Ode to my friend T.K. (who out-cheffed me)

February 21, 2010

T.K., you are one of those really energetic people. A do-er. The kind of person who cycles 30 minutes to and  from work in the pouring rain, only to spend his evenings making wooden cabinets for his family’s hand-built home, all before heading out for a 5 km run. And so…what does a person like you make for a shared meal on a ski vacation? I should have guessed it, but I didn’t.

Yes, T.K., you managed to shock even the extreme foodie in me. As I was helping you haul up from the parking lot, not only skis and mittens, but also a standing mixer, an ice-cream maker, and a wheat grinder, I started to get weak in the knees. Was I actually about to be out-cheffed? And in a really good way?
“Cooking is my hobby,” says you. “I find it relaxing.”

T.K. on vacation

Yes, indeedy. Stopping in for lunch on that fateful day, I saw you “relaxing” while laboriously grinding wheat for flour, rolling and cutting fresh pasta, kneading bread, whipping together sorbet base, and cooking a number of other things to fill in the chinks. Who does that? Seriously. WHO?

It’s not often that I get treated to such delights in a home kitchen. (Being a chef has this big downside: everyone is afraid to cook for me). Even less frequently do I expect to experience a meal like this in a little ski chalet on a family vacation that includes five children under 7 years old. Actually, never is how often I expect this.

All I can say is “kudos” and “wow”! (And suggest perhaps a meeting with Over-Achievers Anonymous?)

Although I think you are at least a bit insane, I am so glad to have been there, to have feasted on that most homemade of homemade foods, to have enjoyed this special meal with friends: pasta hand made from freshly-ground flour, wild mushroom sauce, rustic bread, chocolate sorbet. What a treat for once to have been perfectly and happily out-cheffed!

(This post must also necessarily serve as an ode to T.K.’s wife, R.B., who not only has to live with this psycho energy-machine, but who also does most of the cooking in their house. I have enjoyed her delicious food and hospitality many times!)

After all, life and ski holidays are all about the food.

After all, life and ski holidays are all about the food.

and the beer

and the beer

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