A Chef Washes his Fork

A Chef Washes his Fork

Well Fork, it’s been a long time coming, but your time to get clean has come at last. Stay no more in the foul waters of my sink, and rest easy in my soapy embrace. Has it really been so long? Come, rinse yourself, cleanse your palette, and be at peace. Your hellish endurance is over now.

Now life has begun anew, can you see? The hot water has brought change to the world around you. It took an eternity for everything to get this way. Ah, we have had some great times together, my Fork. I only regret leaving you to this hell in my sink for so long.

You have to wait like all the others (the silverware, the kitchenware, the glassware, the cookware, the strainers, the decanters, the breadknives, the potato peelers, the garlic crushers, the meat thermometer, the chopping board and the rest). The sink is not your home anymore. Here on the dry rack, you will dry out those memories from your former life as the purifying waters seep deep into your being. You will develop a new awareness, a new consciousness, and a new purpose as you wait.

It wasn’t love that brought me to you. I came to you out of necessity. These changes in season fortuitously begin with you, and this will always be so. Every dish is to be cleansed, in one way or another, and you… my precious Fork… you inspire me, and that’s why I choose you first.

Out of murky, hellish waters, covered in muck and smelling of brine. You remember this, don’t you? You had clumps of curry and onion hanging from your body, and an orange tinge was staining your skin. I took my golden sponge and washed your body clean of imperfections. I purified your mineral form in the hot springs that banish all bacterial creations.

And in my hands you sparkled afterwards. I remember this part too. You look like a baby, all shiny and new. I remember when my hands first felt those rejuvenating waters – it felt incredibly refreshing. I remember filling up my sink for the first time and watching the water fill up. So clear… so clean. My sink used to be a source of great pride for me, my Fork, but now… now my sink is just a sanctuary for dishes among the refuse and rejects; dishes that wait for salvation in the form of my soapy hands.

The others are here; the others that lived with you, in the sink and beyond. Some have lived lifetimes longer than you, Fork, only to wait for that one shining moment when they are needed again. You’re lucky to be needed so much. After all, you are friends with the plates and the bowls, the knives and the spoons, and familiar with words like succulence, texture, and flavor. Do you even know what flavor is? It’s remarkable to think about it in the grand scheme of things. We relish the word, you and I, but we have so little to show for it! Things like the saucepan, the wooden stirring spoon, the potato peeler; such unique cookware will only live once in heaven while you rush past them a dozen times over. They will wait longer to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And how bright their light will be…

Heaven for you is the light, my Fork, where the purpose in your life is realized. In the light you’ll find answers to all of your questions. Yes, there is an ending to all of this nothingness and doubt. You know what will happen; you’ve been through it so many times over.

You may not understand this, but now is not the time for understanding, anyway. Now is the time for indifference. Now is the time for your purpose to be reevaluated. Is life going to slice through a luscious piece of flourless chocolate cake; to grab at fresh chunks of watermelon; to pick at a plate of marinated steak tips; to twirl pasta primavera with that spoon you love so much? You have lived so many lives like these, my dear Fork, each with a story worth telling!

Seek your own answers to questions about life. Your life is as simple as soup. My life is more complicated, however, full of many dimensions, involved in your life and countless others at the same time. It’s a life you simply cannot comprehend. I assure you, that for the labors we’ve endured, we have shared a great life together. I often think, in fact, you are quite fortunate to have such a simple life to live.

Is it difficult to see the bigger picture? You were created to help me enjoy food of the finest quality. Remember that, Fork… the finest quality. Look forward to my next culinary achievement. I will return for you with a smile on my face, for I am the Chef, after all! I will return when the time is right. Until then, stay with your kind in my kitchen drawer. Remember my wise words, passed on to you during this unique phase in your life.

Right now, my thoughts are with you in the empty darkness of the kitchen drawer. My thoughts will always be with you, my Fork, reminding you to never lose hope. Never forget that you are destined for great things.

Before you know it, the drawer opens, and the light returns to your skin with a shimmer and a shine. I’m holding you in my hands now, gingerly and overjoyed. Do you recognize me? Another miracle has been cooked up for us to enjoy! Your turn has come, my awesome Fork. It’s time to enjoy this divine meal I created! Has it really been so long? Was it longer than you expected?

