Saturday, October 26, 2013
No, not THAT type of break dancing. Assuming I could even start, I would most definitely finish in traction.
No, I mean that I've felt for several years like I'm cased in cement. Like I can't move at all, except for going to work and back. And now more and more, I physically CAN'T move. I'm becoming so rigid, it's frightening me.
I've decided that Sunday I'm going to go to the Presbyterian church near me. I won't lie, I'm nervous about it. For a lot of reasons, I feel as though the world would be happier if I stayed hidden. And I know my appearance leaves a very great deal to be desired. I sincerely hope they won't stop at the surface. I love my online friends very much, but (selfishly, perhaps) I need face to face friends as well. And I need people to cook for.
What finally pushed me to do it? Reading a cookbook, believe it or not. I read Chef John Besh's My Family Table tonight. Imagine a cookbook putting huge tears in your eyes, but that's what happened. He writes so passionately about his love of his family and community, and about the power of cooking for the people we love. He touched a very deep chord in my heart. My ex thought family dinners were boring, and would frequently call me just before dinnertime to tell me that he "had" to drive "the guys" home from work. If I'd protest, he'd dismiss me.
I'm having a dinner party in two weeks, and two of the recipes I'm cooking are from Chef Besh's cookbooks. I'm serving his garlic-roasted fingerling potatoes with a red wine-braised beef brisket (my recipe) with sauteed kale and Chef's bread pudding recipe. Before anyone asks, it's emphatically NOT Spark-friendly, but since this party will be as close to a holiday dinner as I'll probably get with anyone, I'm going ahead. It will also be the first time I've ever made caramel sauce, and I'm very nervous. Caramel sauce is, I've always heard, extremely temperamental to work with. But I'm still doing it.
If it sounds like John Besh is right up there with Bobby on my favorites list, you're right. Reading his writings, I've realized that under the sweet face is a far sweeter heart. Not to mention the outrageous cooking talent. Also, and I'm seriously ashamed to admit this, I realize that as much as I hate prejudice, I've been guilty of a prejudice myself that Chef Besh has helped me to outgrow. I grew up believing the worst stereotype of white Southerners -- and that's just as wrong and hateful as any other prejudice. I'm glad to be disabused of it.
One church service. One dinner party. I think I can handle those for a start. Because if I don't break this concrete prison, I'm going to die in it.