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Testing, Testing….

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Cookies by Laura Fortune

I taste everything before I serve it to guests. It’s a necessity since I like to experiment and rarely use a cookbook, except occasionally as a guide to how much of this and how much of that I need to add if I’m concocting a dish or dessert I’ve never tried before. Cooking is chemistry, after all, and I wouldn’t want anything to collapse, or worse, blow up, metaphorically speaking, of course.

I even have my husband taste my creations, to verify they are company-ready. I want my offerings to reflect how much I care about those I’m serving. I’m not a warm and fuzzy person. Nor am I physically demonstrative, overly affectionate. But when it comes to food, I give freely and lavishly. For me, food is as profound and physical an expression of love as a kiss or hug. Food should not only nourish; it should arouse, delight, affirm, and satisfy on the deepest levels. So, I would never offer anyone less than my best. Ever.

The same is true with writing. I can’t say that everything that appears here will be brilliant, but it will have been read and read and read and tested and held and tested again before it is offered. And if it is found lacking after it has been posted, it will be revised, or even removed. Because I would never offer anyone less than my best, ever.

Unfortunately, sometimes, although we plan to finish work in a timely fashion, life interferes and prevents it. We carve out time and then the interruptions come. Little ones, big ones, ones that distract and demand our focus elsewhere.

Life has no respect for creative impulses, creative output.

I’ve been meaning to finish the story of that little bird with sequins on his wings. We all need Whimsy in our lives, especially now. But because life has distracted me, demanded that I focus my attention elsewhere, I can’t give his story the attention it deserves. I could probably hack something out and post it, but it wouldn’t be worth reading—it wouldn’t arouse, delight, affirm, or satisfy. It would be the equivalent of serving you styrofoam.

So, rather than taunt you with unfinished work, morsels that promise a whole meal but leave you empty, I’ve removed Parts I and II.

Whimsy will come back, I promise. Hopefully, sooner than later. And when his story does, it will have been thoroughly taste-tested and approved for consumption.

Because I am so grateful for your interest, your comments, your kindness. Because I would never offer you less than my best.

Ever.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

Digressions

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Drawing by Sam Messer/Writing by Jonathan Safran Foer

The house shakes on a windless day. Three hundred, seventy odd pages in the sun surrenders to hallucinations. Someone cries, “People who don’t speak took me on a ride” and words spill through current—sound, air, light. Who catches them? Who churns them into butter? Where is the grout between twigs and leaves? The substance of safety? What is a house and why does it break?

©2017 All Rights Reserved

No, thank you

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The other night, I watched as a TV food critic led cameras into the kitchen of a trendy new restaurant.

His review of the meal had been rhapsodic, spread over an array of dishes, which he lustily devoured. And, I  thought, gee, I’d like to try that place.

Then he went into the kitchen to talk to the chef—a young man who was clearly thrilled by the attention, his new star-status.

Being the food freak I am, I waited, pen in hand, for the reviewer to repeat the restaurant’s name and address, both of which I’d failed to write down during the opening. Yes, I was smitten, and ready to make a reservation the minute I had a number, That is, until the chef, while demonstrating how he prepared a signature salad, plunged both of his bare hands into the bowl of greens and other ingredients, and fondled them…repeatedly.

The food critic didn’t even blink. He gave the restaurant four stars.

I, on the other hand, made sure to write down the name of the restaurant so that I would never make the mistake of going there.

Maybe I should have sent him salad tongs, too.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

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