Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back home in Seattle

Ah! Big sign of relief. After 22 cities in 29 days, we finally got back to Seattle. A Le Cordon Bleu friend had stayed at our house while we were away, and the house was abnormally clean. My fridge hasn't looked this good since I started working on my book, and kept cleaning out my fridge to put off actually writing...

Of course, I have lost any allegiance to a time zone, so I woke up at 6:10 a.m. So the first thing I did was raid my freezer, head to the QFC on Capitol Hill for some whole organic chickens and spend the day making chicken stock. I did this for multiple reasons. One is that rainy, cold days just feel like "stock" days. I hadn't cooked in a month. And, I was going to a dinner for Michael Ruhlman's new book, The Elements of Cooking. There's only one recipe in the whole book, one for veal stock. Lacking veal bones, I settled for chicken. (And, I still have some veal stock in my deep freezer.)

We went to a dinner at Serafina was a Books and Cooks dinner in honor of Ruhlman's new book was a present to my good friend Ted. Those who have read The Sharper Your Knife will recall that he's the former chef obsessed with stock who wrote a 2,000-word missive on it. Ruhlman's section on stock mirrors Ted's observations It was a great dinner overall, but the standout was a seafood sausage wrapepd in caul fat. Chef John Neumark introduced the dinner, commenting that the last time he saw Ruhlman, he was "in a robe, holding a cigarette and some scotch." Both studied at Duke, but they lost touch and recently got reconnected.

I've met Michael Ruhlman twice now, and I attest that Ruhlman is like the voice in his books -- approachable, sincere and passionate about what he's doing. I'm getting a lot of this question lately: "What are you working on now?" I have vague ideas about my next book. We talked about it and he told me that now that I'm home again, to just sit down and write and I'll figure it out. So, once I'm done with this blog, I'm back at my desk. But isn't that where a writer should be, anyway?

(Sorry for the lack of photos on the dinner. Of the five of us in attendance remembered to bring a camera...)

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