Saturday, March 3, 2012

Eating – Yes! Writing About Eating – Not So Much.

I got your cornbread right here!
Yesterday I heard a radio show featuring a food writer, and he said there was no such thing as a “food writer” just a “writer.” It was on this principle that I once wrote a weekly essay that centered on food for a newspaper I was working for. Even though I was not a great cook or even a very good eater, I took my way with words and wrapped them around a different culinary topic each week. And while I do know a bit more about food – mostly eating it – now than I did then, I’m still not what you would call a “foodie”... yet... but I thought I’d try writing about food again – just to see if I could. 

And I started out writing about this fantastic cornbread that I had made the night before to serve with black beans and rice, and how proud I was of myself for making this 100% homemade meal because I’m just not that experienced at cooking... I mean, even though I am nearly fifty (I initially typed “thirty” -  not sure why...), I spent my twenties in an anorexic fog and my thirties in a rut of fat-free eating. Getting married to and learning to cook for a man who loves to eat has been a real mountain to climb. 

Anyway, then I wrote about how I have no qualms about following recipes that call for ingredients like, “1/2 cup lard,” “1 stick unsalted butter,” or “8 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese,” because right now I am just trying to make dinners that are delicious. Maybe once me and the kitchen are buds, then I’ll experiment with healthy food.

Samuel Pepys – while not a food writer, wrote
about food a great deal in his diaries.
And then, my typing just sort of ground to a halt...  because I was actually boring myself. After all I’ve gone through, having food as such a strong focus in my life... (many people mistakenly believe that anorexics and careful eaters don’t like food, but really, they adore it. They think about it all the time... because they are STARVING!!!) And now that I am actually exploring and consuming the forbidden ingredients on a regular basis, I find that I just don’t care. 

Don’t get me wrong – I love to eat, and I LOVE trying new foods. I’m very excited about the CSA farm share we are getting this year – all those interesting veggies and fruits... And at every restaurant we frequent Tom and Bill each choose one particular menu item every single time... while I am likely to try something different on each visit. I went so many years with such a boring diet, I still have a lot of exploring to do when confronted with food choices. But really, for me and food, it’s out of sight out of mind, unless I need to plan a meal or am at a restaurant ordering.

For me, this is a fantastic way to be after all that time I wasted worrying about food. But I would have to say in response to the writer on the radio, that while it just takes a “writer” to write about food, it really helps if the “writer” is interested in it. I can write about music and movies and my kid and my God all day... but food? Maybe if I HAD to for an assignment or something I guess I could do it. But it wouldn’t be easy... because even though I enjoy eating, I don’t find thinking or writing about it all that interesting.

1 comment:

  1. remember the time we ordered the GIANT quesadillas?
    and that cornbread looks really good...