Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting My Fill

Here's Frank Bruni again. He writes about eating since he left his position as Times restaurant critic. During this time, he ate roast chicken for four nights in a row.

There is almost something scientific-seeming about this, eating the same thing from different places on consecutive days. A method for evaluating food, untainted - or less tainted - by cravings being satisfied, faulty memories or the distracting savoriness of other dishes.

Constant eating out can take its toll. Bruni writes, "In its wake I've noticed that I want to cook more than I ever did in the past, and on the few occasions over the last few weeks when I've been with friends and cooking was called for, I've found myself volunteering."

After more than a week of eating nearly every meal out at good restaurants, I am feeling something similar. I have out eaten myself and I need time to retreat and recover.

My palate now seeks fruits and vegetables and simplicity - orange juice at breakfast, salad for lunch, white rice for dinner. Food not cooked with butter and heavy-handed seasoning and all those things that make restaurant meals so delicious. I feel as though my cravings sensor has been dulled from so much eating - I want nothing in particular when my stomach growls with hunger.

But then there are the times I've gone through stretches of eating meal after meal cooked at home or Trader Joe's frozen products and I experience the opposite - a longing for the intense flavors of well-cooked food, interesting and ingredients, and yes, specific cravings of the sweet and savory varieties.

So I know that soon enough the pendulum will swing back and I'll return to my old ways. For now I say, "Gimme a break, Gimme a break."
But later I'll say: "Break me off a piece o' that Kit Kat bar."

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