Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FOOD, definitely not a four-letter word

I love food. It's not uncommon for me to finish a meal, and then find myself thinking about what I'll eat for my next meal. Hunger is over-rated. I stumbled upon a street market the other day but had just eaten. There was no room in the inn for any of the delicious-smelling Turkish breads filled with spinach and melty cheese. I actually found myself thinking I wish I could speed up digestion so I could be hungry.

As part of my female anatomy shouldn't I want my appetite suppressed, not expressed?

If it's not obvious already, if you're male and reading this it's either going to a) bore you or b) scare you.

Back home in Texas I've got all the usual female food issues. I obsess about calories, can easily rationalize an upward tic on the scale and will go as long as possible without washing my jeans because there is nothing fun about denim just out of the dryer. Every year I ask Santa to put willpower in my stocking, but instead he generally fills it with chocolate and candy. I was thinking recently that if a genie offered me one wish that (outside of the obvious serious ones) I would definitely ask for a really fast metabolism. Not fame, not fortune...the ability to eat fajitas as often as I want and never gain an ounce.

When I read Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love" a couple years ago I was so envious of her Italian food odyssey. So I too decided to take a vacation from calorie counting and put myself on the 'no carb left behind diet' for one month. My month is coming to an end, which is good because my back-end no longer fits in my jeans. My theory is that I'll spend the next month in Africa equalizing the damage I inflicted on it in NZ and Oz. It's been such a liberating experiment. And did I mention a delicious one too?

Gelato? Don't mind if I do! Lychee sorbet is my favorite down-under discovery. I've had some fantastic meals and tried all sorts of adventurous recipes that use one of my favorite foods - sweet potato. I had a steamed chicken roll in China Town on my bike tour a couple days ago, only to hear I was missing out by not having gotten the pork steamed bun (like a dumpling). I was in a touristy part of Sydney last night with expensive restaurants, so I took an illogical $22 cab ride to China Town so I could have a $1.20 pork bun. But my $23.20 bun was totally worth it. They also make fresh Emperor's Puffs, which are like donut holes filled with hot custard. Need I say more? The lamb and pork here is scrumptious and tender. And I won't even get started on the shiraz-viognier blends that have become a dear friend of mine.

Last night I dined with my new American friend Kristin who I met in Sydney last week while we were playing frisbee golf. A fellow food enthusiast, Kristin asked me if I wanted to have a wonderful meal while in Sydney, to which of course I said yes! We went to Buon Ricardo, and as they say in Australia, it was a beautiful meal. Those fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto and baked with gorgonzola cheese may have changed me forever. We had four inspired courses, and the company was fantastic too.

Knit clothes must have been invented by a woman, and one whom I adore. She should be honored as the Patron Saint of the Bloated. Yesterday I bought loads of nutrition/meal bars to take to Africa. I also bought yogurt and fruit for my last couple days in Oz as I reenter the world of healthy eating. I got an email from my stomach lining the other day begging me for mercy. Yet, I will not forget o ye my Tim Tams, you "two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate." In my nights under the African stars, I'll be dreaming of you.


  1. Sounds like you're in culinary heaven. I'm very jealous!! Can't wait for the next installment. Love Ya, Stu Dawg

  2. ok, you are making my mouth water. You are really great at appealing to the senses, especially taste. Sounds like you are having a great time. Suzanne

  3. The real Australian way of eating Tim Tams is to but off two end corners and then suck hot coffee through the Tim Tam, once you taste coffee you have to quickly get the Tim Tam into your mouth before it turns to liquid. That's called a TIM TAM SLAM!!