Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sir Nicholas, The Gentle Epicurean

parenting is an interesting life. you HOPE that whatever you are ATTEMPTING to teach your children gets through to them and become lifetime tools they can mold to accommodate their world. you do things and say things you never thought you'd say or do, you love harder than you ever thought you'd love and, without fail, you are always surprised to discover that, in the immortal words of debra winger in Terms of Endearment "as hard as you think it's gonna be, you wish it was that easy." today was one of those days.

due to circumstances way too boring to go into here, nicholas and brandon found themselves grounded for the day and needing to do certain things to get out of that grounding. how do we find ourselves in these situations? anyway, before Nicholas went to begin his chores, he made himself some breakfast. now, let me explain about nicholas and cooking, as i have said before -- he is a lyrical chef, an artist in the kitchen who layers, gently, flavors, paints with his herbs and spices, attempts difficult dishes without even having any concept that they are difficult. there's an incredible beauty in that, a fearlessness that is the mark of a great cook, artist, creator on any level. he dives in, not like a bull in a china shop, but like a fawn, prancing through a cool brook, not afraid of what's in the water, just wanting to be in the water.

nicholas made an omelet for himself today. not just any omelet, but a cheese omelet with rosemary. yep. and it was perfect. i mean, folded beautifully, just enough cheese, not too much (which, considering he ADORES cheese, says a lot for him) and some wonderfully sauteed rosemary. when he brought it to the table, he asked me to try it and i did, just a little piece, and the flavors didn't POP, they ROLLED, flowed, filled me slowly with a unique and gentle build that made me want more. i was blown away.

just like his tea. when he makes me tea, it's an event. it's full of spices, steeped wonderfully and presented with a delicate flourish. how he found that inside of himself is beyond me, but he has. he is as much a romantic as he is a tweenage boy whose only desire is to watch his favorite show, play swords, run around and get dirty and jumping on the bed.

when he went off to do his chores, nicholas did so with kind of a satisfied saunter after his omelet. he had made himself this wonderful meal, sat down to eat it, savor it, then went off to do what needed to be done... which he's still doing, but that's a whole other story.

i guess my point in all of this is my sons have discovered something i was fortunate to discover when i was a kid -- eating for one is not so awful. it is actually be quite wonderful to treat yourself to the time, the effort and the consideration of a real meal, a dining experience just for you. pamper yourself at the table with candles, a glass of wine, some good food and your company, excellent company. when they cook for themselves, nicholas and brandon go all out, really playing in the kitchen to make something remarkable. it's an event, a true gift.

no recipe this time, just a memory, a mention, a comment on this wonder of life called the kitchen.
don't be afraid of it.
embrace it.
like a child at play.
like nicholas.

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