Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bird of paradise roast - a tasty distraction


The chicken is in the pan browning and I have just thrown on some sliced tomatoes to sweetly complete the roast - as the aroma of freshly picked rosemary fills the kitchen I am remembering the gratification that used to come from cooking a meal of ones own. But those days are gone. Tonight I am experiencing little of the contentment and pride of the self sufficiently prepared meal - ( oh shit, the browning thighs are, I suspect charing, hang on...... heat turned down, I'll continue) I recognise an un welcome melancholy that simmers beneath the surface of independence and time alone. Is it me or society that encourages such discontentment in the quiet un noticed pursuit of cooking for oneself ? Often I recognise the certain taboo that exits in eating out alone, not so much breakfast or lunch, but there is a certain pity that dwells in the lone dinner diner. When I enter a restaurant at night I am always asked 'table for two ?' and I have to reply with the negative: 'No, just for one please'. Less people dine out alone at dinner, maybe because it is harder to lumber the lap top or the paper or the study notes onto the more formally set dinner table. Or that night is more associated with rest, and so eating with one's head in a text book is a little less convincing. Honestly though, I think I have quite happily conquered this eating out in the evening scenario, I actually quite enjoy a dinner date with Madeleine. Fellow customers are often consumed in quiet intimate conversations which makes the space more contemplative and I can comfortably sink into my booth or couch, un noticed and appreciating the communal environment. Just the other day, as I endured a lunch in a god awful food court, I imagined how much nicer it would be if the environmet was silent. It was actually quite a great food court as far as communal free for all buffet style eating goes. With a trendy lay out and gourmet style food bars, as opposed to mountains of fried noodles sitting in a bay marie. There was however the ever persistant rotating kebab roll, will this phenomena ever die ? - it's grose ! And quite frankly who is enticed by this spit ?

Anyway, As I refill my glass I will continue and express how I never used to feel like this. But it seems my receptiveness to the experience of eating and the context of eating is gaining prominence. Feeling a weighted self pity about cooking and eating dinner alone tonight I am resorting to telling the inter webs about my browning thighs ! Living in a share house usually works, as I hover over the stove, tongs in one hand, wine in the other, I can usually chat to some one who is veging out on the couch or preparing their instant noodles. But this even is a rarity now.

I value the concept of sharing so much, be it with the shared act of cutting the vegies, smelling the garlic or the act of sitting down with another. When eating out alone, whilst you mightn't chat so much, the effort and artistry of preparing food is appreciated, you can see others enjoying their food and one can select off a menu of carefully listed meals. At the very least one can say thankyou when a meal is purchased.

But who wants to tenderly brown thighs and eat in a silent salmon coloured living room. No ! Eating is for far more than nourishment. And I crave a dinner date tonight.

....... David ! My saviour.
T.v on, Bird of Paradise special.
Did you know that the 'bird of paradise' is both a plant and bird ? Oh, and of course, a John Farnhan song.

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