Monday, November 17, 2008

Thank You Guests of Silverlake Wine!!


As those of you in attendance of our Sunday October 12th Silverlake Wine Tasting know, our apartment had been burglarized two days before this event. At first glance, we spotted that the bandits took our new television, I MAC computer, a Canon G9 camera, and all of Matt’s socks from Target for crying out loud.
Immediately, we panicked! What about the pig?? We raced to our second refrigerator stationed in the backyard as we imagined ourselves empty handed for the hungry folks at Silverlake Wine. Travesty!
“If they took the pig,” Matt sparked, “I will LOSE IT!!!”
“Not a chance,” I reasoned, my tone as calm and Gandhi like as I could muster. After all, the thieves left behind all of my socks and for that I was grateful. “How would anyone besides you even know what to do with it?”
I sure wouldn’t. I’ve watched Matt skillfully debone various farm animals at different restaurants we’ve worked at and always with a captivated audience and a stop watch (now he breaks it down in 7, no 6, no 5… 4 minutes!! A record! The crowd roars!!). This was no job for a ham-fisted (ha!) crook.
Well it turned out I was right. Matt’s baby suckling pig was left safe and sound. The delicious little nugget would make it to the Silverlake Wine Tasting as planned and feed the people! What I didn’t anticipate however, what pushed me past any Zen state of acceptance of our material losses was the following day as I pulled out the base for my Lemon Verbena Ice Cream anxious to start spinning it so I could lick the bowl of it’s delicate flavor when I realized THE BOWL WAS GONE!! Yes folks, along with a TV and computer, a point and shoot camera, and a bundle of Matt’s socks, the intruders also stole my ice cream machine. Words escaped me. I was totally distraught.
A well-meaning friend suggested I just buy some ice cream. “The people will understand,” she explained.
Noooooooooooooo!!!! You cannot just buy lemon verbena ice cream. It’s hard enough to even find lemon verbena. And, furthermore, store bought ice cream? Yuck.
At the tasting, after everyone had enjoyed Matt’s Heirloom Tomato Salad, Pumpkin Lasagna, and Whole Roasted Pig, it was my turn. I told Matt what to say.
“You want me to tell everyone we were robbed?” he asked, surprised. We usually don’t get too personal at these events, but I had to let people know that I did not in good faith leave out such a critical component to my Caramelized Polenta Peach Cake. To me, the situation was the same as if I had neglected to brush my teeth before a job interview.
Sorry sirs and madams. So sorry. I typically have very fresh minty breath, just not today when the impression I make matters the most. Please know I am aware of this offensive shortcoming and will be certain, despite all odds, to have scrubbed my grill with strong toothpaste at our next encounter.
As it turned out, the people of Silverlake Wine were as crestfallen as I was. Was it the wine or were we building a community here? A collective motion of empathy materialized as, unbeknownst to me, they passed around a bowl and tossed in George Washingtons, Abe Lincolns, and, even a couple Jacksons, then handed it to me without a trace of fanfare.
“This is to help buy you a new ice cream machine,” said a solemn man whom I had never met. “Everyone contributed.”
I was beside myself. Matt and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Two days before, strangers thrust themselves into our home, furiously tearing through all of our belongings to find something, anything of value (warm feet anyone?). The worst part of this violation was there was no way of fighting back, no fingerprints were found, no witnesses. It felt as if our entire apartment had been stuffed into a bottle, shaken up and then hurled across town to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, broken glass and all our things scattered everywhere. I didn’t know how to start picking up the pieces or if I should even bother.
Now this new set of strangers, the guests of Silverlake Wine, who so quietly and kindly reached out with such a lovely gesture, simultaneously coaxing us into renewing our commitment to what brought us there in the first place, to cook with love and intention, but more importantly they also made us feel that the world was just a little bit smaller and for that we thank you with heartfelt sincerity and much deserved fanfare.
Please come join us for our next tasting at Silverlake Wines, Sunday November 23rd where we will be doing our own spin on Thanksgiving. Looking forward to seeing you and offering you, belatedly, some sweet, velvety ice cream from my fabulous new machine.

2 comments:

Benaccio said...

Yes, And we missed your new place!
Ben, Renee and Caleb

Chef Paul said...

Nice write up and don't worry, you've got a source for Lemon Verbena now. I think the date for the next wine thing is over unless you meant November instead of October.

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