Your purpose in life has not changed, nor will it ever change. Come with me, my Fork. We are blessed with an amazing dinner: a filet mignon au poivre, cooked to perfection, in a plum wine reduction sauce over a bed of seasoned asparagus, topped with seasoned potato frits. It would have been impossible to imagine such a meal without you and your crack team of loyal kitchenware. You deserve a trophy and a podium on which to stand on tonight. Triumph is hanging from our grinning teeth! Flavors and colors enable our bodies, my Fork, and bring exotic sensations to our hearts and souls. Be proud. Be happy. Enjoy these moments. Enjoy them as much as I am.

Eyes can’t do justice in explaining exactly what has happened to me, my Fork. I can’t believe my senses; they are so completely saturated with pleasure and happiness. I am tingling head to toe. I am full, and I am satisfied. We are surrounded by everything: the cookware, the cutting knives, the garlic crushers, the mixing spoons, the water glasses, the wine glasses, the plates, the platters, the silverware, and the rest. Together we’ve been discussing the nature of all things, like a shepherd with his flock. Have you been listening? Enjoy, I would always say. Enjoy this for me. Your purpose fulfills mine, Fork. And yet, it seems, a grand circle continues to spin. At some point this bacchanal must conclude. What a life! Have we all sinned in enjoying this so much? If so, then let Hell take our dirty dishes away… and on that note, it’s time for you to sit in the sink. Things have changed so little, haven’t they? Bless you, Fork, for I will always come back for you. I don’t expect you to remember that… but I will.

Never forget that, Fork.

Never forget about that light at the end of your tunnel.

London Broil and Red Wine with Dad

May 30th, 2009

While visiting home recently, I spent the evening with my dad, preparing my favorite meal, London Broil. Him and I discussed the etiquette for preparing a meal like this, and in the event I was to cook this for guests or “special someones,” I decided to take down what we talked about.

The following is a guide to preparing a great London Broil, and how to accompany it with a matching wine. I found this to be helpful with every steak dinner I’ve made since then.

A. Always grill your steak, or broil it if you don’t have a grill.

B. Get yourself a nice steak, preferably a “Top Round.” Cut away at the excess fat that you can. Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, you could rub the steak down in olive oil and season with your own array of herbs and spices, but salt and pepper bring out the steak’s natural flavors.

C. Get yourself a good wine to pair it with. London Broil works great with Red Wine. Tonight’s recommendation is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Veeder Winery in Napa Valley, 2005 vintage.

  1. Tasting your wine is important before imbibing. To taste wine, open the bottle and let set for a few minutes to air out. You may decant the wine to speed up this process.
  2. Pour “a good sip” of wine into an appropriate red wine glass. Swirl the wine around in the glass a few moments to unlock the aromatic flavors, and smell. Smell with determination, placing your nose in the glass, tipping it to bring the smell as close to your senses as possible.
  3. It is important to note that wine should never be cloudy. It should always be clear when held up to the light. Unless it is noted by a somalier to appear cloudy, send it back for a good bottle.
  4. Drink the wine, swishing it in your mouth to contact every tastebud on top and under your tongue. The better the wine, the stronger and longer the aftertaste.
  5. Wine activates all of the four major taste groups: sweet, sour, salt, and acid. While wine has so many different flavors to identify, they all come from these four major categories.
  6. The best way to savor the flavor of a wine is, right after swallowing, to breath in through your mouth, and exhale through your nose. You will taste the wine once more, capturing the aromatic flavor of the wine.

D. Grill the steak on high heat for about four to five minutes on each side, depending on the size and thickness.

E. The time-tested method to see if the steak is done is simply to feel it. If it is soft, it’s not done. If it is tough, its not only done, but possible overdone. You must use your personal judgement to determine how done you want it, as each person prefers their steak differently. Five minutes per side will cook the steam to about medium-well.

F. Remove from the grill, and let it rest for another five minutes. The steak is still cooking on the inside, even after you take it off the heat, and the juices in the meat will be reinfused in it, making the steak taste a lot better than if served fresh from the grill.

G. London Broil is not so much a type of steak, but moreso a method of serving it. It is sliced, at an angle, in thin strips. Cutting the steak at an angle or “against the grain” allows it to break apart easier when eating.

H. With your personal choice of sandwich bread, stack the meat up and accompany with your favorite toppings, steak sauce or au jus.

Bon Appétit!