Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cooking for Tenure

Last night, Senor Fluff and I hosted my dean and dean's partner. This isn't as ass-kissy or as nerve-wracking as it may sound; the dean was my departmental colleague when I started this job and has since moved up the ladder. About twice a year, we trade off hosting dinners, which is lovely and helps me remember how friendly relationships can be with administrators at a little place like Ascesis U.

It was, I have to say, a rather fabulous meal. Since it's the end of summer, I made a heaping bowl of gazpacho, and crab cakes. And since I checked my menu with Yogini (who is a stickler for culinary aesthetics), I had a delightful little garnish of yellow grape tomatoes and avocado slices. Damn. I should have taken a picture!

As we were cleaning up, I couldn't help thinking about how stressed I would have been if my dean and partner were more like The Dean (note capital "D."). Doubtless, I would have burned my crab cakes. But what if it were the case that part of your tenure file were cooking? "Binder must include evidence of teaching, service, scholarship, and at least one kick-ass meal that you've made for administrators. Please include visual evidence, as well as external letters in support of your culinary expertise." Awesome! The next thing you know, the deans and provosts are all packing on an extra 20 pounds, and we're all spending weekends learning to make pie crusts from scratch and our own mayonnaise (which I didn't do, but I did whip up one hell of a remoulade. And I made too much. What do you do with remoulade, kids?). I can just imagine the office gossip: "I heard Frank in Philosophy went all french haute cuisine: pate and coq au vin! As if! We all know the provost is a meat and potatoes guy. I'm going to try New American cuisine. Rib eyes and Yukon gold gratin all around!"

I should probably mention that the wine store had a sale, and so was pouring both Pinot Grigio and Beaujolais all evening. That might have had something to do with these musings.

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Blogger Beth said...

Dinner sounds fab. I make a mean gazpacho myself; you've inspired me to chop and dice during CBS Sunday Morning tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger kfluff said...

Summer isn't summer without gazpacho. But be careful chopping and watching the tube; no one likes a finger in with their tomatoes...

Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:24:00 PM  

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