First, we eat with our eyes…
I often express love by cooking for people. My husband’s diligence at the gym is the only thing that keeps him under 330 lbs.
I often say to him “a blind man can see how much I love you.” Maybe not often enough.
I was reminded of blindness, sightedness and the re-ordering of my thinking. Which is advantageous for what? I was reading Eat, Memory the other night (thanks Marisa!) and the essay about a blind cook-applicant by Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune was one I’d read before. It is an excruciating story fraught with apprehension, guilt, fear about doing and saying the right thing. It ends with a firing and a phrase “he saw it coming.” So much of our language is laden with the assumption of sight. Cooking is no different.
This interview with a blind cook is fascinating. I kept thinking about the way I cook, which would be utterly ineffective were I to lose my sight. If a reader asks for a recipe, I literally cook with my husband at the island paper and pen in hand. I put “about that much white pepper” in my palm, then transfer it to a measuring spoon and tell him before – I think it’s about 1 tsp. It usually is.
I can barely imagine a meal cooked having to take the care that David E. Price must take to cook in the kitchen. And burns and cuts? I’m lucky to still have ten digits attached, let’s just say a career as hand-model is definitely out of the question at this point. I achieved a new, artistic burn last night by placing my crescent-shaped ice cube on a fresh burn and somehow missing the shape of the burn, just so. Sort of a whispy “J” shaped red thread of a burn remains. This is all with sight, mind you.
I’m not saying I’m a klutz or anything, but every walk we take Caleb has a few reminders for me “step”, “pothole” etc. He says it quietly, just in case I might’ve missed the next threat to my vertical state. (He’s usually right.) I like to think of this as an exercise in meditation in motion for him, like fingering prayer beads, he’s quietly scanning and reporting as we walk…and if he moves your glass in from the edge of the table, don’t be offended. It’s to prevent me, not you, from knocking it over. My elbows have a knack for finding everything within a one foot radius from any counter or table ledge.
Anyway, after you read Clotilde’s interview, you may also be interested in this article on Montreal’s O.Noir Restaurant, and the “dark dining” of which it is a member.