The directions on nearly every recipe in the endless
library of recipes almost always state the obvious:
"Salt and pepper to taste."
And we do.
They are edible "Ebony and Ivory" and
no other food couple has the ability to act as these
two primary keys on the piano of your palate.
Cream and Sugar are light comedy in contrast to
the full majestic drama that Salt and Pepper conjure.
Garlic and Butter can give us a steamy bedroom scene
but the issue here is not singular performances.
It is the omnipresent, the omniscient, the alpha,
and the omega Salt and Pepper.
Salt stalks down the meat and pepper pounces upon
Pepper perfumes the fish while salt reminds it of
its birth home.
Salt and Pepper sit not only in the kitchen with
the thousand other odd members of the alchemical
cast, but they are the only spices that rate the
center stage on almost every dining room table.
Think about it. Have you ever seen any other spice
on a tablecloth in its company? If you did, you
certainly wondered why. For example, "Whats
the cumin supposed to go with?"
If you notice the salt and pepper at all, you dont
question its presence any more than you would typically
question the existence of the floor or roof of the
house you are in. Thats because they are like
the floor and roof of the house. Yet in a play worthy
of Sam Shepard or Beckett these spices can reverse
roles in the eternal courtship of call and response.
Sometimes it is the salt calling hither and the
pepper in repose. Other times the other way around.
But they are always themselves. Salt is never peppery
nor pepper ever salty.
greatest governors to ever preside over a table
are color blind. Yet they color every taste. They
are the spine, the illumination, the narrator, the
judiciary and the jury to each taste on all buds.
election is over.
Copyright © by Norman Van Aken, 2000