Enough is Enough

You know that person who receives and/or makes a big plate of food, and is able to stop eating when they feel full no matter how much food they have left in their plate?  I do, and that person is not me. That person is the complete opposite of me. But she is my best friend, a best friend that will remain nameless unless referred to by her name, Michele.

One upon a time Michele was “starving” wanting – no, needing – food.

“I’m so hungry I could die. Not die but I could really faint. SERIOUSLY!” She complained.

I know how awful those hungry headaches can be so I gave in so I gave in even though we were meeting a group of girlfriends in two hours time. We settled for the best hold-you-over snack I know… a good old grilled cheese sandwich. They are delicious, filling and small. Brilliant!

Important side note: My “healthy” version of the grilled cheese is made with wheat bread, Michele only keeps white bread at her house. I succumbed to peer pressure.

Long story short, the grilled cheese was made, it smelled delicious and tasted great. The two perfectly toasted sandwiches would have made it straight through to Snack Heaven. We both had a bite and  before we could comment on how nice the warmth of a fresh grilled cheese felt on our fingers, her phone rang. I wouldn’t have picked it up for fear the cheese would get cold but Michele had to take it; it was her boyfriend.

When she got back, my grilled cheese was gone; hers was still neatly situated on her plate with only one bite missing. What happens next may not shock you but I was floored, alarmed, taken back. Michele said she was full and couldn’t finish the sandwich as she pushed her plate over to my side of the table.

What! Full? FULL? I had thoughts in my head I wanted to yell but decided it would be better for our friendship if I kept them to myself. The thought process basically went as follows:

  • I was not the one that wanted a snack in the first place. You traitor!
  • How can you throw away perfectly good food! Especially a grilled cheese!
  • Don’t you know there are people starving out there!
  • It wasn’t that big, finish it if only as a thank you. You are very unappreciative!
  • You are a liar.
  • I don’t believe you are full! I don’t believe you were ever hungry!
  • Was this some mean ploy to make me fat?
  • Why couldn’t I Just Say No!
  • But it was so good.
  • I guess I can just finish it.
  • I hate you for doing this to me.

The thought process should have been as follows:

  • What a shame.
  • I’ll wrap it up and see if anyone else wants it tomorrow.

I remember reading that if you eat very slowly  your body feels full and you don’t eat more than you need. I have always been told I eat way too fast and that’s why I can finish an entire plate of whatever is in front of me. I’ve tested this theory and it does not work.  Correction, it does not work for me.   When do you stop? How do you know when you’ve had enough?

I know that sometimes I overeat, but I never seem to be able to know my limit. I make the conscious decision to think about it,  but by the time I’m done thinking I have already finished eating an entire plate.  I  tried to count calories but that turned out to be more of a running joke. I hate math. It’s not as if I feel overweight or I think it’s a big issue or I’m embarrassed that I eat more than my boyfriend…

I Blame The Professionals

Sometimes you just have to face the facts of life. I come from a long line of confident, fantastic, self-taught cooks. If I had the choice I would hire my mom as my in-house chef. My grandmother refused to eat out more than once a week. My great-grandmother used make everything from scratch, she’d start working on the next meal immediately after the present meal was finished. Then, there’s me. It’s quite sad really. There are few dishes I know how to make well (by few I mean exactly three), but I would never call myself a cook. Well, I guess I would call myself a cook, I just wouldn’t put good in front of it. Want-to-be-one-day-please-help-me would be a better fit.

No matter what the actual reason is for why I can’t perfectly recreate a recipe from a cookbook, bottom line is I can’t. Even though I spend so much of my valuable time in the supermarket finding cremini and shiitake mushrooms, I can’t prepare the recipe to taste, or even look like, a fraction of the perfectly styled, carefully edited picture in the cookbook.

Like all things that are tough in life though, finding something to place the blame on makes it easier to accept. I’ve done precisely that. I blame my terrible cooking skills on the lack of tools in my kitchen. I blame writers of cookbooks, and even alleged ghost writers*, for sharing recipes needing tools and ingredients which only a professional chef would keep in their home.

Almost all cookbooks have tools/ingredients/supplies outlined before the recipes start, everything you’ll be using throughout the book is detailed. Most of the time I have somewhere close to 10 out of 50 of them. Take ‘Jamie’s 30 Minute Meal’s’ for example, out of the 56 tools Jamie Oliver outlines on page 21 of his book, I have 11 of them (and that’s not counting when there is a multiple of one thing, e.g. two large wooden chopping boards. Instead of one? WHY!).

Yikes, you say? I know. I wouldn’t exaggerate the number to add drama or suspense, I promise. This is not a film or television show, this is my life! And that’s just one example – I’ve fact checked this myself with multiple cookbooks!  The sad truth is I am just not an all around package yet. I’m missing the tools, the wild flavors I’ll only ever need for one recipe a month, the gourmet kitchen. All I have now is the mental capabilities, the right attitude and the cookbooks. (A large sigh seems appropriate here.)

I know one of these days, more specifically: the day I get the chance to have my state-of-the-art kitchen, I will go overboard. I will relish in it. I will make my kitchen look like the ‘Toys R Us’ of kitchen utensils. I’m hopeful it will end up looking something like the one pictured. Plus more. Lets all keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. But hear me when I type, I will never admit that I simply just can’t make the green curry sauce actually come out the color green when attempting to make the Green Curry Chicken with Kimchee Slaw and Rice Noodles recipe. I will never admit that maybe I’m just a food lover, not a food maker.  I must never admit defeat!

* Rachael Ray and Gwyneth Paltrow may or may not have used ghost writers. (Despair! Outrage! Betrayal!)

For All the Valentine’s Days to Come

Image

You may have seen this beautiful picture above and thought to yourself ‘Oh, what a beautiful gesture Bianca made for her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. He’s so lucky to have her’.

You have my permission to go on thinking this if you wish, but you are just a little bit wrong. I didn’t make this. I wish I would have. What a marvellous thing to wake up to. I should get credit for trying though. I couldn’t find a gosh darn heart stencil anywhere even though I feel like I see them everywhere when I don’t need one. There’s always next year, and the year after that, and the following one after that!