Thursday, October 17, 2019

Like Risotto

"Writing is like risotto.
I begin with the onions, olive oil, white wine, Arborio rice. The broth simmers in a large pot on a back burner the ladle resting beside it. I probably have Herbie Hancock or some Baroque trumpet music on and by now the table is set, the candles ready to be lit. The back doors to the patio are open, the chickens are roasting and I’m having a little of that white wine for myself. Maybe a couple of dinner guests have arrived, but they are busy with the “befores” in the other room.
I begin to add the broth little by little stirring the risotto. It will take me 30-40 minutes for it to finish. Soon enough, the guests amble into the kitchen and we carry on in the moist warmth from the risotto pan. “What are you going to put in there?” someone wants to know. Someone else says, “I never have any luck with risotto.”
“It’s like an Italian porridge,” I say. And sure enough, as comfort foods go it is as familiar and welcoming as mashed potatoes, creamed corn, chicken and dumplings. A couple more people stroll in.The dog passes by underfoot resigned to having to move. We are all in the kitchen now and a kind of euphoria takes over. I’m still stirring.
Someone might say “You know you can do risotto in the microwave. You don’t have to stir for all that time.” I wanted to add that you could also just jump into bed, screw and get it over with. And, since this piece is about the process of writing, you could just slap something down on paper and that would be the end of it. Why bother?
If you want food to taste good, if you want sex to feel good, if you want what you write to have resonance and body, then you’d better sign up for the stirring.

Slow down. Slow way down."-Anonymous

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