I can still remember a meal I had 14 years ago. It was a little upscale place in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. I wore a black wool cocktail dress, with low heels. My fellow patrons were my best friend Joe, and my friend Paul. I started with a martini, and the appetizer of salad with crab cakes. We moved to a beautiful bottle of cab sav, and I had the salmon with a weird but delicious berry crust. The dessert was a tiramisu with honey-spun topping. We were there for about 3 hours. The bill for the 3 of us was nearly 250.00, no small sum in 1998 (no small sum now!). I wept at the end of the meal, it was that glorious.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a foodie.
I love food. I love making it. I love eating it. I love finding new, weird foods. I love shopping in markets, just browsing and grazing and picking up little handmade things in jars. I love finding things that gross me out the first time I try it, and that I slowly grow to love (hello, Unagi!). I love gadgets that make food, make it easier to get the food, make it easier to make the food look sexy. At some point, I have owned every major foodie gadget out there, from a cheap slap-choppy thing, to an industrial bread maker. I grow my own veggies, make my own salsas and dips, and lick the plate clean at the end of the day. I love working around food; I've been everything from a car hop in a 50's themed place, to a dishwasher, to a salad girl at my best friend's mum's eatery, to a bartender at a corporate giant, to management at an high end bistro. I drool over magazines that show new cake decorating techniques, or how to grill the perfect steak. I mock cake wrecks. Even now, with no time and even less room to cook, I still work to make things my family will enjoy - my child's food is all hand prepared by me. I record my in-laws while they cook, hoping to learn secrets from them, and I try their recipes to more or less failure when they leave.
I love delicious, rich, decadent, delightful, sexy, food.
The trick, then, becomes finding the love in food when it is blander, less exciting, less sexy. And I know, 'diet' food doesn't have to taste 'diety', but let's all be very very honest with ourselves: CAROB DOES NOT TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE. ICE MILK DOES NOT TASTE LIKE HAGGEN-DAAZ. AN APPLE DOES NOT TASTE LIKE KRISPY KREME. Lying and saying, "After awhile, it tastes just the same, even better!" insults my intelligence and your own. It's going to suck. But, admitting that salad without dressing won't taste as good as salad with a pound of cheese, bacon bits, croutons, and 1000 Island dressing is a step on the way to accepting that yes, you are going to have to eat it if you want to lose weight.
Wish me luck. Have a cookie for me. Send me recipes. All of the above.