I love everything about food, reading about it, preparing it, the presentation and of course, the eating. But my favorite and the activity I really look to for acceptance is the presentation. Doesn’t matter how much or how little a dish slaved over to me, if it’s presented like something my 2 year old slapped together, I will be disappointed at least a little. Unless of course my 2 year old made it (Rock On Phoebe!)
Presentation shows a respect for the food; attention to the little details is like a woman dressing for a date. No matter how insignificant the outing, they want to be noticed, to have the eye of their mate to linger just a little longer on them. And so, a sandwich needs to be on a plate, not a napkin. And cut just so, as to give a peak into the ham or peanut butter, egg salad or whatever it envelops. It’s about having a salad fork for the salad, a wine glass for libations, and the soup in a bowl, not a coffee cup. I’m just saying. Hypothetically. I digress.
When I watch the cooking shows, that’s when I sit on the edge of my seat, when they begin platting their dishes. Because at some level, the skills become quite similar, e creativity duplicative. But the presentation is that opportunity to put a personal signature of love, of appreciation, of seducing the eyes and awaking the senses to even the most mundane of meals. Seriously, I think about this even when making a boloney sandwich (which has to have plain potato chips on it).
Growing up, I recall how my mom would take care in making meals for us, regardless of how tired she was or how involved. That was never lost on me, how much she loved us, to make sure the meal was attractive. And it made it so much easier to excuse her for tying my sisters left hand to the chair, as a reminder not to have it on the table. That was funny.
As I write this, I fear I may never be invited over to anyone’s home to dine again. I hope not! Promise, I won’t turn up my nose at Tater Tot Casserole served in drinking glasses from McDonalds or whatever. But if you notice that I am a slow eater, and seem to be cautious in how I partake, it’s really just that I enjoy food and try to take in the whole experience. The Slow Food Movement is something I can appreciate, and I enjoy the times I spend in Latin America, where meals are really about communing and less about getting back to the office, shopping or whatever.
Now, to find a good cookbook to curl up with.