Wednesday, June 04, 2008

suppertime in the hole

Maybe I wasn't bitter about politics at all. Maybe I was actually bitter about wasting 2 cups of flour on something that didn't turn out as I'd wanted it to. Don't put it past me to be more worked up by that than anything else- as I already stated, I can be quite self-absorbed.

It's unusually cold today, and by cold, I mean it's in the low 80s. Such has become my frame of reference. Just a little over a year ago, the low 80s would have been characterized a heat wave by me. Nonetheless, I am taking advantage of this. Right now, there is a pot of mung beans (yes, I'm still on this odd Gujarati vegetarian food kick) simmering on the stove. Later, there will, with luck, be a reversal of fortune where cups of flour are concerned. And I get the feeling that everything will be alright.

That's what the kitchen has become for me, I can see now. It's a place to make things okay. I surveyed the refrigerator this morning and saw something that made me a bit sad. Last time I was at the farmer's market, I bought a 5 pound bag of tangelos. Yes, a 5 pound bag. Yes, I live alone. Yes, I am an idiot. It was cheap, I love tangelos, I could not resist. This morning, I saw three forlorn tangelos still sitting in my refrigerator. The last time I had one from this bag, it was soft and showing signs of losing its freshness. Something about the three leftovers just seemed to indicate that they would not withstand being peeled. But to waste tangelos seemed horrible to me. I juiced them, thinking that, if the results were questionable, I would bake the juice into something. But they tasted just fine, and made a very nice addition to breakfast, I must say.

The kitchen seems one of the few places under my control these days. I can save things here, rescue them from bad decisions or salvage them from the edge of decay. I can be mindful in ways that elude me in other parts of my life. And most of all, I get the urge to try. It seems like, in so many ways, it's one of the few places where I don't simply throw up my hands in weariness and declare the damage done and beyond repair.

I'm starting to think that sometimes I spend so much time in the kitchen just because it's a first step in a routine that never happens. It reminds me of what Sunday evenings used to mean to me when I was gainfully employed. Regardless of what foolishness had passed over the course of the weekend, I would go to the market on Sunday night and it was like a reset button, the sign of a new week, the chance to do things properly and right this time around. In the same way, I think a part of me believes that being industrious in the kitchen will lead me to be industrious in all the other neglected aspects of my life. It does not really happen, just as the reset button on Sunday evenings rarely led to anything impressive. But it's nice to think it might.

No comments: