Dreaming about John Zabka's simple meals

I headed to
John Zabka
's on an empty stomach. One thing nobody left out when describing to me their visit to John's was how skilled at cooking he was. Skilled is the key word here because usually when somebody says another person is a good cook, it means they were fed a good meal. But if you ask questions into what the good meal was it's usually something difficult to mess up and designed to please. Like a large piece of grass fed steak or wild caught Alaskan Salmon. Tasty stuff sure but you don't need to be skilled to pull that off.

I knew JZ was a skilled cook because every meal I'd had the pleasure of hearing about was incredibly ordinary.
Fried Rice
.
Spaghetti
. Things a mother might whip up in a quick pinch rather than something you serve to dinner guests. And yet I could tell by the way they described it that eating JZ's simple grub was different. Not just quantitatively better than takeout from Golden Corral or Spaghetti you might make on a lazy Netflix and chill evening. 

"Yeah it wasn't that it was better. I mean it was definitely better. But a better word to use would be different. You know what I mean? It's not like I was eating fried rice. It was something totally not fried rice. Or that I had been eating not-fried rice my whole life without knowing it," one guest told me over a coffee the other week. "Yeah I actually like that way of putting it better. John showed me what fried rice is. Finally."

John hadn't mentioned anything to me about what we would be eating. So all I could imagine were simple foods. What might it be tonight? Grilled cheese? Chicken Noodle Soup? Miso Ramen? My mouth was watering just thinking about just how close I was. And my empty belly felt like a blessing rather than a curse. 

Flash Fiction Practice