Life is a Process

In order to get to know Chloe and Francis better, I decided to have a dinner party.  Chloe agreed that Marie Claire could stay overnight and I would feed the kids earlier, which would give Chloe time to get ready for dinner also.  While I fed the three children, Steve changed for dinner.  I knew that he would watch them while I finished getting myself ready.

It may have been a little bold having Chloe over to eat but she didn’t seem so snobbish about what she ate so far.  Mags had asked me the other day about inviting her to the card parties, since we were getting ready to start up again.  I thought it was a good idea even if Chloe didn’t play cards right away.  She would liven up the group with some new stories while we learned more about her.  I planned on running the thought by Chloe at dinner.

Since there was a hint of a chill in the air, I thought that I would try to make French Onion Soup.  The recipe had a handful of ingredients, but it took a long time, hours, in fact.  Not that much had to be done but a little stirring from time to time to soften and cook those onions.  And those onions wouldn’t cut themselves.  I was definitely suffering for my craft.  While the onions were starting to cook, Chloe knocked at the back door to ask a question about whether Steve would be wearing a tie at dinner.  Francis was unsure of the dress code for dinner parties since they hadn’t been to many recently.  It was at that point that I realized that Chloe felt at home in my kitchen.  She peeked into the Dutch oven on the stove and gently moved the onions around.  I was stunned when she commented on the beauty of the onions.  Chloe regarded cooking as an art and I had always thought of it as another task.  She gently murmured to herself about “the process, the process.”  She had a genuinely delighted look on her face as she leaned over, capturing the smell of the onions by drawing the air towards her with her hand.

A few minutes after Chloe left, I took the lid off the pot and tried to mimic her gesture.  I needed to slow down a little and take a mental note or two.  Cooking should be satisfying for the cook and the diners.  This thought could change my whole outlook on meal preparation.  I felt a little silly all alone in my kitchen but I leaned my head toward the onions and repeated my new mantra – the process, the process – as a small smile of satisfaction crossed my lips.

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