How dramatic tension is built

Dear Feastlings,
I make no claim to be an authority on the theatre or the dramatic arts. I understand the basics: if there’s a gun in the first act, it should go off in the third; after the climax there should be a denouement; that sort of thing. But we bought an oven online last week, which is mostly how it’s done anymore, and I’ve been getting a steady stream of emails from the trucking company indicating where the oven is each day, where it’s been, where it’s headed and when it’s parked awaiting the next leg of its journey. Yesterday, the emails told an exciting story: after making its way from South Dakota through Des Moines and Kansas City, it arrived today at what’s evidently called a Break Point- in Phoenix. Hello, oven. I can feel you humming own I-10. I can see it all- the careless abandonment by the driver with the lift gate, the assembling of a ragtag crew of whichever people don’t currently have a bad back among the kitchen staff, the cursing and whining as we try to drag an oven with legs rather than wheels into place past prep tables and shelving units, and the scraping of knuckles as we try to hook it up to the gas line that doesn’t have enough leeway to attach it without climbing halfway over the oven. I can see the lighting of the pilot, the indentation on the pad of my thumb from holding down the button while we wait for the flame to hold, and the WOOF of the oven lighting when we turn the knob. God willing.

Meanwhile, the emails keep coming- At Break Point Phoenix, AZ; Awaiting Departure at Phoenix, AZ; En Route to Tucson, AZ; At Tucson, AZ; Out For Delivery To Customer. We’ve been getting the emails for a week, and they’re coming closer and closer together, and with every email comes a frisson of excitement. Whatever we cook tonight, some of it will happen on this range.

I’m ready for the moment of truth, which likely will be closely followed by the question of what to do with what’s nearly a pile of scrap metal now- the husk of our former oven.

In the meantime, I’ll let the dramatic tension continue to build among you all, though I’m guessing the arrival of an oven doesn’t really do for you what it does for us. But we’re excited.

We also have other things to do- we have a couple of catered events to prep for, including an event down at Callaghan Vineyards on Friday (sorry, it’s full, but we’re working with Kent and Lisa on a date for a sister event where it’s recreated here, with a kitchen- one with a new oven, even- where we recreate some version of the menu here at Feast and Kent loosens his grip on some eight-year-old reds that I’ve already been lucky enough to taste in order to write the menu. I can tell you now that whatever he lets us have, anything that doesn’t sell that night will likely end up in my own glass. Not that I predict any leftovers. You’ll get an email from me in the next week or so detailing that event and offering up seats.

We’re also preparing meals for Youth on Their Own that we’ll be bringing to them on Saturday.

Month to month

We’ll be bringing meals on a Saturday in October, November and December for the students, and we appreciate your help and your donations- for every four meals people donate, we donate a fifth one, and we’re now past 8.500 donated meals since we started doing this. We’ll be bringing more meals as well to some homeless shelters and subsidized housing units as well, and you’ll get emails about those donation runs in the future.

As soon as we’re back from that donation run, we’ll jump right into this week’s wine tasting, four big dense reds to accompany your newly autumnal meals.

Ready for Reds!

And that, for the time being, at least, is all I’ve got to mention, minus the numerous interruptions that have pushed the send time on this email three hours past when I started it. I’ll get started on dinner-related things now, which, if you haven’t looked recently, looks like this:

Have a great night.



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