It sucked. I sucked at it.And I remembered how I used to have to do three quarts of mirepoix every day and how much my wrists used to hurt and how I got my first Global knife right before I quit the restaurant and how I probably could have lasted another six months if I had realized sooner that I could stop being a tough guy and ditch the Henckel.
This celery was not uniform, it was not fine-dice, it was C minus material. But the snick-snick sound of the knife soothed me and it smelled fresh and green and I dumped it in the vinegar-salt-sugar mixture, knowing no one would notice my shoddy knife work.
And while I waited for the pickled celery to be ready, I sat down at my computer and I read that Paul McIlhenny died yesterday and I remembered how kind he was to me when I went to Avery Island and what a fine dancer and host and cook he was.
And I pulled out another bunch of celery and I tried again, to do it right for Mr. McIlhenny. And I took down the bottle of Avery Island Reserve Tabasco that I’ve been saving since 2008 and I will open it tonight and toast that good man and his legacy.