One of my wife’s friends and colleagues is an honest to goodness Montana rancher. His ranch has been in his family for approaching a century.
He spends long hot summers on horseback herding cattle, mending fences, and working harder before breakfast than I do all day.
Oh, and he’s in his 60’s. Before you get the wrong idea (quaint anachronism and all that) I should tell you he has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. He’s no bumpkin.
To unwind after work he “gardens.” I’ve added the quotation marks because it would be easier to measure his “garden” in acres than it would in feet. His garden is entirely organic, not so much because he’s into the organic food movement, but because he’s old school.
Old, old school, and very generous.
All week we’ve been gorging ourselves on the produce that he gave us, produce that tastes alive–I don’t know that there’s any other way to say it.
I had a meal of exclusively corn that I shucked moments before I cooked it–corn so perfect that salting or buttering it would have been a sin.
I rinsed most of the dirt off of a carrot and ate it up to the greens, the bit of grit in my teeth only added to its perfection.
I sauteed zucchini, squash, peppers, more corn, onions, carrots, and tomatoes–into something approaching Joy.
Perhaps, that’s why I was so disappointed with the restaurant we ate at today. Nothing I ate tasted as if it had once been alive.
The authentic “Italian” cuisine, from America’s favorite Italian chain, did have some good points though.
For instance, it had volume, as in there was shit ton of it. The restaurant was also a generous with the number of calories offered.
The meals did look nice, they came in shapes and colors that signified food.
That said, the chefs who designed the meals did make an interesting choice in opting not to actually include flavor of any kind.
It’s alright though, I’m at home and I have access to flavor. Flavor I’ll achieve with a pot of boiling water and the ear of corn I’m about to shuck.