Sunday, August 8, 2010

Live a Little, Trust a Little!

Things changed a little bit on this Thursday, in preparation for dinner #9. A little bit of role reversal if you will. You see, Tamy has been wanting to participate much more in the prepping stage of each diner. This time around I gave her perhaps the most important role… grocery shopping. It might be a personal thing, but I love buying the food I am going to be working with that night. Its like an artist buying the paint he is going to use on the canvas, its personal. But I trust her with my life, so of course I will trust her with our kitchen. So it was agreed one day before that Tamy was going to try a new location to purchase the food, Chelsea Market. Man was she excited.

That Thursday started like any other. Tamy left to work way before me, a little stressed about her workday and also about her latest responsibilities with the groceries. I was writing up in an email all the grocery list so she could print it out at work, then I got ready to leave. While turning off the lights before taking off, I found a very particular item that Tamy had left behind… her cell phone; this was going to be a problem. I have to be honest, I was considering pulling the plug and going on my own to the market. What if one of the important ingredients was no where to be found? How would she get a hold of me and ask what to do? (she doesn’t even know my phone number without her cell phone) The plan for that night was to cook duck breasts in a wine reduction sauce. Duck is not the easiest meat to find… but I had to be strong and have faith in her capacity to know what to buy. And I did, Tamy went that afternoon to Chelsea Market all by her self, with no cell phone, confident that she would get everything we were looking for.

Meanwhile, I was in the apartment getting ready for her arrival to begin cooking. I made sure the apartment was presentable. So I began to prep the kitchen as much as I could before the food arrived. The counter was squeaky clean, my knives were sharp, the food that we already had in the fridge was out, the onions were cut. Tamy was still no where to be found. I picked up the phone to call her, quickly remembering that her phone was in the room next to me in the same place she had left it that morning. 20 minutes before the guest arrived, Tamy triumphantly walks in with three bags of groceries. I knew at once that there was something wrong. She had that nervous face on. A little smirk, her left lip raises a bit, giving a small sense of false security, but since I know her all to well I knew something was off. And then came the confession…

They were out of duck breast. The key ingredient to the diner was gone. I had a feeling that something was going to happen. But instead, the fine people at Dickson’s Farmhouse Meats recommended we use pork sirloins instead. This came after about 30 minutes of a nervous Tamy explaining to them what the plan for the dish was and the importance of the duck breast. Apparently one of the people at the store said this would probably taste even better than duck. And even though I was very doubtful of that comment at the beginning, I was extremely pleased with the results. Tamy did a great job her first time buying the ingredients for a Thursday diner and definitely a special props is needed for the great service at Dickson’s Farmhouse. The duck will have to wait for another night.

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