I have recently become a subscriber to the culinary producers of Marley Spoon.
Tonight, as the previous couple of nights, I prepared a meal that will become one of the best dishes my limited yet enthusiastic kitchen skills have produced.
However, I must reach a little further back to describe a story I read several days ago in which a man was being seduced by a desirable yet unattainable woman. Maybe not seduced, but certainly toyed with.
The man was making a meal for them both and described the food preparation process as foreplay.
First, he must imagine the recipe for this delicate seduction so his selection of ingredients was the first overture, much like a man would spy a prospective mate in a crowd and decide that a conquest was in order. He might ask her to share a drink or engage her in conversation, tickle her fancy, make her delicately sweat in anticipation of what might develop, as the dance of taste and texture slowly moves forward.
The preparation of the fresh and aromatic produce, sliced and marinated is the means to an end, the need to concentrate his efforts in skilfully but deliberately making certain the ingredients are masterfully set astride the chopping board as they await their own participation in the main event… as the first kiss and a promise of things to come.
Heating a pan and melting some butter to sear the protein is the next deliberate step in this story. Once the food has been committed to fire, the woman is in trouble because the man knows, beyond doubt, this is a dish that will seal her conquest. The plating is not merely a small part however and the man knows that if he misses a single step, the process will be flawed and he cannot allow this to happen.
So, if the selection of ingredients, his skilful preparation and the deft delivery at the table is the foreplay, then watching her melt with the acknowledgment of his easy grasp of superb food is sublimely and surely, the act of penetration, her senses sated with the pleasure and spent with her contentment.
Later, while she is helping herself to the other parts of the cook who has mixed her into a sweet and delicious desert, the man decides to commiserate the fact that tonight he dined alone, yet hopes that soon enough he would have another chance to make the same meal for anybody that shows even the slightest interest in his Pea and Ham soup.