Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I bit my tongue

The other day, faced with a surfeit of hungry family members and a shortage of people eager to shop and cook, Mrs. R.'s folks had dinner single-handedly catered by someone they'd met on a trip to Patagonia (not the oddest place to meet a young chef from the Bay Area). The reckoning came to <$25/person, which is not at all bad for a good meal here, and exceptional for such an excellent one. Afterwards the chef sat and chatted with us. Someone remarked that they hoped she had gotten to eat something. She remarked that she had sampled the raw ingredients as she went along to judge ripeness and so forth and eaten bits to check for taste or doneness. I was tempted to chime in with a half-remembered anecdote from the Shoah or the Gulag Archipelago about a group of people in a camp who had picked one of their number to be the cook (more divider than anything else I think) of their meager food allowance. The cook was less starved-looking than the rest, who investigated and discovered that he was absent-mindedly eating the crumbs off the plate.


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