Thursday, April 8, 2010

Culinate Is An Interesting Read

If you don’t subscribe to the Culinate newsletter already, take a minute and look at the latest one.

In addition to recipes and articles about different foods and pieces by cookbook authors and chefs, there is a series called First Person. This is described as “Contributions from farmers, cooks, and others who are tasting the many meanings of food.”

After reading Life After Lobster, a story about a young woman in a controlling relationship, I felt so sorry that it took the author 5 years to free herself of her gourmet lout.

I guess she couldn’t give up all that good eating. However, when her guy wouldn’t allow her to order the BLT that she really wanted, it should have been a hint to deep-six him much earlier in the relationship. Plus a food professional that mistreats restaurant staff is just a barbarian.

But I’m not going to judge too harshly. I can only imagine how easy it would be to be swept away on a cloud of fabulous fare to a land where the omelets are always baveuse and the chocolate is dark and dense AND the one guiding you through all this is a PASTRY chef. Oh my, just the words inspire devotion.

But the message here is that being in control of one’s own eating, and by extension LIFE, is a lot more important than the next exceptional feast. A hot dog, freely chosen, tastes much better than a cassoulet, supplied by an overbearing partner. It was brave to realize that.


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I read that article too and I thought it was an interesting commentary on how food plays into relationships. I've had people say they could never date me because it's impossible to love someone who doesn't eat fish. There are folks who won't date vegetarians. Here was the story of someone who stayed with a jerk because the food was so good.

It was hard not to draw parallels with my own relationship where staying on top of cooking meals is a challenge because of our crazy preferences and intolerances.

I had a boyfriend in college whom I never shared a meal with. He lived at home and always ate dinner with his parents and brown-bagged his lunch. He wouldn't accompany me to campus occasion dinners like homecoming. He wouldn't share a pizza with my friends and me. When my parents visited the campus, he politely declined their invites to come out do dinner. I toyed with taking him to my favorite local restaurant for his birthday, but I had a strong feeling he would never let me. I thought it was a money issue, or a fear of making a bad impression on my parents. It was college and I was on a meal plan my mother paid good money for, so eating otu was not a priority for me, so I shrugged it off.

Years later he told me the reason why he refused all dinner invitations. He said that years ago he had eaten at a retaurant and felt sick afterwards. I guess something gave him a bad case of food poisoning. He said every time he ate out after that, he would feel sick again (psychosomatic reation I'm sure). He decided to never eat out again.

I always wondered what it would be like to have to deal with never eating a meal cooked outside your home again. Taking aside the chance to just get out of the kitchen and let someone else do the cooking, it could really put a damper on your social life. What if friends and family wanted to meet at a restaurant. Now that he's married, I wonder how his wife feels about it, and who catered the wedding!

DebCarol said...

I used to have to eat my peas in order to get that chocolate cupcake! Guess I've always been controlled by food in some way. Good thing I always liked peas.

Sue said...

See, Rach?
I KNEW that was a thought-provoking piece.

I can't believe that guy never told you the reason he was restaurant-phobic. He MUST have gotten over it by now. Can't you Facebook friend him (or whatever you young people do) and find out?

I would definitely eat peas to get a chocolate cupcake. Sigh! I'd eat just about anything to get a chocolate cupcake.

Say this real fast:
Eat every carrot and pea on your plate.

I got my kids to eat their vegetables that way, except when they took me literally...and then I had a real mess on my hands...and the floor.

Tracy said...

I agree, that article was really well done.

Sheila said...

You crack me up Sue! - "Eat every carrot and pea on your plate!"

My husband has an interesting relationship with food. Really, when I'm frustrated with my in-laws it usually due to food. With two celiacs in the family, WHY would they want take out pizza for Christmas dinner at MY house!!!!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I think my ex was not just embarassed about his phobia, but also probably thought it would turn me off. He once said I was the kind of girl who "needed expensive dinners". I think that country boy always saw me as too much of a city girl to never eat in a restaurant. Back in college it wouldn't have mattered, but it would matter very much now. I'm glad he didn't tell me. Even though I knew I'd never get him into a restaurant, as long as he never told me outright, I could still dream and believe that one day he might.

Don't know if he's over it. He won't speak to me anymore (long story and I really don't understand his reasons anyway) and he's not on Facebook.

Sue said...

Hi Tracy,
How are you doing?

I know! This piece really spoke to me.

Just remember that line for your young one, when he's not finishing his vegetables.

Poor you with food fights on your hands. Couldn't you make whatever you wanted for Christmas dinner and then whoever wanted pizza (!@#$%!) could bring it themselves (and eat in the basement)?

I really want to know if he's still avoiding restaurants. I can't even imagine it. It IS kind of insane.