Wednesday night dinners are fun for me. That, along with Saturday, constitutes my and Brian's date nights for the week and I generally try to make it special. Last night I made dinner.
It was a fail. Big-time fail.
Don't get me wrong. On the table, everything looked delicious. But when you know how something should taste, and you realize you missed the opportunity to nail it, you're just not going to enjoy dinner the way one should. This was my plight.
Romesco Cauliflower with Dijon Sauce? Undercooked.
Brown Basmati Rice? Undercooked.
Spanish Tempranillo wine? Needed to air more. The first sip tasted like lighter fluid with notes of burning nasal passages.
The underlying theme of the menu was impatience. Patience isn't a virtue I was given. The people on the sidewalk should be walking faster, the waiter should have greeted us sooner, the cake should have risen three minutes ago (as I open and reopen the oven door to check on it). I'm annoying myself as I write this.
More often than not, my impatience is more a relflection of ME than anything else. At least now, in my late 20s, I've learned this. The cake isn't bothering me, no. What's bothering me is that I don't trust myself to have followed the recipe closely enough to successfully bake the cake. I'm not (that) unhappy at my current job; I'm impatient that I haven't landed my dream job yet. I'm not upset that I can't find the right word; I'm doubtful that I have anything to say at all. Please tell me I'm not the only one suffering from this over-texted, over-Facebooked, great expectations era? My mind can be everywhere at once, concentrating on nothing.
My impatience with my day yesterday spilled over at the stove and even if the rice wasn't cooked, it was finished. Oh yes, to the table you go. And after a truly unsatisfying dinner (sorry, Bri!), I'm reminded to stay in the moment more, to worry less and to stay patient even in the most doubtful of circumstances.
Let's make risotto--a delicious dish that requires diligence and full attention. The reward is spectacular.
|Photo courtesy of Gourmet, September 2009|
Gourmet takes top prize once again!
Romano Risotto with Radishes
Serves 6 (main course)
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound trimmed radishes, julienned
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives