- The essay that got me hooked on food writing: The Bone Garden of Desire, by Charles Bowden.
Rossini, the great opera composer, could recall only two moments of real grief in his life. One, when his mother died. And the second time was out on a boat when a chicken stuffed with truffles fell into the water and was lost.
Sometimes, when he was nearing death, I’d go over to help Art cook. I’m down on my knees on the patio, and Art is sitting in a chair with a beer. He has grilled steaks to a cinder and caught the juice. And now I pound the meat with a claw hammer until it’s infused with cloves of garlic and peppercorns. Then I shred it with my fingers, put it all in a bowl with the saved juice and herbs, and then simmer. This is machaca according to his late wife’s recipe and it takes hours, and this is life, or the best part, he believes as he sits in the chair while I bend and pound to spare his battered old joints. It is a deep taste of something within his bones.
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