Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kitchen Mavens and Savory Cravings

Mrs. Hall met the Grand Matron and her entourage downstairs in the lobby. There had been a lottery for the few tickets available to watch the taping of “The Martha Stewart Show” and Mrs. Hall had not made the first cut, but some folks were unable to attend and Mrs. H.’s name came up next. Back in 1983, when she and another chef used to cater, using many of Ms. Stewart’s recipes, Mrs. Hall had become quite a fan, so she was eagerly looking forward to the show. After waiting patiently outside in the cold for some time, and then filling out the necessary paper work, they were finally admitted to the studio and given a seat, appropriately enough, according to the color of their clothing, presumably to create a pleasing palate in the audience. Who knew hosts were so sensitive to such things, thought Mrs. Hall. But then, it was just such well documented devotion to the little details that made Ms. Stewart the kitchen icon and OCD poster child that she was. “I hope we get some nice parting gifts this time,” whispered the Grand Matron. “The last time I was here, I think all we got was a candy bar.” Oprah Winfrey, having set the bar fairly high when it came to audience giveaways, must have made it rough on daytime television producers all over the country. But the GM was not to be disappointed this day; everyone, including Mrs. H. came away with a book, a hypoallergenic pillow and matching linens from Ms. Stewart’s collection (available at Macys!) some candy bars, a CD and a voucher for a free large floor standing air purifier (“a $200 value!”)- no doubt the upshot of having a doctor explaining the dangers of airborne menaces on the show. Mrs. Hall peered into her goody bag as she waited in line for her free breakfast (also included) from the chuck wagon on the street outside the studio. One of the other guests was Joan Rivers and her daughter, but as Mrs. Hall sighed, there didn’t seem to be any free passes to Ms. Rivers’ Las Vegas show. That’s a tie-in she would have enjoyed, she mused, a good deal more than a pillow case and a noisy fan. The morning being frittered away, Mrs. Hall met up with Mr. Hall and they headed on over to Bryant Park and the New York City Public Library. A number of adverts around the old metrop had been ranting the merits of an art display called “Radioactive; A Tale of Love and Fallout” about Pierre and Marie Curie, and Mrs. Hall was anxious to see it. As the locals will tell you, the really good stuff is on the third floor, and that was certainly the case. Almost as imposing as the stone lions out front, was the cold and frozen stare of the librarian with the carved hairdo from another century, posting guard in front of one of the reading rooms. They stepped into the room and breathed in the dust and old leather binding. “Finally!” whispered Mrs. Hall, and she reached into her purse for her trusty reading glasses. As she pulled them out, they dissolved into pieces in her hands. “No- it’s not fair, I’ve finally got time- time at last!” she groaned. “Oh stop being so dramatic” said Mr. Hall. “Get out yer other pair.” It was tempting to stay but they wanted to make the most of the day. Only by utilizing the most persuasive means was Mr. Hall finally able to get her to leave. Realizing that all that concentration and learning had likely put a strain on her, Mr. H. suggested grabbing a quick dog at one of NY’s venerable street vendors on the way. As good as she knew the coney dogs would be, (and as the Gentle Reader knows, everything tastes better after a bracing walk in the fresh air) Mrs. Hall mentioned that the restaurants inside the dining concourse- the Oyster Bar in particular!- looked even more enticing, but to Mrs. Hall’s surprise, Mr. Hall waved them off. Convinced he was simply distracted by the lure of the rails, she let it pass, and for some time Mr. Hall just sat happily listening to the sounds of the station. It was a pleasant afternoon imagining where all those busy travelers were racing off to, but a quick glance at the old clock in the main terminal told them it was time to head on back. "You would insist on swinging through the lobby of the Chrysler Building on the way back," complained Mr. Hall, as he dashed into the hotel room. "Now we'll have to hope we can flag a cab in time. Hurry up and get dressed!" Puzzled, Mrs. Hall could only wave at her bags and wonder what level of dress was required; and then a sly thought crossed her mind as she recalled his vivid cravings earlier that week, and she suddenly understood why he only popped for hotdogs at lunch. "Dress for the expanding waistline, my dear. We have 7:15 reservations at Smith and Wollensky's!" Though the restaurant was packed, they were seated immediately. "I think I'd like a nice red with dinner," said Mrs. H. and she chuckled as the waiter handed her the Wine Tome. Though the menus came framed as if they were pieces of art, it was the entrĂ©es that were truly masterpieces. Absolutely no dessert was required; nothing could have possibly successfully followed those magnificent steaks. A stroll through the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria went a long way towards burning off the extra calories. Looking out for her best interests as always, Mr. Hall yawned and asked if Mrs. Hall might be tired from her heavy repast and perhaps she would like a cab. She smiled at his sleepy eyes, and said, yes, she would.

No comments:

Tell your friends!