Did I happen to mention that I’m an excellent cook? But then again I’m wonderfully modest, so maybe it never came up. I would invite you over to dinner, but the other chair has stuff piled on it, so you wouldn’t have anywhere to sit. I mean, I need to leave that stuff on the chair, because those things are organized. Or maybe we could sit on the couch, if I take things off. That stuff’s not organized. Alright, I’ll think about it and let you know.
Anyway, I’m an excellent cook, except, heh, for that pot of beans last week, but fortunately the old couple who live upstairs lost their sense of smell long ago. I feel sorry for their dog, though. It still looks angry.
I’m also the sort of bold cook who doesn’t follow recipes, but you probably already guessed that about me. I don’t give in to autocratic concepts like “cooking time”. Last week I wanted to cook something new, but I had already ignored all the recipes I had. I didn’t want to go buy a new cookbook because…well, we don’t need to get into what the bookstore told me the last time I was there. It was the old lady’s fault, but right away they believed her. I just hope you don’t believe her.
That’s why I went to the library.
People, have you been to our library? I’m not blaming you if you haven’t. But if you have, you know that the cookbook section is close to the children’s part of the library. When I got there a group of kids was having story hour. I couldn’t believe how well behaved they were. Not a peep as they listened quietly to the story lady. The story lady, on the other hand, what a banshee! She was howling, and making goose noises and waving her arms in the air. I thought If she lays an egg, I’m not eating it.
I went as quietly as a child to the cookbooks, trying to ignore the bedlam in the story room. I was looking for seafood cookbooks, because I’m partial to fish. I was thinking of doing a stuffed anchovy, and I didn’t have a recipe for doing that. I mean, I wouldn’t follow the recipe, it was just for inspiration. Like I said, in my creative world cooking is existential battle. I can imagine you admire that attitude.
In the cookbook section I found a book with a nice fish on the cover, but it was a trick, because it was an Italian cookbook. I don’t know what fish have to do with pasta, but there it was. Then I found a diet cookbook, and listen, I’m sorry but dieting is about not eating. That diet book never should have been there, so I took it off the shelf and threw it out a window into some bushes.
And finally, there was a book just for seafood. It had lovely pictures, things you would want to eat. Nothing had gravy on it to hide the fact that it was overcooked. I mean, not that I ever do that. I just heard about it.
One of the pictures in the book showed a red snapper roasted to perfection, with fresh rosemary and lemon. I was looking at the picture and started to get really hungry, my stomach was growling, and I almost felt like I could eat the pages.
One of the librarians came by and stopped. “Sir,” she said. “Sir, excuse me.”
“What,” I asked her.
“Sir, are you spitting on that book?”
I didn’t realize I had been drooling from hunger.
“I, um, no,” I said. “I was…crying. Those, yes, those are tears. I just remembered my brother, who was a fisherman. He used to fish for this kind of fish.”
She just looked at me. I don’t think she believed me. She probably would have believed the woman in the book store over me, too. “Would you not get tears on the book?” she said.
Now I was too hungry to sit looking at recipes, and the poultry commotion in the story room was getting louder, so I left. It was too late to go home and cook, as hungry as I was. I had to stop at a diner on the way home. It’s not a bad place. They do a lot of dishes with gravy.
Now that you know these things about me, we have something important to do. I need to ask you some questions. I’ll post all the answers here as evidence of….whoof, I don’t know what they would be evidence of. So here are the questions:
- Have you ever been to our library?
- Do you believe that woman at the bookstore?
- What is your favorite recipe to ignore?