Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bok Choy, Pt. 2

Bok Choy.  We enjoyed our first harvest from the garden yesterday.  Prepared with rainbow chard, flash-cooked in a pan together with a touch of oil and salt.  Delicious.  I cooked two halves of a seasoned chicken slowly on the grille.  A few glasses of red wine with it all, and voilà...  success.

I have never been able to cook very well, relying on others for survival.  I have been very lucky to be surrounded by those who do cook well.  I learn things here and there but never practice them myself.  So the knowledge, if it can be called that, is lost before it can germinate.  I am curious about various cooking techniques.  I will sit in a kitchen and watch friends cook for hours, pouring myself generous servings of wine, asking questions about this technique or how best to work with this food, functioning as an assistant to the chef.  All information and observation somehow misplaced later that same evening, like scraps of pocket paper that have been through the wash.  Unpracticed understanding is lost - like unused language, it becomes thick on the tongue, the mind searches for it, the eyes gazing upwards into memory, finding mostly ghosts there.

I have bought Rachel several books on cooking and she has taken them to heart and practice, baking me foods that ballooned me up to 232 pounds at one point.  Julia Childs be damned.  I am not very well versed in restraint.  Restraint, much like cooking, requires practice.  I've often thought that if I had adopted a vast love for culinary preparation then less people would question my occasionally rapid weight increases.  They would suggest unconsciously to themselves that it is merely part of the practice of cooking.  It is to be expected, etc.  Without an otherwise handy excuse available then people will sometimes propose that it is the "empty calories" of alcohol that both contain and unravel the mystery of my dilemma.

The blessed curse of perhaps.