Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today was the first test.

In true black box fashion, we walked into the lab
and he stood at his table smiling.

We had a choice of only what
was available
an hour and a half to create in

and a large mark to achieve.

I've never been good at these tests-
my friend
who knows me well
too well-
would tell you the evenings before them i would transform
become all thorny and bristled

so today, without time for that-
i was left to scour the pantry
and try to think of something
that would portray to him
the art i knew i was capable
of creating.

i tempered the dark chocolate
not as he had taught
but as my grandmother had taught me
so many summers ago

hot dark lava
on cold stone
stirred, manipulated
until that moment that it firms

"you can feel the change"
she would say
her gold bangles slipping
over her delicate wrist

"and when the change comes child,
when it comes it must go back to the pot"
in her lilt
that patois that fascinated me so

as i stirred and and smoothed
i felt that moment
and for a second
just a second
i reached for my thermometer-
my safety.

but no.
i just "put it in the pot child"
and "made it all so"
as she would say
make it all so
just so
and it will be ready.

and as the rest of the class
took their pristine palate knives
to test their temper
i dipped my finger
just as she had
into the bowl and
smeared it on the marble

as it set almost instantly
i felt an inner glow
on my terms dammit
that old woman knew
just as much as you do
in your white uniform
with your tall paper hat

and i made the ganache
with melted chocolate and
warm cream
just as she had-
"it must be two likes, child"
she said-
"why put warm cream
to cold chocolate?"

and so i put two likes together

and i added the sour apples
that I "brought down"
just so-
and the liquor
and the pepper that you would taste last
much later
after you had judged me
the taste that I hoped
would make you think
what is that-
was that-
did she-

and i painted the molds with my brush
with greens and golds
and made that chocolate

and put it on the tray

and in silence he ate it
and i cast my spell
and his eyes closed
and he thought about it a second

and then he said


1 comment:

Tball said...

awwww :) I miss school :(
I miss when chef would show how proud he was when you accomplished something so beautiful and immaculate and you get that warm feeling in your heart that you finally did the right thing :) not only the right thing, but damn well too :P