Sunday, April 5, 2009

John and Mario Batali

There's something strange and wonderful going on in my home. As I've entered the professional kitchen -- trying to determine whether I've got the skills to be a cook while working in the Tom Douglas restaurant world -- my husband has become the family chef.

John worked at the P-I, a page designer who started out many years ago as a reporter and has worked nearly every post in between, winning some huge awards along the way and now finds himself pretty much unemployable. What to do? Grad school? Ski bum? Foreign service? The latter was suggested by our sister-in-law, who lives in Cambodia. She wanted John to come apply to the American Embassy. Like this week. Too bad we just sent in our passports for renewal.

In the meantime, John's been spending some quality time with Mario B, reading one of his cookbooks, the one with the "easy" recipes, quoting passages and making some incredible meals. The proscuitto-wrapped chicken was my favorite so far. 

It's so obvious, but I've got to say it: These efforts are some of the greatest gifts I've ever received from my husband of umpteen years. He's way out of his comfort zone in the kitchen, well except for breakfast. But after one of my three stepmothers made breakfast for dinner way too many times -- she spent the grocery money on macrame supplies -- I refuse to eat eggs in the evening.

So, especially after standing for eight hours, these meals give me so much pleasure because I can tell they were prepared with love. I know that sounds super corny, but it's true. Just like the pot roast at Little Tea Shop, the barbecue at Cozy Corner and the braised oxtail at Salumi, which is going to be on the menu this week. I'm so going to get me some of that very special occasional special.

Did I mention my feet are killing me? I've been soliciting comfy shoe suggestions, so help me put my best foot forward. 


Randal Cooper said...

I got myself a pair of Klogs from Lit (it was a one-off $10 pair, instead of the normal $60), and use them any time I plan on being on my feet at length.

If you're gonna be in the kitchen on your feet all day, best to go with the shoes worn by people in the kitchen on their feet all day.

Bruce said...

Dansko ( or makes a variety of occupational shoes and is popular with nurses (who are also on their feet all day). I bought Karen some of their clogs and she likes them.

John Eddy said...

Masai Barefoot Trainers (MBTs).

My wife was doing a trade show in Florida and trying to do it in flats and gave up, went and bought a 'dress' pair (not cheap) because she was used to the sneaker model and knew it helped the feet.

Tho, since they aren't cheap, you might want to try them out (try The Walking Company) and see if you can stand in them at all, and then hit to see if there are any on sale...

Richelle said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. Cooking is good for the soul no matter where you jump in.. a leap of faith everyday it seems.

Jennifer said...

As a former pastry girl on her feet all day, I strongly recommend the Birki clog. They're lighter weight than the Dansko and they're super easy to clean!

shirewoman2 said...

Hi, Leslie! No particular comment on footwear recommendations, but I do want to say how great it is that you're going for this! I hope it's a fantastic experience, everything you're hoping it will be! You rock!

Keeneye said...

I remember crying at night after a long day on my feet, and can feel your pain.

A couple of suggestions:

and of course, Mario's shoes:

Good luck! And remember, FUNCTION, not fashion.