what’s for dinner


    I like to know what’s next as much
    as possible, so when they call and say,
    “We need you to work a dinner Saturday,”
    I wish they would tell me the occasion
    and the menu, just so I have an idea of
    how to prepare myself to prepare the meal.
    I think differently for salmon than sirloin.

    Catering, for the most part, means cooking
    blind: going to the gig to finish what those
    in the prep kitchen have begun, following
    their list, counting on them to have done
    their jobs, relinquishing any wish for control
    or simply being informed. I don’t know
    what’s for dinner until I start cooking it.

    In the restaurant, the menu means I know
    what I’m cooking, but not for whom, leaving
    me with an equal measure of uncertainty.
    Fair warning is not an ingredient in most of
    life’s recipes. Still, I know my hands and my
    heart, I know how to get ready and remember
    the key is not ingredients, but intention.


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