The things eaten and enjoyed

The things eaten and enjoyed

I went out to dinner at Grand Cafe in South Minneapolis recently with Gogo and one of her friends from Chicago. We ate steak tartare with boquerones, chicken liver mousse, pork pate en croute with savora mustard, wilted spinach salad with lardons, boozy rum cake for dessert. It was the kind of dining experience that holds your hand and teaches you how good food can be; how good food should taste and feel, and then leaves you defeated as though you’ve been crushed by a cleaver to the chest, the remnants hanging onto the edge of your lips and fingertips. Food rooted in the French tradition on which we’ve based culinary excellence for hundreds of years. We tipped our waitress. We bought a bottle of champagne in gratitude for the kitchen. The next night, I smoked a joint and ate a platter of local cheeses at home on the couch. I only meant to have one or maybe two pieces, but I couldn’t stop cutting more until the entire block was gone. I finished it with a piece of dark chocolate from Madmoiselle Miel’s chocolate shop on Kellogg Boulevard and then collapsed onto the couch until morning. “It doesn’t have to be fancy, you know.” Gogo tells me. “Good food is anything that tastes good.” I made macaroni and cheese from the box, found some grapes and watermelon in the fridge, drank a beer from the can, opened a bag of chips and sour cream. “Food is meant to be eaten and enjoyed.” There’s something sexual about the way garlic smells cooking in butter. I made tomato butter for...