“In general, I think, human beings are happiest at table when they are very young, very much in love or very alone.”
M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992) in ‘An Alphabet for Gourmets’ (1949)
I figured out during my resiliency conference that I have inherited a shame about being single. I haven’t outright admitted to myself that I feel like something is missing in my life, or to others, and that is an intimate relationship. It wasn’t until a very insightful, compassionate, loving old friend said to me recently
Of course you want to be married, K! You were created for relationship
Being, or living, with someone, one that sees but does not mention the junk shoved into a hidden basket, one that knows how a certain guest always drains the pleasure out from the tannins of your syrah, one that tolerates all the open jars of nut butters and allows for an certain hyper-anxiety and neurosis…well that is now a goal of mine.
But in the meantime, I am still getting better and better at dating myself.
One thing I DON’T do is go out to a sit down place by myself. It feels like, or I thought it would feel like, a sad sight and a compounding of my lonliness. Germans do a lot of eating standing up, you see, and my natural hyperactivity finds this relieving at times because I don’t have to think and eat at the same time. And when I DO sit down, and STAY sitting down…it is because I am delighting in companionship. I am at rest. I am not proving, or stretching or trying to progress or serve. I can receive.
Remember me meals? I do cook for myself 6 nights out of the week. So I eat awesomely…but I am constantly up and down when doing so. When others are present, I tend to RELAX more…unless the company isn’t so relaxing, or it’s before 10 am (I am always SO excited to see what the day brings). I think I love breakfast buffets in hotels while traveling because I get to get up and down so much!
So…needless to say, I want to SIT more…and be able to take myself out to a nice meal every month and not “have to wait” for company to do so.
What a perfect occasion, traveling by myself, to take myself out to dinner…sans distraction. With no research prior to arriving, an advertisement for The Farm, a local organic restaurant operated by a family made with only local ingredients, won my heart. Task #86 thus commenced. I find it hard toast down and buy a meal when it is ONLY me, and thus, this task challenged that very line “only me.” Saying those words to the hostess, I felt a little anxious and out of place.
As I sat there, ordering TWO items, I promised that I would NOT start reading. The niece of the owner told me what the owner and chef’s favorite item was (the beet-cake) and what her’s was (the lamb), and that is exactly what I ordered.
First up, though…she allowed me to sample their tomato soup (see above) and brought me homemade scones to scrape up the broth with. Seriously? Having some one else, who knows the person that grows those suckers, prepare these items with care and tenderness…can you taste intentionality? I thought I could…particularly when I was focused 100% on tasting them.
Okay…the Beet Yourself Up Dish….maybe the best vegetarian “burger” I’ve ever tasted.
The flavor of beet puree, with spots of onion, corn, carrots dusted with bread crumbs and baked to a “falfel-like” toasty-ness…had me at “yourself up”. The accompanying yogurt sauce was scooped with my fingers. In and of itself…distracting. No thoughts came when I munched away slowly at this. This was mindful eating with its wings unfurling themselves, confirming over and over “I LOVE THIS LIST THING!”
Following the Beet Yourself UP…the leg of lamb arrived.
Already ensconced in heaven, the meat and earthyness just couldn’t out do the veggies, although the ear-wood mushrooms popped out at me
I LOVED this task. I LOVED sharing and remembering this task…and it is something, I hope, I continue to challenge myself on…
Maybe there will be more “TABLE FOR ONE” s in my future…
and maybe I can re-create that Beet dish…I can’t find a similar recipe ANYWHERE. But then again, maybe it isn’t suppose to be re-created. Maybe it was to be savored and then remembered.
But I’d still welcome a recipe re-do for the beet dish any time