I will not purchase Kentucky fried chicken. Although I much like the state of Kentucky, especially for Louisville having introduced me to bourbon at riverside a rather many years ago, I will not eat what the Colonel claims is tasty. Its aroma, frankly, has the odour of vegetables seeking immediate extinction.
But I like a chicken burger once in a while. So I do purchase those frozen concoctions claiming to be true chicken that are found in most North American supermarkets, next to the chicken wings in various flavours and chicken breasts frozen into an immobility that defies rational intent, of those hundreds of thousands of barnyard fowl raised in conditions that defy the origins of home-spun agriculture.
For a quick meal when one doesn’t want to allocate the time to spend on more sophisticated presentations, and given little wine and song, it’ll nonetheless work OK.
Bake to re-heat two chicken patties. Serve on fresh buns (panini, that is to say, small breads) bought from your favourite Italian store. Halve; add ajvar (Turkish, this time), red lettuce (not iceberg, which has the same relation to all other lettuces as do coolers to real vodka), the chicken pattie, fresh tomato, and slabs of melted Brie. Add to the plate yesterday’s leftover Peruvian asparagus; throw in a bit of Polish vegetable salad. Serve with a sufferable South African chardonnay.
Oh, and a little Ravel and Brahms. Either penance or preference, depending upon the evening’s point of view. Every five years or so I attempt Miroirs once again. I cannot claim any success this time round; somewhere in the incendiary chromaticism of the night moths I drift off into desires for Debussy. So then one goes to Brahms’s variations and fugure on a Handelian theme. I know it is claimed to be a pianistic masterpiece, but my ear will not master it, and yearns for intermezzi and capricci.
To begin this foray, by the way, I would recommend to the reader thin slices of salami—cacciatore, Calabrese, casalingo—served with Dutch zilveruien (sweet and sour tiny onions) and what I thought were Ukrainian pickled cherry tomatoes that I used to buy all the time from the Euro Deli on Bidwell off Robson in Vancouver. Investigation of the label revealed that the tomatoes, which are quite excellent, came from Vietnam, and made their way to western Canada via Russia by a route that proceeded through, yes, Hanoi.
Ravel, French as he was, may have demurred to partake. But Brahms, man of his ways as he was, probably would have found them a pleasant addition to his Viennese dinner table.
Twenty minutes’ cooking for an hour’s music that works the mind. Not bad.