Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday: floating in my amniotic sac, sipping through my giant umbilical straw that delicious pre-natal slurpee. The rich glowing red ambiance and everything free.
And then poof! Birth!
The Early Years: Born To Eat
According to my mother, I used to cry when she stopped feeding me. I would sniffle and make a face like “is it really over?” and then burst into tears. My mother was convinced (and from my baby pictures, justifiably) that I would grow up to be very fat. Little did she know, I would instead become an internet food sensation. Heck, back when I was born there was no internet! We had to walk 40 miles to school every day…
The Late Early Years: Things I Hated / New York
Then, between my early years and my teens, I despised many foods including (but not limited to): tomatoes, olives, and cheese. I was a child of limited palate. My calling was unknown to me then. We lived in Oceanside, New York. Great meals consisted of lobsters at The Yankee Clipper, breakfast at the East Bay Diner, and trips into Manhattan where I would beg my parents to take us to Benihana’s. The height of high cuisine was anywhere that cooked its food on the table. (My brother still suscribes to this theory).
The Man Years: Bar Mitzvah Boy
Now we are in Florida. The food at my Bar Mitzvah was not particularly memorable. I remember the next day there was a “spread” at our house (that’s a very Jewish way of saying buffet with bagels) featuring lox, whitefish salad and other things to “shmere” on your bagel. I thought it strange that my grandfather put whitefish salad on one side of his bagel, nova spread on the other side and sandwiched them together. Turns out this tastes very good. The next day, interestingly enough, I was hospitalized for dehydration.
The Angry Teen Years: Boca
Teenage life in Boca consisted of collecting beepers at the Cheesecake Factory, driving back to my friend Marisa’s house and then returning three hours later. School lunches were packed and prepared by my mother in her idiosyncratic fashion. She would call TooJay’s, the local deli, and have them make three turkey sandwiches (one for me, one for my brother and one for my dad) and then go pick them up. Mine had mustard, tomato and onion. Michael’s had mayonaisse. Dad’s, I believe, were made dry.
The College Years: Freshman 15
Eating through college was less about cuisine, and more about sociability. No one went to the Atlanta Diner because it was good. But on my 20th birthday I armwrestled the waitress, Ebony, and won. My dish there was an omelet with American cheese and onions. Home fries. Cup of coffee. Otherwise, it was Chic-Fil-A at Cox Hall or strange concoctions at the DUC (Dobbs University Center). My senior year, I began my trek into the cooking world by making for my roommates, Alex and Rob, the very difficult to prepare Pilsbury Cinnamon rolls that came in a tube. Unwrapping that tube was difficult.
The Law Years: Present Day
And now it’s more adventure, more thought going into what I eat. Oral personalities, according to my Law and the Unconscious instructor, crave nurture and guidance and think of food like a giant breast for them to suckle on. Since my personality is primarily anal, I can only imagine that this newfound interest in food is a matter of control. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at fancy restaurants, dinner parties thrown by Martha Stewart and in the face of rich cultural experiences like EPCOT’s Moroccan dinner, I will now have the upper hand. Plus I really enjoy writing and thinking about food. Some day I will share my belief that eating (for the faithful) is an act of communion with God and his bounty. (Lowercase bounty, as opposed to the quicker picker upper).
In conclusion, my Pilgrim’s Progress has led me on a rich and exciting path. If you can track the quality of a life by the progression of meals consumed, then I am very excited for my future. Specifically tomorrow night’s 31 course dinner at Blais, report to follow.
Here’s to 25 years of gluttony!