Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Art Of A French Cooking Friend

My best friend has gone back to school. Culinary school, that is. I've known her for more than twenty years and to this day she ranks among the best cooks I know. I'd call her a chef, but some might not think that term applies to a self-taught culinary master. I do.

She has passion. A love. Unadulterated joy. For all things food. She's the only person I know who calls eggplant "gorgeous" and thinks the scents of basil and rosemary should be made into an eau du toilette. She can pick up a fig and list five fabulous things she can think of doing to it right off the top of her head. The only thing I think when I hear "Fig", is "Newton".

She calls me almost everyday with classroom updates. This week she made fresh pasta, a glorious Béchamel sauce and what she described as "the most perfect Risotta I've ever tasted." She also told me that for her entire life, she's been scrambling eggs the wrong way. Who knew there was a way?? Crack egg, whisk with fork. Apparently, that's not "the way".

And her family is loving the "practice sessions" at home. Every day the kids say, "What is it now, Mom?" I can't wait to visit so I can get in on the taste-tasting and the guinea-pig-being. It just personifies all that we are. The love that we feel for the food, the family, the friends, the learning, each other.

Also this week, I read a quote from Ina Garten, the
Barefoot Contessa. She said, "Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable."

To me, that's what it's all about. Gather round your friends, family and even strangers and feed them. By doing what you love, they'll undoubtedly feel comfortable. When I'm around Vicki, even when she's not beaming with pride at the "A" she got on her recent test, or spouting off the procedure for making the perfect Velouté, she makes me feel comfortable.

I wish her all the luck in the world and offer my unconditional support (OK, maybe there are a few a meal or two to take back into the truck with me) in this endeavor. And someday when I'm sitting at a table in her restaurant, writing my blog, I'll be sure to remind everyone that I "knew her when..."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Supervises Friday
Squeaky Clean
Rushing No More
My Constant Gardner


Blondie said...

Sounds like a greta friendship you have!

Amy said...

I have a brother-in-law who has this same relationship with food. I love food, but he's "in love" with food. It's really a different perspective. He describes food like your friend (the eggplant is gorgeous) and I just chuckle. But I do so enjoy the fruits of his labors.

Anonymous said...

I love that Vicki is pursuing what she loves! I too love hearing how excited she gets about food and and her new adventure. I think when you get in town you should definitely get her to invite me over too. Not that I'll eat but I'd love the company. :)

MAE said...

...great blessings you have with your best friend and her talents...I'm happy for her new joy...invite me to eat anytime...MAE

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Aw best of luck to Vicki! She looks like a natural in that hat and jacket :)

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

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