Friday, April 8, 2011
G is for Gallimaufry
1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley
2. a ragout or stew
I couldn't approach "G" without using the word gallimaufry. It's one of my favorite words. I like using words that don't get hauled out in the sunlight anywhere near as often as they should. I've sent it flying before in an old blog post, which I urge you to read (here-->>> Any Taters In That Gallimaufry?).
As I was considering the word and what to write about it, what came to mind was a group of online friends that I hang with. It's a rather secret group - we've carved out a little cave in the murky heart of facebook. The group consists of just a few of us. The rules are that there are no rules. We get to share whatever we want to and say it however we want to with impunity. There is never any judgment.
Topics can range from apples to strap-ons, mourning to fucking, family issues, bodily issues (from boogers to erectile dysfunction), philosophy, the existence or non-existence of god, dating, cheese doodles, gay Asians, etc., More often than not, this all gets discussed in the same post. It all goes around and comes around, an unending tilt-a-whirl of passionate discussion, crude jokes, and love. Always love.
The thing is, we are a merry band of rebels. We love each other and we're there for each other... through tears and laughter and back around again. We're all different, different walks of life and backgrounds, some of us are related, some of us are long time friends, some of us have never met in "real life," but we share a commonality of needing to say anything on our minds without fear of judgment.
We are a gallimaufry, a hodgepodge of people and lives. We are a fine stew.
I don't know if you've ever had any real, curl your toes stew. I promise, it doesn't come out of a can or a microwave box. I'm talking about the kind of stew your grandma's grandma made. I'm talking about the kind where the cook has taken the time to dredge some sinewy, tough meat in flour, salt and pepper, and slowly browned it, leaving bits of luscious, meat-flavored flour in the bottom of the pan, only to be lifted and infused by the addition of chopped onion, garlic and celery, a hearty splash of good wine and water. The stew then simmers on very low heat for a good couple of hours, graced by a floating bouquet garni of rosemary, peppercorns and bay leaf. The sinew is rendered down, and the meat has become as tender as a first kiss. But, it's not ready yet. It requires the addition of carrots and potatoes and another good 45 minutes of slow cooking.
Heady stuff, that.
It's served up to you in a big bowl with some good crusty bread. The fragrant steam caresses your olfactory senses like a lover's perfume. You dip a spoon in - and it's a big table spoon, because a little spoon would never do - trying to get a bit of meat, carrot and potato all at once. Lift to the mouth, and then, and then, oh... and then. It's like coming home. Your tongue and mouth are hit by the feel of it. Your palate explodes with overwhelming sensation. You can taste each distinct flavor, that piquant hint of wine, the deep dark meat and broth, the savory onion and garlic and spices, the sweet carrot and earthy potato - all of it coming together in one huge sigh-inducing melange of wonderful.
And that's who we are, this group of friends I speak of. We are that gallimaufry, each a little bit different, each bringing our own flavor and contribution to something blow-your-hair-back beautiful.
Not a day goes by that I don't crave that friendship. I hunger for it, just as I hunger for that stew.