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The Cross and the Cleaver… Feeling Your Food

Let me begin with a story.

It was late October 1993 and as I have just arrived in Canada, culture shock was a daily occurrence. The coffee was undrinkable (and reminiscent of dishwater), the Cheez Whiz© was delicious yet mysterious, and the free access to public bathrooms made me suspicious.

As I was seated, I was staring … rudely, curiously, certainly annoyingly because the man got up from his table and asked what’s my problem. My English was still “in diapers” yet mature enough to understand, and I was able to say that “I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE EATING PIZZA WITH THEIR HANDS WHILE WEARING A BALL CAP AT THE SAME TIME.” The man just licked his fingers and laughed.

I might be presumptuous and generalizing, but I believe that except for the occasional acknowledgement of the smell of fresh baking, friends food pictures on Facebook©, or the neighbour’s BBQ we, by-and-large, miss out on the tangibility of food. We skip the looks, the colours, the smell, the texture, … THE FEEL! We just … eat. The food pictures or aroma appeal to us. They tap into that which is probably quite regularly unattended to. The fact that the fast food food never looks like the fast food posters, is a conversation for another time.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not being critical of people who cook daily for a living, or for their children, or their spouses, or all the above. People who regularly put up with criticism, nit-picking, foibles, and “I am not eating that!!!,” in fact, they have my utmost respect.

What I am saying is that occasionally, in matters of food, we could, and should, as the saying goes: “stop, and smell the roses.” … take a moment to acknowledge what we are eating.

So how about you try the following …

– Cut three large onions in half, cut off the ends, and slice medium thick. Toss in a bowl separating the half-rings. Season generously with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar (yes – sugar). Put in non-stick pan and simmer on low heat for over an hour. Every 10-15 minutes put your face over the pot and inhale deeply.

– Chop several thick-cut bacon slices into large chunks. Sautee on low heat in a non-stick pan, stirring and smelling frequently. If it seems like burning add some olive oil, or butter, or water, or just lower the heat. After about 30 min add one small finely chopped onion and one large peeled and shredded apple (sweet, Granny Smith©, … whatever you have or whatever you like). Simmer a little longer.

– Serve both mixtures on baguette slices, or garlick bread, making sure the fat is dripping down your fingers.

If that does not appeal to you, try this …

– put a non-stick pan on low heat,

– add a generous chunk of butter,

– add crushed garlick clove or two,

– add finely chopped parsley,

– heat for approx. 20 min, or until or runny and aromatic

– add juice of half a lemon,

– USING YOUR FINGERS dip whatever you want in it … corn niblets, baguette, sliced steak, … your own fingers!

Take a moment and make an effort … to get in touch with some of what constitutes your life … that’s all ….. and … LICK YOUR FINGERS!!!

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