"I'll try, God knows I'll try
but if anyone watches me I'll scream
because maybe I'm handling a tomato wrong,
how can I know if I'm handling a tomato wrong?"
The above lines are from Gwendolyn MacEwen’s poem Memoirs of a Mad Cook. If you read them, you’ll have gained some insight as to my approach to cooking and food preparation.
(You can read the poem in its entirety here. Note – there’s a typo in the first line with this link.)
I think of these particular lines every single time I cut up a tomato. Unbelievable. And I read this poem back in the 70’s. When I was younger, I actually did wonder if I was handling a tomato incorrectly. Years (and many tomatoes) later, I don’t really care but I still remember those lines. Actually, to be honest, I do sort of care if someone is watching me.
Funny how some things stay with us despite the passage of time. And not so funny how some things seem to have disappeared. I’d be far better off remembering names (and certain words) than MacEwan’s “tomato” poem.
I’m now wondering if this poem might be responsible for my aversion and “madness” regarding kitchen duty. I was very impressionable way back when.
But how marvelous to have a literary excuse for my culinary limitations!