Warm Memories in Dishes

If it’s so beautifully arranged on the plate,

you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.

Julia Child

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Today I’m thinking of a dear friend whom I have not seen in a long while.   We met almost two decades ago as wives of expats in Tokyo.  She was the dedicated mother of two young children with a Cordon Bleu degree tucked under her apron. I was a new bride who was a virgin in the kitchen. Motherhood has since led me to settle in suburbia, to give my children the roots I never had.  She continues to live the free life of a very stylish gypsy, moving to a new country every couple of years when she and her husband feel like it.

Like sunbeams in cupboards and closets, gifts and mementos around my home bring warm memories of our friendship.  When I cook, I’m grateful she tipped me off on All Clad stainless steel cookwarethey last forever and have spared me the clueless journey through aisles of the cheap and the non-stick.  Pretty dishes remind me of our foray into Kappabashi Dori, Tokyo’s restaurant supply district, where she helped me bring home heavy blue and white ceramics up and down the subway stairs.  When it came time for my family to move on from Japan, she hosted a sayonara lunch with the international group of ladies we had gotten to know in our brief time together.

In my closet is a bouquet of colorful pashmina shawls from her stint in Singapore. In my memory are recipes she taught me like the sweet sticky rice dessert when I visited her in Florida.  Her favorite classic A Well-Seasoned Appetite by New York Magazine‘s Molly O’Neill is the only photo-less cookbook allowed on my bookshelf. She would casually toss quick recipes into our conversation then I’d report with dismay that my results turned out far from hers.  She immediately knew to ask “Did you add salt and pepper?” because sure enough, the newbie needed every little ingredient specified.

Her invitation to visit them in Monaco was what opened my eyes to the joys of solo travel, a more life affirming version of gambling and living dangerously I say!  It gave me the “Aha!  I can do this every year…” revelation, and since then maybe twice a year and why not more?!

Countless more adventures to us, Powerful Goddess Ana!  And count me among those who have been very blessed by your loving kindness and generosity.  Anyone who can soothe her nerves by whipping up a multi-course gourmet meal for the person who annoys her is worthy of a custom pedestal at every city she lives in. Domo Aregato for the many happy and delicious memories, the wisdom of adding salt and pepper to my life no matter what–without having to be told.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your appetite.

xoxox

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xoxox

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

 

 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 08:14:18

    I like to cook and can follow recipes (Nigella Lawson’s among my favorites) as well as get creative on my own. But, for the time being I am sharing a kitchen with people that call themselves gourmet’s but are the pickiest eaters I have ever known. They refuse to try new things beyond their typical fare. One who dips every vegetable in mayonnaise, it’s hard to watch! I hold off on creating something new because of that limitation. In the meantime I endure “Minute Rice”, which you would never find in my pantry. That’s OK I have a favorite Japanese restaurant I visit when I get that craving. Now all I need is a pantry stocked to my standard, (sticky rice) my trusty cast iron skillet and oh yes…a special Goddess that enjoys new flavors.

    Remind me to NOT get into a poker game with you, Sharky! 😉

    Mountain

    Reply

  2. Mountain
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 08:12:55

    In the kitchen, I’ve learned to neaten as I go. It makes the end result even more satisfying having more time to spend with the ones appreciating your creations even if its only yourself.

    Reply

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