11.21.2001 (Wednesday), 10:34 PM

Compliments...

I passed out after shopping for steel cut oats...the house is as silent as it always is...

My manager and I go to lunch every Wednesday. It's my time to vent; his time to direct. He specifically scheduled our meeting during lunch because he knows that I'm a rabid foodie and cook. He says that it's really the only time he gets to get out of the office and eat some unique and good food. Lately, things have not been that good at work but my group is doing well so we don't have that much to talk about work-wise. So we talk about food.

Today was no different--we went to a local Japanese place where we got into a discussion about ankimo. Ankimo is monkfish liver and is the seafood equivalent of fois gras. On the way back to the office, I told him about this past weekend's barbecue fest.

He surprised me by saying that when I first told him that I cooked, he was skeptical about it since he hadn't tasted anything that I prepared. He said that it wasn't a put down but when someone says that they cook, you kind of take it at face value but unless you have something to remember about someone's cooking, that it's just an ordinary thing.

A few weeks ago, I made a pretty good pot of gumbo. He called when I was in the middle of cooking it to return a call that I had made to him the previous day. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and that included telling him what I was cooking. He said that it sounded good but never had gumbo before. So I brought him some the following Monday. He told me that he enjoyed it but I only found out how much he liked it today.

He said that he knew that wasn't just an ordinary cook and that the gumbo's taste was permanently emblazoned in his memory. And that was what led him to believe that I was a very talented cook.

I couldn't have asked for a greater compliment. I think that I am far away from being at the level I really want to be at and so compliments like this are a bit hard to take. However, it was the utter sincerity in what he said that made me feel very warm inside.

Posted by wjc