Friday, November 02, 2007

Chicken's in the Oven...

Okay. It's Friday night and the kids are gone. They'll be back but for the moment or the next couple of hours I'm home alone. Years ago, before I was a parent, I had thousands of things to do. When I broke up with Clare in 1985 and lived alone for 8 years--though I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that there was a delicious and brilliant woman named Albie in there for a couple of years--my apartment was a sort of working art gallery. There were five small rooms in Manhattan at 90th street and 3rd Avenue. The first was a long kitchen, where I've always been able to make art out of a dead chicken. The second room was my art place: the room where the two desks were always littered with leather or stained glass or even an occasional painting. I wasn't any good at any of it but I always had a couple of projects going on and tried my best. The third room was where I generally wrote at my IBM electric typer/ the fourth where I slept and the living room was where I smoked my pot, drank my wine, wrote my poems, played guitar and harmonica and thought wonderful thoughts and dreamed fantastic Amazon dreams. I also kept my photo work in there and while I was only a second rate photographer--and still am--I was often the only guy in the right place so wound up selling maybe 200 photos to mags as diverse as Details and Natural History to Omni and High Times. (Note: That number was initially 1,000 but I've gone over it in my head and 200 is probably more accurate, though less dramatic.)
So I was used to being alone and loved it.
But I've had kids since 1994 or so and until recently they were always here. I reverted to my Irish background where dinner was a shared meal and I'm having a tough time weaning myself. Today, for instance, Madeleina is with Chepa at Chepa's house a couple of miles away. Italo is at his third-cut tryout for the semi-pro soccer league again. Marco went to take care of the kids at his girlfriend's as his girlfriend's mom had surgery on her vocal chords this morning. And Sarah is at the hospital taking care of her brother, who was hit by an SUV on Halloween. He's okay but needed wrist surgery today.
Still, I've got a seven-pound chicken in the oven, covered in garlic and cracked black pepper and lime. There are par-boiled sliced potatoes and baby carrots--along with onion and garlic and a bit af chicken stock--surrounding it in the pan. Then there is good Basmati rice with garlic on the stove top.
But if nobody comes home that will just be lunch for tomorrow or food for the dog the next day. Tonight, if I'm alone it's back to a sesame'd hero with mayonaise in the oven, topped with paper-thin roast beef, rare, pepperjack cheese and a freshly roasted red pepper that I've just put on the stove. That and lots and lots of broccoli, steamed plain, for my stomach.
What about you guys? Ever get attached to cooking for the kids and have a tough time stopping it when they weren't there to eat it? I mean, I imagine that I'll be making whole potfuls years from now like some crazy neighbor and the nearby kids will say: That's Mr. Gorman. He makes so much food and nobody comes to eat it so he feeds it to his dogs. Don't go to his house, he's nuts!"
Never thought of myself that way till this second but jeez Louise, I guess this is how it starts.....


Jin said...

you are not nuts...when you think you are normal...that is when the problems start.

Paul de Boer said...

Hi Peter, nice to hear you're back, and I hope you get better again. When do you start "The Cooking with Gorman Blog"?

Morgan said...

"Ever get attached to cooking for the kids and have a tough time stopping it when they weren't there to eat it?"

I don't really cook for the kids, because I don't have any... : )

But one of the real enriching and wonderful highlights of any given day is when I go for a beautiful dinner, cooked by my mother. Even though I am not there all the time it is always something planned for, discussed and looked forward to and enjoyed with great verve.

Not to forget the great baking surprises!

bamboo said...

My kids are too young to appreciate my cooking but I have become addicte dto cooking for my wife. I like to keep her out of the kitchen and always bring out something fresh or with some twist she's never had before and always perfectly displayed. When shes not here i usually end up eating toast or a small pizza.