the king sized king





just about the biggest piece of king salmon ever. four and a half pound. as our dinner present to john, stephanie's fabulous school friend, a fascinating man, teacher to the acting arts, designer of plays, composer, scarily well read all around, last but not least avid zinnia gardener. and cook and belligerent after dinner conversationalist. a delight to visit, at a two hour drive from portland.
he cooked the salmon, skin up, the fish's fatty flavor seeping downwards to the flesh,  skin turning crinkly crisp, what a delight. way too much to eat in one take, but the meal will keep well for another day's feast. raspberries, and not from driscoll's, but hand picked from the garden, straight, wanting no sugar, as desert.


and the talk, after coffee, oh, what sweet chit chat. about previous encounters, thirty year's worth, as in reunions. and about books, eventually grazing the omnivore's dilemma. indeed. the drama queen of the farmer's market. the scribbler, stringer of the fashionable food scene. neglecting how the other four-fifth find the pony to ante up six dollar carrots. or, as 'in defense of food', considering how this, our habitually poor folk with three-point-eight siblings, might sit around dinner. yes, they would likely compare notes on the merits of  asparagus from far away land. yes, they would rise to the barricades over 'food rules', or would they? take a look if that mom, holding two jobs, might do a bourguignon, shopping for just the right cut of beef at 'her' butcher. really, dad just might tend to petit pois while out looking for work. or take number two son, would he, could he, dig taters at sam's club? pollan would worry about nutrition, but in want of a yard, if at all there's a house, digging a garden just ain't the way for most dwellers.
so we shelved 'food rules' as out of touch and decided on how to sink those many boats floating lawyers. the dice are loaded, as everybody knows, that's how it goes, and thats how it went.
back home i noodled over 'medium raw', anthony bourdain's new killer, formerly musing in 'kitchen confidential'. just my man. cussing expletives aside, chapter twelve, 'go ask alice' is faultlessly expert on the chez panisse scene, then and as it lingers still. the woman's notion to do a kitchen cabinet for the president (like he hasn't enough trouble), apart from her food program for school kids, or the delicious idea of a 'victory garden' is so very-very 'all about alice'. wholesome and pure. to the common good. death to monsanto. berries from chino farms. (they're in san diego) local and sustainable, how does that square?




yes, yes, alice waters, or 'so you wanna be a chef', or my favorite: 'the rich eat differently than you and me'. all in all, read all about it, go kindle 'medium raw'. bourdain is by no means beyond fault, but take comfort in his ribald word.  he is at least wary of 'tptb' in his own wayward way, in this, our weary world.