The Kitchen Dance

It's a Saturday afternoon and I'm dancing around my kitchen. Jazz and swing drift in from the living room.

We're having one of Lee's friend's over for dinner. Dinner tonight is pasta with Karen's pasta sauce. I'd give you the recipe but I don't have one. Karen's pasta sauce is never the same way twice. Sometimes it has meat, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it has more than one type of meat.

Sometimes I carefully chop the vegetables. Other times, like today, I throw them into the food processor and let it do the the work for me in just seconds.

I still cry as I peel the onions. Maybe we need to start storing them in the garage where it's cooler.

Garlic. Lots of garlic. Carrots. Celery seed instead of celery because we'll never eat the celery that is leftover if we use actual celery. Zucchini. Cremini mushrooms.

Wine. Some for the pot, some for me. I pour my wine into a a gold-rimmed glass that has what I believe to be a pheasant on it. It's from the set of glasses my mother gave me and I only remember being used at Christmas. We have wine glasses but something about using these glasses makes me happy. I think it's actually supposed to be a highball glass but I prefer it for wine rather than the small stemmed wine glasses from the same set. I don't ever remember the glasses being used after my parents split up when I was five.

I like to think I'm giving them a good home.

Herbs and spices go in next. I don't measure. I toss in by look and feel. Toss and twirl. Yes, dried herbs. There's already been snow here. It's too cold to grow them outside. They are too expensive to buy. I kill anything green that I try to keep alive inside. Even cat grass.

I consider not putting meat in my sauce. It's hearty enough that it doesn't need it but my sous-chef already has it waiting on a plate for me. So I cook it in a separate pan and than throw it with the veggies and wine.

I look around the disaster of a kitchen and am thankful that I am not the one doing the dishes. I think that I enjoy cooking that much more now that I'm not responsible for cleaning up after.

Tomatoes from a can. Some fire-roasted but mostly not. Fire-roasted tomatoes are still a relatively new thing in our local grocery stores. A can of crushed. Another large can of diced.

Music floats in. "That we may live and we may share, it's a love affair to remember." Cary Grant. Deborah Kerr. Must buy that movie. I used to have it on VHS but I never got around to replacing it when I made the switch to DVD. When we watch our troubles like bubbles vanish in air.

I stir and twirl and taste. Add more wine.

It's too early to tell if I got the ratios right. It needs to time to simmer. The flavours need to get to know one another. I'll taste and add a bit of this and a bit of that as the hours go by.

Before dinner we'll snack on some salumis and bread. Then it will be time for penne and sauce topped with freshly grated Parmesan. Dessert? Maybe I'll throw together something. Maybe it will be cheese and nuts. Or maybe it will be some Scharffen Berger chocolate that we pop in our mouths and let slowly melt on our tongues.

We'll linger over our plates and the music will drift in from the living room.

"Il me dit des mots d'amour, ses mots de tous les jours, et ca me fait quelque chose."