Delectable. Scrumptious. Mouth-watering. Yum. Who made this? Yuuum. Party-in-my-mouth! Is there more? YUM!
Food and drink. The bare necessities of life. Maybe it’s just because I’m Italian, or maybe it’s the Irish in me that’s making the noise, but food and drink in my life are anything but bare. The essentials of life pull me in and inspire me to create. The kitchen is truthfully the only other place where I can near effortlessly create art. (My only drawings that turned out good took me weeks, you don’t want to see the ones that took me hours).
In my family it is encouraged, and for good reason, to learn the skill of miscombrew. This is the act of laying out the left overs in the refrigerator and figuring out a way of mixing things together to make another completely different, but totally satisfying meal. I have acquired that life tool, and trust me it came in handy during college; but the thing I love most is making things from scratch.
The smell of sifted flour is a fuzzy sweater over my soul, and sneaking tastes of uncooked batter is still a guilty pleasure of mine. My love for creating food, and drinks for that matter, goes beyond the glorious smells and tastes that it gives off. It is the reaction and appreciation of the other people experiencing it that brings me back into the kitchen again and again.
That moment when someone takes the first bite, or the first sip of an experimental concoction. My lungs ache for air, and I’m pretty sure my eyelids are incapable of blinking. Please say something, make a face, spit it out, react! Then comes the most glorious sound ever…mmmm. They like it, no they love it!
You see, reactions to food and drink can be faked, but true appreciation and love of what was created can’t. A person may say that they love it, but the moment you walk away they are looking for a place to throw it out if they hate it, and then they just act like they ate a lot of them. But empty platters and pitchers, and people asking for more, now that is real.
That is the instant gratification that I seek. That moment when I am trying to keep my expression calm and impartial, waiting for the reaction. I smile as I see their eyes close, and hear the mmm in the back of their throat. I try not to grimace as I see their throat muscles tighten and struggle to swallow my failed experiment; which has happened a couple of times.
The humiliation of a misled cocktail, or a greasy appetizer, cannot stop me from creating more food and drink. These two things are necessary for a beating heart, and a toothy grin. I will always cut, mince, blend, fold, simmer, bake, broil, grill, knead, and decorate…because it is the easiest way for me to love, and let others love me, without making too much of a mess to clean up.