Wednesday, May 8, 2024

a moment in the day: gravy

The kitchen cutting board is stained green from chopped basil and scattered with the thin shavings of garlic skin. It's the night of the official publication day of David Ciminello's The Queen of Steeplechase Park, a book whose cover I designed and whose story I've known and loved for years, and to celebrate, I am cooking "Big Betty LoMonico's Tomato Gravy" from the recipe on page 15.

My phone is playing some 1930s music. I like to go overboard on things like this. The recipe, like all the recipes in the book, contains some tongue-in-cheek instructions you're not meant to follow. But when it came time to "Place canned tomatoes in a large bowl and use your hands to squash them until smashed real good. Preferably while singing 'My Blue Heaven,'" I momentarily stopped the music and jumped on Youtube to find the song and sing along, at least with the words I knew.

But right now, it's time to "Put olive oil in a big pot." I take a moment to think on the next instruction in the recipe. Do I or don't I? 

I put down the olive oil and grab my phone. A quick text to David:

Bella advocates for swigging from the olive oil. I like going all the way on these things. Is she being truthful or facetious?

Olive oil isn't bad.

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