Sunday, February 22, 2009

Living to eat or eating to live

I’ve been terribly delinquent in maintaining my blog for a while now. This is not because I don’t want to do it any more or have nothing to write about but I am just finding the overwhelming numbing effect of dealing with M being ill dulls my creativity and impedes my enjoyment of writing abut food.
It is not just M being ill but the horrible way her illness has manifested itself. M and I have shared so many fabulous foodie experiences, travelling all over Europe and the US, me avoiding her favourite tomatoes and goat cheese and she trying to pack in as much crab as possible and of course potato and vegetable dodging. But the cruellest of fates to befall any foodie diva, a ‘foodie diva en passant’ or a vicarious fine-diner is to not be able to eat any more and me regaling her with tales of feasting seems to be adding to the torment.
Every time I espy a recipe abundant in lobster, scallops or crab I immediately think of whipping it up as a surprise treat on my next visit and then I remember that only one of us is able to consume it.
It is not surprising that my attitude to food when I am with M has changed, I feel almost embarrassed if I enjoy a meal knowing that she can’t share it with me. I couldn’t dream of tucking into her much-loved mini Coquilles St Jacques (see above) whilst she looked on and even watching Masterchef together seem a little like teasing. And any meals I do have I feel it should be consumed furtively keeping the sights and aromas hidden.
I guess we can all be separated into two groups – those who live to eat and those who eat to live. Of course I live to eat, I spend much of my leisure flicking through food magazines and cookbooks, watching food programmes (occasionally contradicting the TV cook à la Gregory’s Girl), planning some future extravagant feast, writing up previously enjoyed banquets and also perusing farmer’s market and food shows, cooking up a storm and of course eating.
Those grabbing food carelessly as a necessary fuel to drive their entirely inedible life are very alien to me, and I feel they must be missing a crucial part of their lives.
So many of my social interactions are around a table, it doesn’t have to be lavish dining as sometimes it’s just sharing a bowl of hot salty chips or literally breaking bread but these times are the lifeblood of my existence. Some of my absolutely favourite memories resonate with glorious food and the wonderful people I enjoyed it with.
I cannot imagine having to be fed via a tube into my intestine and having to come to terms with maybe never being able to enjoy a meal again but M looks on the bright side and says how little of my dreaded washing up there is to do now.
Dearest M, I really hope they can eventually rebuild your stomach bionically and we can sit down at one of our favourite restaurants tables again. And in the mean time I will do my best to try a cultivate other obsessions we can share that you aren’t excluded from. But I also know you like hearing about my culinary exploits so when you're feeling stronger I hope you'll find plenty of tasty things to read - I better start hitting my blog again!


Mrs. L said...

I too, hope your dear M gets better soon.
My 93 year old Grandma, who was a big reason I started my blog, has issues which make it impossible for her to eat cheese, certain meats, most rich foods, and many foods she has loved her whole life. I so wish I had started my cooking adventure sooner so she could enjoy the fruits of my labor.

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