Yesterday, my faith in humanity was restored.
I had spent the day in Boston, walking around Copley Square and through the Public Garden, alongside the harbor and in and out of the winding North End streets. To appease the stifling heat, I ordered a small watermelon slush from Mike’s Pastry – which by the way, was horribly bland – and roamed back towards the T at Government Center through the farmer’s market outside Faneuil Hall.
I was en route back home, with my faithful companion and map guru, PD, when we hit an odd, three police car detour on Rt. 30. Forced to navigate unfamiliar Weston roads, we decided it was best to follow the car in front of us. After about 15 minutes, we came to a fork in the road and the man driving ahead stopped and got out of his car. “I figure you’re following me, and I just wanted to tell you that I’m about to take a left here. I didn’t want you to follow me and get lost, so all you need to do is take a right and that road will take you right back to where you need to be.” Nice, right?
PD turned to me as we thanked him and muttered, “We should offer him a cannoli;” knowing herself too well, she had bought two extra cannoli for later. I looked down to glance at the neatly packaged, white and blue pastry box sitting between our seats. Yet we both agreed that the window had passed – plus, we needed to bring home dessert for my parents.
This got me thinking about food as kind of gesture – a gesture of kindness and thanks. Think about it. When you go to visit friends for dinner, you bring a bottle of wine. If you know a neighbor is having a rough day, you bring them a fresh piece of pie. If you invite someone to come over for dinner, you want to share a part of yourself with them.
When I was working in Wellesley, the owner of Captain Mardens used to come in to order meats. One day, I ventured over to pick up some sodas for the boys, and found myself face to face with the owner, Kim. I complimented his array of seafood – especially the scallops, which I wanted to cook for my parents’ anniversary that night. “Take some home,” he said, putting eleven fresh, jumbo scallops in a brown bag. “Really?” I exclaimed. “Yes, take them, here,” he insisted. That night I made a mustard viniagrette, dressed the scallops and strung them on skewers with halved, fresh apricots. They came off the grill, juicy and smokey, the perfect end to their special day.
An act of kindness can come in a small package. Sometimes in the shape of a muffin, other times as an unexpected anniversary dinner. Next time, we’ll order three cannoli’s just in case.
P.S. The following article is from O Magazine and is about the “art of the omelet” – a bit of an ironic tribute to my first entry.