"We have to hurry to the hospital," Mom said worriedly one evening over supper.
"What!? Why? Why are we going to the hospital?" my seven-year-old self asked, very upset.
No one had remembered to tell me that Grandpa had suffered a heart attack that morning. After bypass surgery, he recovered nicely and lived another thirteen years, but the way we ate never recovered.
After all the talk by his cardiologist about blockages and cholesterol, transplanting veins from his legs to his heart and eating absurdities like margarine, the food at my home (never great) got even worse.
Oh! Don't get me wrong! Mom's food was always hot. It was nutritious. It was plentiful. It was legume-heavy. It was complete proteins. It was very, very low-fat and it rarely tasted good.
I hated it. The call of "Supper's Ready!" filled me with dread. I once confided to a tape player that I hated "botato soup." The only good part was the melted cheese...but you had to take off your coat and go diving in your soup bowl to find it. (Not original. I read that somewhere!)
Mom tried, I guess, but "rich and unctuous" were simply not in her gastronomic repertoire. She followed recipes to the letter, and despite watching plenty of cooking shows, had no finesse in her cookery, no tasting along the way.
In my cosmology, the Good Lord spoke the world into existence so fast, there just wasn't time for any cheese to properly age.
Imagine poor Eve. It's the most important meal of her life. The first meal served on Planet Earth and the first meal she's serving to her new, adorable, buck naked husband. It's not like she had any competition but still. We ladies all know the way to a man's heart is indeed through his stomach and poor Eve had no cheese for the cheese course!
I imagine she felt like I do when there's a culinary emergency. A distraught expression on my face, both hands working my hair as if stimulating the follicles will inspire an idea.
Then God looks over his shoulder, sees Eve's distress and whispers, “Oh, by the way, let there be cheese.”
I dislike cooking but since I'm obliged do it, the result must be spectacular or it's a waste of time and effort. That's why I seek out the best dishes and culinary techniques to test and perfect before sharing them with you!
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