Posted on Jun 05, 2024Read on

Palo Alto

Crushing San Marzano tomatoes drips their pieces between my fingers and into the pan, already hot with olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Their steam brings the previously pungent smell to a more mild sweetness.

I pop open the cabernet, having trimmed the seal at a clean line, just below the lip, and let it rest. Glass and silverware are polished to remove any water marks. Rib roast sizzles in the oven. Timer says 8 minutes. I remove the tablecloth; it smells like rotting flesh. A clean one, green, like sequoias, is a lovely replacement.

One last stir to the sauce. It was simmering slowly, melting all ingredients together, but, after tasting, could use a little salt. Only use fleur de sel, like what's hand rubbed onto the roast, now resting on the oak cutting board. I pour two glasses of cabernet, placing both on the table.

Two wide plates, wiped to a shine with a dish cloth, are the canvases. I spoon a curve of roasted little purple potatoes, and place barely steamed asparagus, tossed in herbed olive oil and truffle salt, on each plate. The rib roast slices so smooth under this WÜSTHOF. I fan the tender meat on each plate, then spoon tomato sauce across meat and potatoes. Placing both plates on the table, I sprinkle each with chopped fresh parsley.

Sitting at the table, I lift my wine glass towards my partner, but they don’t lift theirs. I take a sip. They’re not touching anything.

I lower my head and smile to myself, allowing a sweet chuckle in my chest. Every meal, I forget that they’ve been dead for months, sitting across from me all this time.

After a perfect bite of rib roast and sauce, I take a sip of cabernet, dab my lips with an organic cotton napkin and sit back. It’s important to pause and feel appreciation, when I’ve created something excellent.