It’s about cooking, is what it comes down to. The process: shop, clean, prepare, pray, eat, do-the-dishes. When I was very little, it was me playing with a remote controlled car while the grownups did almost all of the process
As I got older, more responsibility was given to me. First, definitely first was: do-the-dishes. Then, once I could see over the counter top, the high one, by the back wall, with the proper post modern stool. Once I could see over that counter top, I got to prepare the potatoes, then maybe clean the carrots, prepare the onions (never the meat, that was always Granddad’s responsibility.)
I’m just now realizing this. I tried to recall, as vividly as possible, my grandfather, and what I came to was always food. It was there in the last post, too. Food: careening (hah hah hah) around English country sides and dirt roads and horse trails in search of the best Yorkshire Pud. Let’s be honest, for a moment. We all knew where the best Yorkshire Pudding was prepared: Granddad’s kitchen. He must’ve forgotten, or wanted some innovation, or we weren’t brave enough to say it, though, because a-careening we would go, when we visited.
We went to two pubs, the last time I was in England, and the convivial joviality with which my granddad swaggered up to the bar and ordered a round of fizzy lemonades from the country cute brunette made me blush. It was impressive, to be sure, and . . .
. . .and now I’ll never hear any secret war stories, or youthful 1940’s carousing stories.
This all seems very self centered, I’m sure, but it’s me and him, really. The two of us, saying good bye and I’m sorry –the both of us saying these things. Sorry I didn’t call more. Sorry I didn’t write more. Sorry there’s no to do list for the process of love in my kitchen. Here, have this skeleton, you can make soup from it, to start, and (and this is the secret of love, and life) and if you’re doing the soup right, following and sharing the process properly, then the bones grow sinew, get soft, sprout meat, blossom into a lamb leg, or steaks, if you’re prickly about eating tiny, cute things.
But first: broth and bones.