I awaken slowly, wondering if the pleasant aroma permeating the bedroom of the RV is the residue of a dream. I am glad to realize that I am awake and I am actually smelling the start of my lunch.
Norm has been slow cooking pork all night, and as good as it smells now, I know from experience it will be even better once he adds the red sauce. Burritos are on the menu for lunch!
Norm loves to cook. As we build our house in Wisconsin, he drools every time we walk into an appliance store. He has top of the line appliances picked out, and priced. Now all he has to do is wait until the house is ready for delivery of his coveted appliances. His gourmet kitchen is coming soon.
So what does he do in the meantime? He creates tasty meals using the stove and oven in the RV, and a wok, crock pot, griddle and panini maker have become important accessories. He complains every meal time about his lack of prep space or the poor choice of pans and utensils. I sit by and close my ears to all of the complaining because I know what the end result will be, food that will melt in my mouth.
Norm has an uncanny sense of pulling flavor from the food he prepares. He prefers to use local produce, so the dried red peppers he used in the red sauce were purchased at the local farmers arket. In other words, he uses every day food, available to anyone. However, not everyone can successfully develop the flavor that Norm captures.
For Norm it is the process of preparing the food. He finds his Zen in the preparation of his meals. For example, he deviened the red peppers, then boiled them to blend them into a red sauce. Extra steps, extra dirty dishes, but well worth the effort. We very rarely eat out now because Norm’s food often tastes better than restaurant food.
Mainly Marathons hired Norm as their chef to cook for the runners. At first, he cooked using the RV, and in fact prepared a pasta meal for 120 runners on our little stove. Thankfully, the company now has a portable kitchen where he prepares food to fuel the runners, developing the same great flavors he does when he cooks for us.
Even though we know there is a gourmet kitchen in the near future for Norm, we are not starving while we wait. He may complain about his current conditions, but it doesn’t stop him from presenting me with a gourmet meal fit for a king, or in this case, a queen. Gourmet taste from a non-gourmet kitchen!