Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Set Aside the Zen Jobs

The recipe in my last newsletter involved pitting cherries.
This solicited a lot of questions regarding a quicker way to pit a cherry. While there are some cherry pitters out there that function pretty well, but you won't find one in my apartment for two reasons:
First, I live in a little one-bedroom apartment in New York City. I don't have a lot of extra space for tools that serve one purpose.
Secondly, some jobs in the kitchen just don't fall under the quick meal, good food fast category. Certain chores I prefer to reserve for sitting down, maybe over a glass of wine, and enjoying with some conversation. An undertaking that takes you away from the heat of the kitchen with the type of relaxed repetition that is over before you know it and if you do it right, before you want it to be. This takes the "job" out of cooking, and lightens the load of the groundwork for what is usually well worth the effort.
Every fall I get together with a couple of friends to make Concord Grape Jam. To do so requires a considerable amount of time spent separating the flesh from the skins one grape at a time. An arduous task whose monotony is muffled by the company of my friends and a little alcohol.

So next time you foresee a dreadful monotonous assignment on your to do list, stop yourself from weaseling out of it by buying pre-prepared stuff, a special tool, or omitting the chore altogether. Instead, enlist a friend and pull up a chair. When the paycheck is booze, there is usually no shortage of helpers and you'll enjoy the process more yourself.
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