Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is what cookbooks strive to catalog, to package, to present: the past as it should have been, the dinner party if only the trick to perfect tomato soup had been known, the lasagna that doesn't quite recapture the memory of melted warmth, though the flavor is more sophisticated. With cookbooks the future can be planned and controlled and presented in its ideal format: neither death nor heartbreak exist in a world of perfect crepes, of angel food cakes with caramel ice cream and the first blueberries, of the glow of a golden roast chicken. Childhood is reframed as the glorious halcyon days of youth when mashed potatoes use brie and heavy cream; love will not sour as long as the souffle rises; failure is not an option as long as wild salmon can be grilled with vegetables under an afternoon sun. The perfect plate, the perfect napkin, the matching tea cup and sunset presenting the patina of deserved stability and love in the face of a changing world and cruel universe.

reading The New York Times on chocolate pudding
weather first thunderstorm of the season