This is not my kitchen.
It's up in the Hills. It has a stove the size of a sedan, enough counter space to run a bowling league, and a hand-built stone BBQ and a firepit with more counter space outside, just off the patio.
It's a gorgeous space brimming with natural light, courtesy of sheets of windows providing a magnificent view of greenery and the glittery city below. I spent many glorious hours in this kitchen rescuing it from its sad life as essentially a neglected set piece, and putting it to use as the gods and his credit line obviously intended. It's all shiny chrome and soapstone and oak butcher block. I never used the dishwasher because it makes me nervous, but the oven. It's got a wok built into it.
Once I got that kitchen up and running it revealed itself, as I suspected it would. It was so warm. The acoustics in there were great for some reason. It got to be where people would come over and, instead of gathering around the ridiculously huge television in the living room to socialize, they'd wander into the kitchen and not leave. Thus, a small pile of stacked bar stools were obtained for overflow use, stored in a corner of the walk-in pantry that on its own was big enough to go for $700 a month as an efficiency studio in some parts of town.
When I arrived on scene there was a slightly less ridiculously huge television in the kitchen, which I ordered removed about two weeks in. It was gone the next day. It never showed up anywhere else in the house, and I didn't think to ask what happened to it at the time.
Soon after that, I decreed the name of that kitchen to be Heart of Gold. He instantly argued that it should insead be named Bistromath. I remain astounded that his assistants and the people in his working life still have no clue of just how fucking deep a geek he is.
Anywho, many months later, the conversation formalizing the terms of !!! I'm Outta Here You Bastard !!! took place in this kitchen, over a bottle of riesling that I brought to the negotiations to go with the last chicken I roasted in the oven, along with coffee that he made because the espresso machine makes me nervous due to what happened that one time I tried to use it. The IOHYB Topic had been in play for a week or so, with some of the related conversations conducted at Great Volume. An extended leaving was necessary because we were trying to find and navigate an exit strategy that would result in this Ending Well as much as possible, because, even then, neither of us wanted to completely excise the other from our general life down the road. It was difficult, but we pulled it off. (There was a brief period of mutual Recrimination And Sulking, but we had factored that into the timeline!)
Once he delivered his failed last pitch trying to get me to change my mind, he stood up and did a silent walk around the kitchen Heart of Gold / Bistromath. When he finished he sat back down next to me on a stool at the counter, topped off my riesling, and said "you'll be back."
I answered with a hearty "fuck you."
But he was right.
This is not my kitchen, but I still have all access to it when either of us are in need of me doing Big Cooking, which is why earlier today ... technically yesterday ... actually it started the night of the day before yesterday because I had to start cooking at night after a rant-filled viewing of the third Transformers movie on blu-ray with his guys who still get wigged out when I'm in the house ... which me and his fiance find hysterical, because even after all this time those younglings Don't Get It, and the three of us choose the entertainment value over explaining it to them ... even as we sometimes feel guilty over not trying to help them prepare for Potential Outcomes And What To Do About Them in their relationships which, as far as we can tell, are based on the lovely fantastic lies fed to us all by pop culture.
And that's why today I was happily back in the Heart of Gold / Bistromath today/yesterday/night before yesterday creating this:
* Four ducks steaming
* Two pans of rolls baking
* One nicely-marbled hunk of Perfectly Normal Beast braising
* One Elvis cake cooling
* A pile of turnips, potatoes, leek and garlic getting all cozy in their bath
* A pot of basmati simmering in saffron-infused water
* Another pot of basmati simmering normal
* A combo of smashed blueberries, pomegranates, cabernet and sugar reducing
* Outside in the fire pit (yes), a cider mulling, a cast iron cornbread with apple and pomegranates, a vodka-soaked cedar plank prepped for a beautiful chunk of halibut
There was so much counter space left - and ripe mangos that were sitting decoratively in a bowl - that I threw together a whipped mango pie Just Because.
It rained today in Los Angeles, which is not something we react to well, but the rain makes this city look like every noir template you people who are not here have ever digested through pop, and I gotta say, it's better in real life than anything you've ever seen on screen.
There's a lot of down time when you cook. Did you know that? I hope you do. That down time meant I spent more than a few moments in the empty house, cozy on the auxillary bridge of my Heart of Gold / Bistromath, which is located on the patio near the fire pit, where I can take the remaining bottle of cab and watch the beautiful wet and gleaming city beneath me through breaks in the fluffy clouds.
Today was a good day.
Meanwhile, I am mostly not online of late because when I'm not hunting for gigs I'm mostly downtown with things I will probably start to talk about at some point. It's a mess, but it's fascinating - and kinda beautiful. In an OMGWTFSERIOUSLY sort of lovely way.
** Al Swearengen, philosopher.