Friday, April 13, 2007

Kitchen Choreography

There are partners you whirl, twirl and jitterbug 'cross the dance floor with.
There are partners you trip the life fantastic with.
There are partners you can count on to ride the rails with.
(John Hartford quote: 'He's a good man to ride the rails with')

And then - there are those partners who you're able to dance the kitchen dance with.
Those are rare indeed.

If you've ever experienced an unrehearsed choreography with someone who can match you step-for-step during food prep in the kitchen, you know what I'm talking about.

Kitchen choreography.

It's when you and another person work in accord. It's how you position yourselves in seamless movements with one another whilst the two of you consider a series of food preparation steps.

He/she washes dirt off the veggies, you chop.
You stir the roux, he/she stands by to add more flour or butter.
He/she tastes the gravy, you have more seasonings at the ready.

You're never in each other's way. You're not at the sink when the other person is there rinsing the salad greens or washing out a just-used mixing bowl or filling a pot with water to boil the pasta. He/she isn't stepping over to the fridge at the exact moment you head over there for another egg.

He/she IS there to open the oven door for you when you've got both hands under the baking dish, balancing the liquidy filling for a pumpkin pie that is ready for baking.
That person is there to give a thorough wipe down of the cutting board and countertop after the raw poultry meat has been sliced; readying the area for preparation with ingredients for the next dish.
When he/she lifts the lid off the curry chicken, you're there with a shallow ladle to skim off some of the hot fat from the surface of the sauce.

You see that the honey is crystalized into a solid mass and needs a hot water bath. He/she notices at the same time, and is already reaching over to put the kettle on.

You work so well in concert that few, if any - instructional comments need be exchanged. Between the two of you, it is UNDERSTOOD what needs to be taken care of now and what needs to be done next, or even a few steps beyond next.

You literally dance round one another, at the same time, you are dancing together.
It's unplanned - yet harmonious, synchronized.
It is a pure delight, and spices up the cooking experience with the additional ingredient of FABULOUSFUN.

There are only a handful of people I've had the pleasure to cook with (thus far) whose kitchen choreography has been in perfect sync with mine. It is a pleasure and honor to move round the kitchen with these very special partners.

Another plus: 'We' turn out great meals together.

5 comments:

Conn said...

THAT IS BEAUTIFUL AND SO TRUE. WE JUST KITCHEN DANSED THIS MORNING WHILE MAKING BROCCOLI CHEESE AND SPAM OMLETTES... YES I SAID SPAM.
HEY... WE ARE IN HAWAII.. GOTTA TRY THE LOCAL FAVORITES. NOT BAD WHEN MIXED IN WITH OTHER THINGS.

Conn said...

i meant danced...

justducky said...

Right on, Sister...and Brother...and family!

Greatest dancing I've seen in a long time. I felt all left feet trying to help.

Give me a nap instead, while all you guys dance and wake me up for the tasting!!

Wow, what a routine!!

baffle said...

You're so lucky to have an 'in house' kitchen dance partner. He who cohabits with moi moves in sync, but only because he's learned my steps over time ~ he's done his studying!

Of the handful of kitchen dance partners I (now or then) truly truly honor/covet, I have opportunity to cook with only two of them nowadays and only on occasion = DDLLS and DDJrS!

The others: an ex-work-colleague and a-long-ago-friend - I rarely see either of them anymore!
BoooooHoooooo!

A new acquaintance recently expressed a wish to rustle up grub with me. Methinks that Barb might be a great kitchen partner indeed...so I'm really looking forward to getting together with her!

Happy Cooking!

baffle said...

BTW, I LOVE Spam.

Canned meat product: it's so weird, so salty and so good!
Must be fried so surfaces are crispy.
Spam musubi - yummy yum yum.