Wednesday, September 03, 2003

What would Oprah eat? If she came to our Rancho, out here in the foothills, where across the valley the clouds sit on the mountain tops, and where the hens roam free, what would I prepare and serve? Last night I gathered a skirt full of green peppers from my barrel garden, and Alex brought in golden tomatoes. Our free roaming hens have been laying plenty of eggs, so I might be inspired to roast chiles, and beat the egg whites in to stiff peaks. I would stuff the chiles and dip them in the batter of eggs, then after cooking them I would let them sit in a broth of tomatoes and onions.

There's a bowl with leftover roast chicken in the refrigerator, and if I cooked this with white onion, the same green peppers from the garden, and the tomatoes, it would make a delicious taco filling. We could chill Margaritas, or a dry red wine, and crunch zesty tacos with cilantro and guacamole. Or stuff flour tortillas, for fat burritos, with the chicken and beans, cheese and salsa.

She might show up at the end of a long day. She might be at the door, after the toilet had overflowed, and an open bottle of Pine Sol toppled over and in to a dryer full of clean clothes. She could stand, with her sunglasses in hand, on the other side of my front door, as I finish cleaning the cat box, or unraveling our property taxes. I would hear the doorbell ring, and experience that moment of fear when one is caught in their element, but not on guard. Beautiful Oprah. Confident, camera ready Oprah. And me in my jeans that are really comfortable, but that make my butt look as fat as it actually is, and wearing the T-shirt I fell asleep in last night, when I really should have showered and changed, but never found time to. I would open the door and say welcome.

I would bring out the box of Bisquik and 4 eggs, the last of the milk, and frozen blueberries. I would make blueberry pancakes, and plain ones too, that I would shape like hens. I would offer her wine or apple juice, or coffee. I could make coffee, I'm pretty sure. And we would sit comfortably together in the kitchen and talk about little things, and the touching moments that brought us to where we are today. Seems like we've been friends for a while. I would show her Mars, and the bats, and the owl that flies at night from the pepper tree to the phone pole in the neighbor's yard. "Good company makes food good, " I would tell her, as I thank her for coming by.

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