You’ve been dreaming about that delicious perfect sandwich all morning but the deli guy is just slapping ingredients together like it’s some sort of prison.
This was supposed to be your special moment.
You attempt to reassemble the thing back at your desk. Salami, fresh provolone, roasted red peppers…and not a trace of tender loving care.
“I want to make stuff,” I told my vocal instructor a few months back. I was hashing out plans for the upcoming year.
“I want to write, I want to make songs, I want to help people.” I was on a roll, I thought until Jane stopped me short.
“Do you cook?” she asked.
“Umm, I grill?”
“Have you ever followed a recipe?”
I could sense the magnitude of my missing life skill when she picked her jaw up off the floor.
“Ok then,” she said and began jotting vigorously down onto my assignment pad. “You need to bake a pie.”
I have long since handed over to Jane my complete trust in the force. This was not the first flanking maneuver she’d prescribed to me.
The kitchen was my test. The one room in every house completely dedicated towards making stuff. I was to gather my ingredients and enter the arena with a recipe.
Pumpkin was my varietal of choice and canned was not an option I was warned, unless of course I wanted to be a cover band.
As I groped gently and cluelessly at the orange gourds of the Thriftway produce section I began to ponder my decision to have gone to business school.
Back at home I settled into a meditative flow: read the recipe, measure something, read it again, mix a little, read it one more time...which spice am I on? I think I did this already. It reminded me of my carpentry days during summer breaks back in college. The guys used to call me ‘Speedo’ which was their way of ‘encouraging’ me to go back to my other job lifeguarding.
I may have been a novice but I tried hard. Time flew past. Before I knew it I was plopping a liquidy pie tin into the oven and couldn’t fathom how this was going to turn into that same delicious thing I eat every Thanksgiving.
Then on the way to the living room a funny thing happened. I already began to feel a strange sense of satisfaction.
I pulled my steaming hot creation out for the third time and this time the knifed sliver kept its shape. It was gelatinous. It’s alive!
Around the twenty fifth minute of hand whipping the heavy cream right as my elbow was about to fall off a wave of inspiration hit.
I soon escorted my wife to her place at what was now a candle lit dinner table. Soft Icelandic music filled the air.
In a flicker of light before anything was even served I could see on her face that the dessert was already tasting pretty good.
“You made a good pie,” Jane said as she adjusted the volume on the keyboard. I had brought her a Tupperware last session.
I nodded knowingly, wiser having completed my task. Before you can feed people’s souls you must first learn how to feed yourself.
“I could taste the uncertainty,” she said now looking at me, “but don’t worry I’m sensitive to that kind of thing. And…”
I leaned closer eager to hear.
“…a lot of nutmeg.”
Hey, this is Jane’s latest project by the way: https://viragoband.com, it’s bad @ass.