Saturday, January 05, 2008

The next morning at the Stanford Court Hotel, where Jim's own court was held each day, I bandaged his feet (devastated by lack of circulation) giving his devoted servant Marion Cunningham a rest from her daily chore. His robe had been left open where it "fell," exposing a belly as vast as Yosemite's El Capitan, which swept down to reveal what he could have been proud to reveal were Jim not the exception to the rule that large fingers are also a measure of the family jewels. Jim did have very big hands. This was a morning ritual, exposure to which I had long since become familiar and with which I'd grown confortable over the years I'd known him. After a little fondle, we talked about my career, about Alice, about Marion, about Gourmet, saying it was fine not to make money. We talked about Delmonico's and the time, a hundred years earlier in New York, when the great restaurants listed the provenance of their ingredients on their menus. And about the great William Niblo in his Old Bank Coffee House in 1814 serving ingredients with their origins called out on the menu: "Bald Eagle shot on the Grouse Plains of Long Island." And The Four Seasons in New York, where Jim had consulted starting in 1959.

Jeremiah Tower, California Dish: What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution (100-101).

No comments: