Food


My New Year’s resolution is to really focus on my health. Specifically, eating better. So regardless of the weight that I won’t lose, at least I’ll know I am eating healthier. And that’s sexy. Taking a stand for my body is sexy. Preparing food is sexy. I’ve slowed down and am taking pleasure in cooking for myself. I make better food choices when I go out. And even when I’ve been out late and didn’t have dinner, I think about what I’m stuffing in my mouth when I get home. Normally, I’d grab too much of some moderate to unhealthy snack. Last night, I came home at 10pm, pretty hungry, and stopped. I didn’t want to eat too much before bed or feel gross in the morning.

Enter the hemp bagel. I know! What was I thinking?

Hemp bagels are super high in protein and fiber. They are a new food choice for me. They are healthy, filling and ‘green.’ Eating one would keep me sated and, though I’m not sure why, make me feel like I’ve done something for the environment. I guess because these are what all those ‘green people’ eat. I toasted it, put on some butter, and headed upstairs to eat it in bed while I read.

It was like eating a bird’s nest. I could literally feel bits of twig and feathers as I chewed. I could taste every piece of compost that had contributed to each and every ingredient. I persevered, thinking I just had to get used to it. The offending bagel then proceeded to suck all hydration out of my mouth. Desperate gulps of water only left a party of wet sewage in its wake. Worse, eating this in bed was like an affront to my sensuality. Seeds all over. The foul taste a far cry from paint-on chocolate and whipped cream. It was horrible.

Let’s take a look at how exactly unsexy a product this is:

It’s poo brown with pea green understones.

It’s been covered in seeds to make it “look” like an Everything Bagel.

You could place a couple of robin’s eggs in the center and a bird would fly out of nowhere and start incubating them.

You can taste the compost from which it originated, including the horse manure, just from the photo.

It doesn’t even sound good: Hemp Bagel. Blech.

Now I’m all for healthy, organic food choices. But there is no one that will ever convince me that the hemp bagel is an appetizing and/or appealing bite of deliciousness. It is really, hands down, the unsexiest food product I have ever eaten. It left me yearning for the bready,  slightly-chewy, processed-flour, New York bagel – topped with 1/2″ of cream cheese on each half. Some lox and red onion. And not a seed to be found the next morning under my covers.

I don’t care how good hemp bagels are for me. You tree-hugging, unwashed, hippie folk can have every last one of them. Not only are they gross, they’ve turned my green-0-meter back 25 years. So go ahead, start a petition for the hemp bagel. Send me recipes ad finitum on how to make this bit of fencepost a succulent morsel of sexy. Just know that I won’t be serving one to my lover as an aphrodisiac any time soon.

I’m here, hanging at the shop, getting ready for a first date. I love first dates. They’re bursting with possibility…. like spring. And, well, it’s far from spring-like out. Or what I like to think of as spring. You know, the days like yesterday where it’s so beautiful you can taste summer. But not today.

  • It’s a cold — 50 degrees.
  • It’s rainy. Nasty Spring rain. Wet. Cold. Drizzly. (My hair doesn’t stand a chance for this date, let me tell you.)
  • It’s dark and gloomy. Not inviting. Not warm. Just dreary.
  • However…. pansies are the flower box. Crocuses are flooding front lawns all over Fairfield County. Daffodils are bursting themselves with the first early bloomers — big and bright. Robins are afield, looking for food.

But I did think about, given the circumstances, what would a perfect date look like on a night like tonight? Not my date tonight — mine will be one of those slightly uncomfortable ones, sitting at the bar, hoping we get along as well as we did on email and phone. But if I flashed forward to a year from now — providing things went well (no pressure) — what would my date tonight look like then. It looks like this:

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It’s Spring. April is the month of possibilities. Everything has potential in April. Everything is new and fresh and bright and filled with the urge to be bigger, more beautiful. Even on this cold dark day, I’ve only to walk to the front of the boutique, catch a glimpse of my purple and yellow pansies and I’m a happy girl. It’s a sensual month to be sure. And a month were everything, despite itself, continues to grow. Through the cold, the wet and the dark.

So I can think the date above, but I can’t quite have it yet. So I’m giving it to you.

Build the fire. Dim the lights. Put on J’ai Deux Amours by Madeleine Peroux. Pour some Fourplay wine (it’s all in the name). Listen to the rain. Savor your partner. And see what blossoms.

I am totally obsessed with aphrodisiacs. Strawberries, chocolate, mangoes, almonds, asparagus. I love the idea that eating a food can sensually intoxicate you. Oh if it were as simple as sucking down a few oysters to be instantly moved to have sex. I want it to be true. But, alas, there is very little, if no, scientific evidence that validates these claims. So what is it?

I always associate sexy food with how you eat it. Remember that scene in Flashdance when Jennifer Beal’s character, Alex, is sucking on the lobster tail with butter running down her chin? She’s turned on. Her boss/date is mezmorised. And you were shifting in your seat, right? Who cares if lobster is an aphrodisiac or not (it is, but as I’ve discovered, what isn’t), it was for those few minutes — because she made it so.

Take the artichoke. When I found out this was on the list I thought to myself, ‘are you kidding me?’ However, in 16th century Europe, artichokes were considered so powerful an aphrodisiac that women weren’t even allowed to eat them. Can you imagine? A food so powerful that it makes you uncontrollably desirable. That said, look at an artichoke thistle (see photo to right). In the 16th century that was probably considered girl on girl action.

Let’s review this most passion-inducing vegetable for a minute. Uncooked it leaves a horrible, bitter taste on your fingers. It has pointy thorns on the top of each leaf. It takes forever to cook. And it’s a pain in the ass to eat. You literally have to scrape the meat off each leaf with your teeth. And then, if that wasn’t enough, to get to the best part of it you have to get rid of the choke or potentially threaten your own life. All that said, God forbid you get too close to the diner or you’ll be ravaged on the spot.

Doesn’t this say it all? The artichoke epitomizes everything I believe about sensuality and beauty. It’s all in the unravelling. Look what this complicated, oddly unattractive vegetable brings to bear when you decide to cook one up:

  • Hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. Don’t let the thorny exterior fool you.
  • Allow 1 hour to simmer before eating. (Enough said there, gentlemen.)
  • Have patience. This intricate meal demands you eat and enjoy each leaf, one at a time, slowly and with care.
  • Dip in your favorite sauce and suck to get it all. Clarified butter. Cumin and olive oil. Honey and lemon. Whatever your desire may be — just be decadent.
  • Delight as each leaf gets softer and softer as you penetrate the heart.

Then, just when you think you’ve got it made, you’ve finally reached nirvana, you hit the choke. This is the perfection of Mother Nature. You’ve ravaged this beast of a vegetable and it stops you dead in your tracks. She forces you to take inventory, appreciate your hard work, and then then work even harder to truly appreciate those final, most delicate morsels.

So what is my long, drawn out point? When something like the artichoke becomes illegal based on it’s sexual properties you know that it is all the eyes of the beholder. So stop stressing about what you look like, and start thinking about how you’d like to be eaten.