Kim and I worked together to complete the chili. One of us would stir while the other one chopped and vice versa. “How am I going to be able to make this without Kim?” I wondered.
Plus Kim has some really decent kitchen tools. In particular, sharp knives, whimsical slicers, melon ballers, twisty turny things, and fancy cutlery. She said everything tastes better with her musical fork. I do not own any musical forks, so that’s not really fair that all her meals taste better than mine.
Similarly, I went to a pastor’s conference recently and one pastor brought her own pottery mug for the tea and coffee that was served at break. Without even trying it, I knew her tea tasted better than mine in the styrofoam cup… let’s not even start on the carbon footprint piece.
I have a not-too-big, not-too-small spoon I like to eat breakfast cereal with and a teensy one I like to use to nibble on ice cream. We develop these pleasurable habits to enhance our eating experience. It’s true, I see, about the cooking experience as well; certain apparatus would increase the joy of cooking. And Kim’s cooking is very joyful.
So far, I’ve been surprised each time a meal is ready. It’s done? Really? That was quick! I’d say after an hour+ of prep. I keep expecting the work to go on with the visit and am pleasantly surprised/kinda disappointed when it’s over.
We scoop out 1, 2… 3? Why not! ladles-full of chili each. We use our fingers to crumble feta on top. Aha! This must be the part that makes it GREEK.
Now that is one thing I’m having trouble with, how much you use your fingers to cook. My fingers have always been far-removed from food, since I never prepare it myself. Only select dishes are finger-worthy: bread, cookies, and fast food. But touching raw meat, holding vegetables, sprinkling spices and crumbling cheese with my digits feels counter-intuitive to what I’ve taught myself for the past 39 years. It seems to go against my ingrained table manners. So I’ve written down “touch food” on my to do list, in order to get used to it.
We eat dinner on Kim’s couch.
“So you know how your Mom is all about the presentation? It’s all about the food and the company for me,” Kim says.
I know it to be true. I imagine too, the way she has her living space set up with pictures of friends and family and her mementos, that she has a hint of company at every meal.
Kim includes in her grace, “Thank you for the friend on my couch.”
I did not eat the chili with a magical musical fork, but it was extra delicious. But how am I going to be able to eat this without Kim?” I wondered.
There wasn’t enough time to stay. Never enough time! I had to eat and run. Somehow this made my lesson seem unfinished, but I left Kimber’s place with new insight, a new recipe, a full tummy and a plan to share this dish with someone else soon.
Read Part 1: The Chili that Keeps on Giving – Part I
Read how this all started: Operation: Recipe Swap