Indonesian Feast

Food for Thought

I haven’t been this excited about food in a long time. Since the pandemic landed on JFK, I have redirected my attention to things other than food because trying to eat well would only be frustrating. But. A tasting menu of 15 authentic Indonesian dishes that I can pick up in my own neighborhood? A team effort of three Indonesian chefs? Even before the pandemic, this is not something I could have had here in Manhattan; I would have had to travel to Queens. It was as if God decided to reward me because I’ve been a model citizen, like wearing a mask everywhere and diligently picking up my dog’s shit.

During the pickup, I saw many familiar faces, but as soon as I received the large bag full of goodies, the only thing I could think about was getting home as quickly as possible. Once out on the street, I realized I didn’t say bye to anyone. I was on a mission.

When I got home, it was like the scene from A Christmas Carol, everyone hovering around the table as we unloaded the bag. Taking pictures was challenging because they couldn’t keep their hands off of the food. I took my glasses off and sank my face into the food. The girls were talking, but they sounded like the adults in The Peanuts animations.

The package contained a QR code to download the detailed explanations of the dishes, but I had no time for that. I reviewed it after the fact, thinking, “Oh, that’s what that was...”

I didn’t realize how much I missed going to Queens and exploring different worlds of food. I don’t miss people because I’m in constant contact with them. I don’t miss seeing different places either since I can travel on Google Maps. Art, music, film, and literature are largely unaffected. It’s only food that I miss.

My wife and kid want to rent an Airbnb somewhere outside of the city for a weekend, but they are all booked. Even if they were available, they would be expensive. I found a big apartment with a backyard available for only $99 a night in Queens, where all the great restaurants are, but the girls told me to shut up.

I guess it’s time to shift my focus away from food again.