264 words (1 minute read)

excerpt from chapter 4

I enjoy cooking. It’s relaxing. 

A delicious evening starts with opera on the music machine. Mozart works well. So does Puccini, or Bizet’s Carmen if I’m really frisky.

I uncork a special bottle of wine, usually a Bourgogne (the Burgundian region of France) to breathe and sample while I chop, slice, dice, roast, sauté, and flambé a gourmet meal for two. 

There’s a recipe, my specialty, where I do a guinea fowl (Cornish hens do nicely). With an ever-so-sharp paring knife, I slice carefully down the backbone and split the carcass to extract skeleton from flesh. I usually start a day before.

The bones are simmered with onion, parsley, carrot and parsnip to make a lovely stock (smells divine simmering) while the boneless hens rest in the refrigerator, marinating overnight. 

Some may debate the wisdom of overnight marinating (nothing too heavy: olive oil, sea salt, bit of garlic and rosemary, for instance) but I sleep well knowing de-boned birds and carefully tended stock make anything possible, dinner-wise.

I stuff the hens with pre-cooked wild rice, maybe currants and mushrooms, and baste them with the stock, which makes a light sauce with butter and garlic, and a smidgeon of lemon zest for refreshment. 

Served with tiny red potatoes, a salad and whatever seasonal vegetable is available, and don’t forget the cooled, but not chilled, pinot noir. It makes an extra zesty and sexy—I call it zexy!—dinner for two.

“Oh, my darling,” Oh My Darling says, without a care for my preparations. “Let’s eat out tonight.”

Next Chapter: excerpt from chapter 5