Friday, March 12, 2010

lenten journal: thirty-seven times

Abel spent the afternoon
prepping the vegetable plate:
slicing shiitakes and scallions,
reducing the risotto, and
spreading the mixture on
sheet pans to let it cool.
Then he enlisted me to make
the rice balls and roll them
in Japanese breadcrumbs.
He cut sweet potatoes,
blanched greens, and
roasted garlic to make
the cream sauce.

The thirty-seven people
who ordered the dish were
offered both a visual and
culinary treat: the sauté
of spinach and sweets
on one side of the plate;
the small swatch of sauce
creating a bed for the three
golden crusted arancini;
the last ladle of cream
draped across the top,
with a sprinkle of scallions.

But only those relegated to
the kitchen were fortunate
enough to see how tenderly
Abel stacked the sauté;
how he nestled the small orbs
on their side of the plate as
though they were as fragile
as they were flavorful;
and the affection with which
he baptized them with the
puree of garlic and goat cheese;
the smile that sent the dish
to the diners. Thirty-seven times.


1 comment:

Lori said...

That is just lovely--the poem, the appreciation, the layers of meaning. Thanks.