Thursday, June 05, 2008

cooking lessons and charmed lives

i had a wonderful day today, spending time beautifully with two friends, both 20 years-or-so older than me, but both truly the friends of my heart, mind and soul.

Ma'am Cecille was a former colleague at the University but is now retired and living her life happily doing what she pleases while pursuing her passions in literary research. Ma'am Cora is still a colleague but will be retiring in a couple of years.

Ma'am Cecille and I arranged for me to have my first cooking lesson with her today, and we invited Ma'am Cora to join us too.

the cooking lesson was actually just an excuse to get together again, to my mind. : )

Ma'am Cecille showed me how to make a special and home-made pesto sauce and pasta, garlic bread, as well as her self-conconcted mung bean salad.

i learned more than those, though.

from the way she organized all her "hang-able" kitchen utensils in one whole wall made up of a wooden board with custom holes and hooks bored into them, to how seemingly ordinary everyday ingredients can be made special with just the little touches of extra care and thought, to charming table-setting and presentation, to identifying the herbs in her garden from the shape and scent of their leaves... as well as to living la dolce vita, with just being authentically you, taking on life fully with heart, mind and soul, with focus and passion and nerve.

Ma'am Cecille served us wine and assigned Ma'am Cora and I to learn how to uncork the bottle. we had fun even with that, trying to find a way to do it. first, we tried with one of us sitting on a chair and putting the bottle between her thighs, while the other pulled with the wine bottle opener bored into the cork. that didn't work, so i suggested we do it from the floor, for more stability. then Ma'am Cecille, who was in the kitchen adding the finishing touches to our lunch and seeing us struggling and giggling so, came over to show us a book on wines and we three looked up "how to open a wine bottle" together (researchers and professors to the core, huh?)

in the end, we went back to my sitting down on a chair, not squatting on the floor, with the bottle between my thighs, while Ma'am Cora tugged with all her might (we did it wrong the first time because she both tugged and twisted the opener at the same time).

i normally don't drink because i'm allergic to alcohol and break out in rashes, but for this one special time, i allowed my self one glass, and the tipsy, warm feeling only added to the mid-day glow i felt enveloping us all, as we talked and laughed and shared over the healthy and graceful lunch we ourselves prepared.

for sure, i learned more than just cooking, today.

when im their age, i want to be a lot like them and how they live their lives so authentically from the heart, even as i work on living that way now, every moment, every day.

i didn't break out in rashes after the wine intake, either. my body approves of the treat then. : )
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