Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cooking up a story and serving it up.

Salsa, fresh and spicy,  ingredients freshly picked, relevant to this dish, cut in big chunks so not to miss the stars of the show, contrasts right in front of you, red and green and white.
Nothing is missing. 
This salsa should be enjoyed with gusto!

Not so fast.
This salsa could be enjoyed if the eaters are starving for Mexican food, have experienced a variety of salsa and find this one irresistible for the pieces you chose to feature, the very same pieces that someone who doesn't like salsa would also refuse. 
You kept those pieces big and prominent!

That's just how it is with writing a story you know well, and you serve it unashamedly, in big chunks, the way you feel it should really be. And then>>>
Someone looks at it, and walks away to something else.
Someone who wouldn't know how to appraise whole big chunks of salsa-pico de gallo.
Someone whose idea of a food that is pronounced in a foreign language is well, too foreign.
Someone who never had Mexican foods.
Someone whose sensibilities you have offended just by laying out the ingredients in such a raw way.  Some people like things to come in cans, in jars, in blended variations.

That is your problem, and your blessing!
You cook for yourself in the way you like to be fed.
You are not trying to sell anything.

One day though, someone will like your salsa, recommend a labeling firm, tweak your recipe to appeal to the mass market, and voila' your pico-de-gallo is transformed and jarred in a beautiful container with snippets of Acapulco and magical sunsets evoked in its commercials. 

Just remember that.
Remember that most cooks are slaving quietly at home and are not appreciated.
Remember that they like to cook.
Remember that cooking/preparing a great salsa is its own reward!


  1. Amen! Keep cooking! (actually and metaphorically)

  2. ds, the alternative is quite depressing.

  3. Stories and meals both need to be created lovingly...

  4. do you know, that reward, being bottled and labelled, is about enough to scare the salsa right out of my drawers! yes, best to serve it up how it feels real and full and you get to savor the smells in the kitchen.


  5. I hope there's no cilantro in that - I can't stand the stuff and I know you like to share :)