A little about me —
There is no way I can cook
if the counter isn’t clean.
Some will say
it’s an inherited characteristic, a seemingly
random thing that isn’t
random at all.
Like sweaty hands, a sweet tooth,
or whether one sees the glass as half empty
or half full.
By the time I am home
on the day before giving thanks
my mind is somewhere else —
far from the counter — and the
fennel, leeks, and twin stalks of old celery
float towards me
waiting aptly for my hands to
find the knife.
I clean as I go; an itchy pleasurable pain.
At four o’clock my kitchen catches late day sun
the way I need it to catch sometimes
to remind me of what I have and to stop —
Melissa Clark’s Rustic Shrimp Bisque with Fennel
is the recipe
where the butter pats lose shape
in a piping hot pot with salt, shells, wine, two caps of brandy,
six cups of water, thyme and a bay leaf.
I take stock —
On the ottoman by the window
and wait fifteen minutes to
strain into a bowl,
pressing on shells before discarding them.
There is lint on the kitchen tile
I wouldn’t mind discarding.
I pick it up — I have to — and immediately feel
better. Not unlike the feeling when
the shrimp turns pink
in two to four minutes like the recipe says
and the vegetables sauté soft
All is going according to plan and that
is the Libra in me.
A few days ago I cooked
a perfect baked ziti in a record
Left to get Joe, left
the ziti in the oven to keep warm —
Ruined an otherwise perfect baked ziti,
like I said.
This soup though,
as they say,