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Claudine Jones
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June 2012

I have to cook. Seriously.  Of course it's not a malady, but it does come on kind of like a virus.  You know how you  go from feeling copacetic one minute to having a teeny scratch in your throat and you think 'wait, did I just get sick? No fucking way. I just got done being sick!' and then, perhaps if you're lucky, it turns out to be a false alarm, but if not, then you're in for it. Two weeks or a fortnight, as they say.

When the cooking fever strikes it comes in many forms, many languages and, woe is me, it often requires specialized equipment that I do not possess. Amazon, here I come.  Anybody wants a slightly used marble raclette with copper stand & set of scrapers/scoopers, I got one that's taking up space as we speak. The scary part is that, like singing, I never know when this will come on me. Guess that implies that singing is also a form of illness. A compulsion if you will.

Writing actually fits this mold, too, come to think of it, as well as the Need to Sew.  

Yikes. I have multiple contagion.

4 hours in a local high school cafeteria kitchen on Saturday learning the ins and outs of Indian cooking—expensive! And now I have a Magic Bullet grinder and am on the hunt for a...wait for it...Masala Dabba.  To store my spices. Plus, I need a new pestle.  

Courtesy of the SF Chronicle food section, I found Smashed Chicken. (I looked around my kitchen, now becoming somewhat cramped, but come on. A $350 pot-hook contraption to hang my ten pound frying pan? That, I resisted.) Well, my 4 year old grandson was all for smashing. This required fetching a butterflied bird & applying the cast iron in the most plebian fashion: smack on top of it. It is now Jake's most requested dish.

Bloody well spent another day, six hours in the kitchen making pizzas to freeze & braided bread & tarts for a party & broke my Cuisinart trying to shred mozzarella, and then another hour online trying to find a proper replacement for my old friend, only to discover it actually wasn't broke at all—only resting...

The most unexpected stove disaster recently—we call it 'Sandwich Pizza' since it ended up not as Pizza, but as whatever was Still Edible scraped off and stuck in a torta (Mexican)–did not even register a Pause in the action. This week we had pulled pork sandwiches because I made a recipe for rolls that turned out spectacular—just begging for a filling—and Jake, mouth full & quite the commenteur, repeats his current mantra:  You're a great cook, Nammie!  And I say, Why, thank you, sweetie!

And I respond as well, as I always have to males at large, even though I love what I do for them & for myself:  

I don't get my validation from my cooking.  

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©2012 Claudine Jones
©2012 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades. With her co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has developed unique sound designs for local venues. She's also a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives


Scene4 Magazine - Arts and Media


June 2012

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