Posts Tagged ‘family’

Thanksgiving Dinner

November 8th, 2008

Have you ever had a job you so enjoyed that you wanted to spend holidays with the other employees?  (I realize I just lost 75% of you…)  Perhaps because I grew up in restaurants my thoughts are irretrievably bent.  Please allow me a moment of bent thoughts.  

In many restaurants there is no bond between the guest and the employee.  The elaborate dance which brings the processing of food from the seed to the table (genetics, composition of soil, proper blanching etc…) is garnished with pretty people in front who sell these gustatory dreams.  But oftentimes these places are purely a manifestation of capitalism (there went another 10% of my readers I imagine): they are clinical and superficial and do not speak to the human heart.

I like it a lot nowadays that the cooks are on stage.  My dad had an open kitchen at the Red Dog Saloon in Junea, Alaska in 1987.   That is were I learned about integrity.  I prepped food during the day (50 gallon buckets of live crabs that needed to be cleaned) and waited tables at night.  Ultimate confidence in the food I was serving to people changed me.

So I passed up the offer to lose the thanksgiving dinner shift, after, of course, checking with my mother and father.  I know what goes on in the kitchen and it is really fun: brining turkeys and smoking pork cheeks and duck legs gently sizzling in confit.

There are many beautiful people out there who don’t have family, or can’t be with family, or anything else that really want to be a part of the community celebrating the bounty of the earth.   It is a peculiar and precious joy to be able to provide that to people.  

I’ll quit bending your ear.  

I’m working Thanksgiving dinner and hope you all all have a special, and beautiful Thanksgiving. 

The smell Factor

October 1st, 2008

Ever smell something lovely coming from the kitchen and have long lost memories evoked.  Smell can sometimes trigger memory more so than any of the other senses. Sifting through  the film tapes of my dad cooking I can almost smell those foods bursting through the computer screen.

Dad has gotten old and doesn’t cook much anymore, but the little grand kids running around the house have to have taken in some of those fresh cooked fragrances.  And at least one bite.  Dad’s rule has always been that one must sample at least one bite of whatever we are cooking.

As I develop duckspoon it strikes me that the grand children may never get the chance to eat some of my dad’s cooking.  The only chance they may have is to see the film that I have captured of him cooking his favorite meals for duckspoon, my video recipe encyclopedia.  

If the kids want to, they can cook the meal themselves, coached by my dad from the computer screen. Touching history more intimately than mere reading.  Perhaps then the scent wafting up from the food may trigger old memories and remind them of a kind man who mastered good food.