Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Nagging Suspicion

“Have you ever had a nagging suspicion that you have forgotten something?”

I don’t like it when a conversation between Rebecca and me starts this way. I don’t know where it is going, except that it can’t be to any place that is good.

“That is why I am putting on this music right now,” she continued. And the strains of Handel’s Messiah began to float to the kitchen where I was making a stir-fry.

“I forgot to put this on during the holiday season. So here it is now. And by the way, you can put that stir-fry together so quickly, compared to what I would have to do: go find a recipe, see if I had the ingredients, find the right pot.”

She didn’t know I had done much of that before we left the house for her class this morning: take the chicken out of the freezer to begin thawing; check to see if there were enough vegetables in the fridge; figure out if the ginger was fresh enough and if there was a toe of garlic on the counter. And all of that before I began to do the chopping. I reminded Rebecca that taking the Continuing Education Class on Chinese Cooking might have been one of the best classes I ever took, in terms of the whole family getting the benefit of the class over forty years ago.

We did 30 recipes in the class and I probably still make 15 of them – and those off by heart, which is only evidence I should have quit making the food sooner.

... the wok that doesn't owe me any money ...
What would my life have been like if I hadn’t done egg foo yung, Cantonese chow mein, pineapple chicken, fried rice, ginger fried beef or today’s special – a stir fry. How many hours would that have saved, which might have been more profitably spent having manicures or pedicures?

I remember the teacher making two comments about Chinese food. One was that it is the best value for your money when you go out to eat, for it represents so much prep by way of cutting and chopping. The second comment was in answer to a statement from one of my classmates who said, “Your lucky relatives. They must love to come to your house to eat?”

The teacher said, “Are you kidding me. I don’t do this for my relatives. When they come over I just pop a turkey in the oven – much easier.”

I should have cooked more turkeys.

Arta

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