Sunday, April 5, 2015

Simply Heinz..and a Strawberry Pie: Thoughts on Food, Love and Friendship

Today I got the best compliment that I have ever received in my cooking life.

My friend, Heinz, was eating this pie:


It was the dessert for an Easter dinner I made for him and Michael of rosemary pork roast with gravy, roasted fingerling potatoes with caramelized onions, and roasted asparagus and shallots (yes, I was in the mood to roast).  

He suddenly stopped and said, "You know? I think I can say with certainty that this entire meal is the best meal I have had before both my wives and any time after."

The comment made me laugh out loud.  "I'm sure you've definitely had better!" I said and laughed again.

He looked at me with complete seriousness and said, "It's the truth." 

It was then I blushed.  Maybe if I showed you a picture of Heinz, you would understand why:


His compliment was so blushworthy not because he was saying I was a better cook than his previous two wives (both of whom died from cancer), but because Heinz just turned 93 two weeks ago.  93! That's a whole lot of fricking meals he's eaten in his lifetime.  For him to even remotely think that my cooking is one of the best meals he has ever had is enough to make me swoon with happiness that the love and energy I pour into my food shows.  If there is anything that I want my cooking to do, that is it, pure and simple.  Love = goodness.

I don't know how many more meals I'll be able to share with my dear friend.  Chef Reiton and I are planning on moving to Boston at the end of the summer, and my commutes to see him will be fewer and farther between than the semi-weekly visits we have now.  For now, I'm going to cherish ever single minute that I have to spend with Heinz.  He is the most honest, real friend I have ever had. I only hope that I have shown him how much he means to me.  Even if it is with a strawberry pie.

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