Today’s title is courtesy of Spacehog, the letter ‘D’ and my continued impression that my writing is angry with me.
Here it is, my second week of school, and I am feeling the sting of disappointment. It isn’t me that’s disappointed, mind you. My teachers, for all their humor, for all their good-natured tendencies that landed them in a teaching environment rather than in the kitchens where fame is bred, sigh out loud at my efforts. Today marked my abject massacre of an already dead chicken. I had done it the week previous, pleased with my results. And yet, I could not have prepared myself for the hell-has-frozen-over environment of a butcher’s kitchen. There is, quite simply, no other environment that I have ever been that compares to this place where the muscle and sinew, the fat and the e viscera of slaughtered animals is prepared for the gourmand’s plate.
But I soldiered through, determined to prepare those fucking chicken drumettes and those skin-on, bone-out-but-for-the-one-for-presentation-purposes chicken breasts; those minuscule morsels of quail so purple, they seemed a fresh streak of bruising under a trailer trash housewife’s cheek; those 7 pound ducks whose meat is the colour of a tsarina’s ruby ring, and, whose fat feels like silk, even under a completely frozen set of fingerprints. I can only imagine the emotional response butchering a lamb will evoke. I am remiss at my pure food results, yet I cannot deny the thrill I feel holding a knife as if for the first time; its full weight bearing down on my own delicate knuckles in various tensile strengths, my breathing low and even, my forehead smoothed and curious. I have fun there, in those kitchens. Though I do feel a bit of a loss for the food I am not treating the way I’d like to see it treated.
My only hope is to continue to take the day’s leavings from St. Lawrence market that no one has claimed but is still fresher than any grocery store garbage and surgically sex it up the way I’ve been shown. It is a brand new game, this. And I want to win.