“Not Bad.” These are two words I hear often on my culinary report card. My husband has a Masters in English mind you, but for whatever reason all the many words he has, rarely accompany his taste tests.
Now I’m not saying he is difficult to please. I’m not saying that at all. He’ll take beans and rice any night with a smile, and I appreciate that. What I am saying is that I don’t wait for his words to grade my cooking and baking. What I wait for is the subtle grunts and groans, the absolute first uninhibited response that comes to his taste buds. It’s the look on his face, the twinge of his jaw, and the heaviness of his eyelids. That’s right, the heaviness of the eyelids. It’s where you close your eyes as if they weighed 50 pounds each, and you keep them closed for not one, but two seconds while your senses encompass the experience in your mouth.
Have you ever had that moment? That moment when nothing else exists except you and the flavors going on in your mouth. When I see heavy eyelids, it means it was better than “not bad,” it was a dynamite meal, beyond an A÷. It is this language, these “gradings,” that feed my passion for cooking and baking for my family of five.