Slices Everywhere: Slice of Life 7/31 #sol17

slice of life

Once the rust of the first couple of days is off, suddenly there are slices everywhere. I enjoy it while I can because I know it won’t last. Somewhere in the third week of the challenge, inspiration will dry up and I will have nothing to say anymore. It will feel like I never had any stories to write, will never have any stories to write at any future time. But for right now, there is potential everywhere I turn.

I pull out Ethiopian leftovers from the fridge and think there’s a slice in this beast of a meal that uses more pots and pans than I actually possess. When I cook Ethiopian for my son, I have to cook in shifts.

There’s a slice in learning how to cook this food of his childhood. I never use as much olive oil, onions, garlic, or berbere as an Ethiopian cook would, but this is how he likes it. And my one attempt to make injera at home was a dismal failure, but that’s what mail-order and my mother’s frequent trips to Denver are for.

There’s a slice in the days he asks for Ethiopian. When he’s sick, when he’s sad. When he misses his mother. But also when he’s happy, when he wants to say “You are my mother now. Even though I don’t begin to understand it, I love you as if you’d also given birth to me” but doesn’t have the words.

There’s a slice in discovering that there isn’t enough shiro, his favorite and now mine as well, and the hasty chopping and sauteing of an onion in too much olive oil, the sprinkling of berbere and the more than sprinkling of salt, the pureeing of tomato to pour over the onions, the whisking of enough shiro powder and water to form a paste.

There’s a slice in the bottom drawer of my pantry, reserved for my Ethiopian supplies, bought in bulk from an Ethiopian market in Denver, where I am always the only white person and usually the only woman, where a jolly man inevitably eyes the bags of shiro and berbere and yellow split peas I’m buying and asks, “Do you know what to do with all of that?” and when I say oh yes, I certainly do, he invites himself over for the meal.

There’s a slice in the spicy smells that linger in the kitchen for at least a week after the meal is made.

And surely there’s a slice in the eating too, the tearing of small pieces of injera, the pinching and scooping of the various stews and pastes, the adding of a little more salt.


14 responses to “Slices Everywhere: Slice of Life 7/31 #sol17”

  1. Well, there’s a slice all right and then some. Somehow this one made me totally teary. Because I have a sense of some of the amazing love that has gone into all that you know about the right amount of salt.

  2. Elisabeth, great hearing about your Ethiopian culinary masterpiece. I think this process sounds likes all the pots, etc. that I use when I bake. There’s a slice in is a great opening line that repeats introducing another after another.

  3. Such a great post! And you are so right about getting through the rough patch of the first few days. I find that ideas are just popping in my head constantly. I had to start a note to keep up with them on my phone. Now to keep finding inspiration everywhere even after this is done.

  4. Beautiful slices, indeed! I thought this post was going in a different direction with that first line … but I do love where you took us! Your home, your kitchen, your son, your love. Just beautiful.

  5. I’m starving now!!
    I know what you are saying about there being an abundance of slices right now….maybe I’ll write down some ideas so when the well becomes dry at the end of the month I have a list of things to write about.

  6. My goodness, I was thinking this exact same thing the other day. As I was washing my dishes even I was thinking about how each dirty dish had a slice ~ from the food that was prepared on that plate to where the dish came from (wedding gift?). Our awareness is on full alert at first and then by the end of the second week, we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for just a crumb of anything! Haha ~ thank you for letting me know I am not alone!

  7. This is so awesome. I love that you learned to cook Ethiopian food for your son AND that he appreciates it. My daughter rarely eats what I cook.

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