Deborah Palmer for years gave her own wonderful variety of cooking-together-classes in her Georgetown home and later in the cooking studio above Foodstuffs (before Jentree moved in). Deborah moved to Ottawa in 2014, where she still cooks with JAZZ.FM in the background, thanks to the internet. In 2011 she wrote about how much she loved music and cooking as solitary - and social - joys. Here are Deborah's words, exactly as she wrote them :)
Just had a concert by Bill Evans drop in my vault. I have loved his take on jazz for decades, so serene, so meaningful. I knew so little about him. And why did I need to know? Ross Porter from JAZZ.FM radio led an interview with Bill Evans while Evans was driving. It was curious, quiet, candid, and sad. Bill Evans’ music stands alone.
I have learned of many other pianists who are playing their way from the fluences of Bill Evans. This concert was 1975. In 1975 in Toronto I had no jazz friends until Joseph, my husband now for thirty-something years.
This preamble closes on jazz, music, mindful music, and loud, screaming, head-filling music. I need it when I miss it, in cooking classes. I always get to pick; if my students choose, it’s from my CD stash. Music is THE ingredient in every recipe. I miss everything in our classes, especially my friends the cooks. I deplore to ever balance editing, the hours of shopping, one place to another to find another elusive product; once found, the consideration—how to make it available. The balance of class and prep, tipped to hours of cleanup.
During each class is always some of the best time in my life. Every bit is worth it; I feel I created a party every time for ten or twelve friends. To watch the dynamics in the room, the pleasure in their decision making, changing things to suit, then tasting, considering—that’s just cooking as it should be. For me, to watch a room of people come together is the best. It worked so well, if I left the room for fifteen minutes no one would notice. My reward IS that.
Twelve years; so many stories, so many friends, so many great evenings. I am making a change to pen and paper to find the key to let it out. I think of Our Feasts, see faces and recall wonderful funny nights, laughter and cheers, success for all, and great simple food. I have been told a number of times that our classes have changed a career path, or opened one wide. Parents have let me know that their sons have found a path to cooking schools and programs. Cooking is work, no doubt, but it is satisfaction every day to create and enjoy and know others find joy in what we cooks do. Find the place that feeds your muse.
I made the scene and let it go on its merry way. I am so glad.
Listen to Mr. Evans as long as we can hear or feel the vibrations.