to ignore his unwrinkled side of the bed. By "we", I include Brando, our peerlessly handsome and greedy long-haired miniature dachshund, and Gracie, his saucy little black-and-tan comrade. Together, we sit in the kitchen leafing through cookbooks and plotting fantasy menus in lieu of shuteye.
In the routine scheme of things, time in the kitchen is spent preparing tried-and-tested comfort classics, with the occasional dalliance with an exciting recipe from a newly acquired cookbook, or an impromtu concoction inspired by some particularly enticing produce. When W goes away, however, is when we roll up our sleeves in anticipation of whim-fuelled flights of kitchen fancy...When there's no need to feed a loved one, how many of us subsist on scrambled eggs and toast? Preferring, of course, to lavish time on grandiose experiments either doomed to failure or destined for divinity - the 50/50 odds rules such indulgent endeavours out in the day-to-day race against time to get a meal on the table by a decent hour.
Yes, there's the possibility that everything may wind up down the chute. Nonetheless, we keep at it. For the flipside of failure is the discovery of something delicious enough to merit inducting into the repertoire of comfort classics. I think of these solitary times as practice runs for the real deal - cooking for W.
So. What's cooking? Several recipes from Thomas Keller's Bouchon beckon - the pork trotters with sauce gribiche is one recipe I've been wanting to try, and the creme caramel looks wonderful too. Pierre Herme's Plaisir Sucre is another multi-day project that's perfect for now. If all goes well, W's welcome-home dinner will feature a few surprises that, hopefully, he'll take to.