Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Non-Poetic Ode to Food

I have been known, on occasion, to put food above certain things in life.

When I was in college, I dated a guy for a short time who turned out to be vegan. This wasn't the only reason that our relationship didn't work, but it certainly played a factor. Shallow? Probably. But if your extended family is true-to-life Kansas cattle rancher folk and you're raised like me, eating steak on special occasions, mixing with an herbivore works sort of like a velociraptor dating a stegosaurus.

Dates proved difficult.

"Where do you want to go for dinner?" Stegosaurus would ask.


"Well, I can only eat rice and beans. And salsa," he would say, disappointed.


"Don't they cook with lard?"

"Mmm... yes, they do."

"Ugh, no. That's animal fat! Plus they put eggs in their fried rice, gross," Stegosaurus would pull a face, now disgusted.

This would go on for an hour or so, while my velociraptor gut would grumble, until I'd crankily threaten to drive us to a steakhouse, tie him outside and let him eat grass while I sat at the window and slowly devoured a medium rare steak with a side of bacon.

Needless to say, we didn't last long.

On the flip side of that food and romance equation, the thing that truly cemented my crush on TOL in the early days was learning that he had gone to culinary school in New York and had worked as a cook. Be still, my cholesterol-choked heart.

I grew up in a house with family meal time, holidays spent with everyone crowded in the kitchen jostling each other out of the way to get to their pot of boiling water or the walnut torte that was about to burn in the oven. I love to cook as much as I love to eat, and as my father often jokes about our family, "If there's one thing we know how to do, it's eat."

It's no surprise, really, that food is so important to me. Cooking is how I express love the best. A good diet requires balance, just as a good life does. Keep it all in moderation, you know? And for the love of God, use some common sense. If it's a little bizarre to you that your crash-cleanse-shit-the-fat-out diet requires you to drink 8oz of salt water first thing in the morning, do you *really* think it's a good idea? Does it *really* make sense to go on an exhaustive 7 day green tea only "detox", but still smoke a pack a day? IT'S NOT HARD, PEOPLE.

Whatever, though, it's a personal choice. So you can keep your miracle pill, grapefruit and celery fast, and I'll be over here, enjoying the fuck out of my pork fried rice. Cooked with lard.

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