Sunday, October 03, 2010

On Sharing

First, let me say that I have been terribly remiss in posting. We’ve had a lot of visitors in the last two months who have graced us with their presence, so I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But between enjoying our friends and family, I have just been working too hard. Not that I’m not still working hard, but its 6 a.m. on a Saturday, the house is quiet, and I don’t have it in me to work until another cup of coffee makes it way through my system. So, I thought I’d tell you about the sharing experience I had with my friend, fellow food blogger and writer extraordinaire, Tea of Tea and Cookies (and author of The Butcher and the Vegetarian).

Tea lives in Seattle but had occasion to come down to the Bay Area for a few days. She called and wanted to cook with me in my new kitchen. Can’t say I blame her, it really is a wonderful working environment. She proposed marathon gnocchi and pesto-making session. She showed up with a big box from the farmer’s market with a dozen bunches of basil and various other ingredients and we set to work, with an ice-cold gin and tonic. To keep our whistles wet.

And it was fun. We work well together in the kitchen, even though both of us were clearly exhausted, had not had enough sleep and were overworked. Something about being in the kitchen instantly makes us happy. Most of the time it felt like a choreographed dance, working together. She peeled the cooked potatoes while I riced them. She massaged the egg and flour in, and we rolled, cut, and scored the gnocchi. She cleaned the basil, while I pulled off the clean leaves. Many hands lighten the load. And all the while chatting.

We laughed at our attempt to properly score the gnocchi, with various shapes and sizes that would probably make an Italian nonna wince and shake her head in disgust. We constantly tasted the pesto and lamented the fact that we had peeled 9 heads of garlic, but only needed 3. She shared her wonderful experience at Mighty Summit and revealed a bit of her life list. I got to tell her about my upcoming trip with Brilliant Daughter to the U.K. and France. (Departure date just one week away!)

Next thing you know, four-plus hours have flown by. We’ve made tubs and tubs of pesto and a double batch of gnocchi—enough for 12. As we cleaned the kitchen, we snatched bites of gnocchi bathed in brilliant green pesto, the soft pillows melting the mouth and the whole thing leaving us with a breath strong in garlic. We washed the dishes, cleaned the counters, swept the floor of basil debris and smiled at our accomplishment.

At the end of the night, we both lay flat on our backs, she on the floor, me on the couch, and let out a big sigh. While we have cooked together before, this time it seemed more effortless. We were able to share the task at hand, but carry on a conversation like we were sitting around on the porch relaxing. It was joyous and exhausting, all at the same time. Which means that I look forward to sharing my kitchen again with Tea…any time.

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