Follow by Email

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Weekly Wisdom from Mr. Trollope

There are both men and women to whom even the delays and disappointments of love are charming, even when they exist to the detriment of hope.


     It's no secret, and possibly a source of pride, that I like food--a lot.  In New York, at home, I cook and bake, enjoying especially the preparation of my meals. Taking the time to choose a recipe, shopping for the ingredients, spending an afternoon cutting and chopping, measuring; the ritual and the food make up a large part of my life in Brooklyn.  I certainly spend more time with food in my apartment than I do sleeping or watching Bravo (the sleeping part bad, Bravo, a little less bad), or talking on the phone.
Arriving in Denver just before Rosh Hashanah, I found myself grieving for my grandfather with a longing for the food of that holiday--the brisket, tzimmes, kugel, honey cake.  There's nothing new about the idea that food plays a great role in our concept of family and history, but I never felt it like I did this September.  I made those foods all for the first time, and ate and cried, each bite a reminder of Herbert and the family gathering we both were absent from.  Aunt Judy would pack up leftovers that would go straight into his overflowing refrigerator and freezer, staying, possibly, too long. I froze my leftovers too, like a memory.
     I missed a lot while in the West--grandparents, holidays, cats, friends, home, my kitchen.  I often will cook quite frequently for the people I work with, contributing to a sense of home by making things to share with thoughtfulness.  An offering of a part of my self that's important to me, a welcoming. But I only made one more meal worth sharing in Denver ( curried butternut squash soup with creme fraiche and pumpkin seeds) but my heart just wasn't in it. So I started to eat out. All the time. There's a truly excellent dining scene here and I was hungry-- but for something more than food. Comfort, passion, adventure.  It may be that the drama of human feeding in Dracula made me ravenous; its characters hunger for food but also for life, sex, pain, faith, bodies, souls. And, well, I'm a suggestible person.  I sought it out on the streets of Denver when I couldn't create it in my own (transitory) home.  Feasts aren't always celebratory-- they can be mournful too. Endless courses of everything we want, everything we have, all we despise, all we lack, everything that is, and all we imagine could be.  And I had a brief taste too for that fulfillment that food replaces, something I think I like the taste of better than anything in the world, only it's not always as readily available as that other sustenance pouring out of sidewalks and shopping complexes.  Or from Fresh Direct, where food is delivered like a gift to your home, cheese and fruit all bearing a sticker with your name on it.  There will be such a gift awaiting my arrival in New York, the food of home at home, nourishment removed slightly from drama, my appetite changing and ever adapting.