Friday, October 28, 2011

Leo Marjane's supper.



















They keep telling us that we are what we eat.

Most of us have some cultural affinities to certain foods because that is

what we ate growing up.

Even today food continues to be a pretty big part of my life.

It's not that I am not open to trying different foods.

On the contrary, what's not to love about all the different food options!  

But on Monday I began a new course - a new food experience.

I am part of the Biggest Loser weight loss program at our center.

I don't know about you but I am being challenged by it all.

The main goal is to lose weight - how much depends on how much

we are willing to change.

Yes, imagine that, we have to change our eating styles, the type of foods

we eat, the quantity, and the quality.

Every day I have to actually concentrate on what my "healthiest choices"

will be and what I’m going to eat.

I truly have never given what I ate much thought.

I am not overweight - never have been thank goodness, but I can see that

I could stand to lose a few pounds.

And hopefully in the process learn how to eat healthier.

It's hard for me to see food as a delicious way to nourish my body

and still be assured that I am eating healthy.  

I read an article that talked about how what a person ate,

much like their choice in clothing attire said a lot about their character.  

The article went on to say, "What you eat can convey how adventurous,

generous, fussy, lonely, considerate, or strange you might be."  

I can't even begin to think what a vegan might think of me if they saw

me scarfing down a huge plate of sizzling hot fajitas, (no tomato and plenty

of jalapenos) and freshly made flour tortillas?

I guess I never thought of food and what I ate in that way.

I know a lot about nutrition and specifically what excessive fat and sugars

can do to one's body.

But I can't picture myself ever having been a picky eater.

Or certainly not being as a diverse eater as I am.  

I love Indian food - of the Northern bent, I love Thai as well

as Korean food, and I can't forget Japanese.

I also love Lebanese and Hungarian as of course German

and Mexican delicacies.

I wonder if that automatically qualifies me as being uber-adventurous?

I have friends that are vegans and vegetarians and I even tried joining

that cult back in 2002.

A dear friend's family were all vegans - John wasn't but his wife and two

grown kids were.

He ended up I intensive care for about 9 months and long story short

I spent so much time around them that I ended up trying that food style.

I almost died.

Well not exactly but I felt awful the entire 6 to 7 months I tried being one.

But back to the NY Times article - I can't say that it’s totally a turn on for me

to see a woman drinking a Green Juice, or a naturally flavored grass tea.

I might admire her from afar, and think that woman really cares about

her health and body.

But to go as far as thinking "Wow, there’s nothing sexier!",

would be a bit much.

It reminds of a time when I was going through med school and our neighbors

invited us over for dinner.

They were an amazingly interesting couple, he was a distinghuished

Argentinian Psychiatrist and his linguist professor wife, a tall beautiful Swede.

Even after all these years I can still remember what they wore.

He had on a nice evening jacket - an expensive royal blue cashmere

one and a bright yellow turtle neck and black slacks.

Not to be outdone, she was in a slinky black Oscar de la renta design.

My wife and I walked in and almost died of embarrassment.

We ended up being very "under dressed."

We were both in collegiate sweater and Levi Strauss jean outfits.

I can only imagine our horrid expressions in the reflection of their

.925 pure silver trays, back light by the romantic lights coming off their

.925 silver table candelabras.

To make us feel at ease el doctor said, please don't worry we dress up

like this for dinner every night.

We all sat quietly eating our delicious salmon on a plank with asparagus.

Quietly clanging our silverware to their expensive china.. very quietly.

No one spoke, just nodded and smiled.

My wife and I would return the nods and smile at each other.

As I mentioned we lived in the same apartment complex, right next door

to be more percise.

So we finished our dinner, had a couple of glasses of red wine with

one of the great French singers of 1930s Leo Marjane's sultry voice 

playing in the background.

I also remember the good Dr. telling us that Leo Marjane's grand career

had an abrupt end at the end of WWII.

It appears that the French remembered, that during the occupation Leo

had entertained the Nazis with a little too much enthusiasm.

But I am getting off subject here.

Well we quietly walked the 4 to 5 feet back home.

As I put my key in the door I looked back to my wife.

I don't know if it was out of relief or simply because the whole thing

had been right out of a movie…

but we began to laugh and laugh.

I could hardly unlock the door, shhhh... shhhh. we'd tell each other.

We couldn't even look at one another without laughing.

When we finally caught our breaths and were sitting down we discussed

how we were going to sneek peeks every night to see if they really dressed

up every night.

Well not only was this couple particular about the food they ate, but also about

how they ate it.

My best piece of advice to you...

when you have dinner with your loved ones,

and even if you may or may not bother with candles or

making your dinner table look any particular way,

who knows maybe you end up not using plates.

One thing I would highly recommend is "Have a conversation!"

That to me is the only thing that’s really necessary for romantic dinner,

conversation.

I am reminded of the good Dr. and his wife, every time I see other couples

sitting silently in restaurants, eating their dinner without talking.

Couples sharing a delicious meal, yet having a separate dinner,

almost as bad as my Tío Roberto and Tía Julía, and their separate bedrooms.

I'll leave that one for another blog. 

Loud unhappy meals that even Leo Marjane's singing couldn't cover up.  

“When the marriage is ruined, the meal is ruined,” the article read.

“You end up throwing the food at each other.

It’s like hurling invectives and ultimately you’re hurling pasta.”

So maybe as the saying goes, "You are what you eat."

And yes, they were beautifully dressed up every single night.

Make it a conversation filled dia!