Weighty Matters

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Cooking, Eating, False Impressions

on December 15, 2012

I really enjoy cooking.  My mother was a terrific cook.  Did you see the movie Julie and Julia?  In the movie you get a glimpse of the cooking school started by Julia Child and her cookbook partners.  The year we lived in France when I was a kid, Mom took classes at that school for six weeks or so.  She was a great cook before and those courses really elevated her ability and expanded the kinds of dishes she’d make.

My Sicilian grandmother wasn’t flashy but she could put together good, tasty, solid meals.  I smile when I go to the supermarket and see the expensive “fresh” pastas in the refrigerator cases.  Every Sunday at Grandma’s house, we’d walk into the kitchen and see her homemade spaghetti drying on clean dishtowels.  She didn’t have a pasta maker either.  Gram mixed up her dough, rolled it out thin and sliced it with sharp knife.

Mom’s mom, my Nana, wasn’t flashy either, but the woman knew how to do a roast.  Dinner at her house was usually either roast beef or roast leg of lamb.  In the summer time she sometimes made a clam pie.

We had a lot of great, basic, popular family meals and I learned techniques and basics growing up.  I really enjoy putting together a good meal, particularly when I cook for friends.  I haven’t done it as much in the last year with the weight loss surgery and new food plan and all.  I’ve tried some new soups and still have to make a good tomato sauce every now and then.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I watch a lot of Food Network shows.  My theory is that since I only eat a little, I want to pack as much flavor as possible into the foods that I eat.

Several of my friends are real foodies, too.  We love to talk about food and things we’ve prepared.  We often bring in samples to work to share with each other.  I drew the name of one of these friends in the work Secret Santa and found a deal on the new cookbook by one of her personal favorites – Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa.  When she opened her present, we enjoyed going through the pages at some of the recipes.

One was for meatloaf from a restaurant on Long Island.  My friend’s from that area and she was delighted because she’s actually had that meatloaf at that restaurant.

I love a good meatloaf and have been known to make the one that I learned from my mother.  The one in this book was a little different but it sure looked tasty, plus they recommended a garlic sauce to go with it.  Garlic sauce?  Oh yum!

So, that’s what I made for dinner tonight.  I knew from the recipe that I needed to cut down the amounts, because it called for three pounds of ground meat.  Three pounds!  I made it with only two pounds and the resulting loaf was still massive.  I decided to cook and mash a rutabaga instead of making mashed potatoes.  (Lower carbs, lower calories).  I made the garlic sauce. The sauce didn’t thicken the way that it should have, but it gets high points for flavor.

Everything was delicious.  It wasn’t loaded with fat or carbs.  I enjoyed every single bite.

So how come I still feel like I was “bad”?  I don’t get it.  I cooked good food and didn’t overeat, but somehow feel like I didn’t follow my plan.

Somewhere in my brain there still lingers the old, diseased thinking that you can’t be on a diet and enjoy your food.  This is such complete, total bull crap that I’m rejecting it even while I think it.  It’s important for me to remember that good food is not the enemy.   Eating too much, eating without thinking, or eating compulsively are the culprits.  Good food, tastily prepared, consumed in moderation, is what healthy, “normal” eating is all about.

I’m probably going to mentally and emotionally struggle with this for a while longer.  Old habits, including old thinking habits, do not change overnight.  At least, for tonight, I’ve identified it as an issue on which to work.  I can’t fix what I don’t recognize and acknowledge.

I also have to decide what to do with all of the leftovers.  I think I’ll text my friend and let her know that, if she didn’t also make the recipe over the weekend, I can gift her with enough to feed her and her husband.  I can keep enough for another dinner for myself.  I bet that what remains will freeze.  There.  Doesn’t that all sound like good, healthy, rational thinking?

There’s progress to be made.

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2 responses to “Cooking, Eating, False Impressions

  1. BarbN says:

    I love this, great post.

  2. Skye says:

    What an interesting and surprising thought to have! It’s good that you have the tools to understand it and work with it and turn it around.

    Yes, that does all sound like good, healthy, rational thinking. There is always progress to be made. You are obviously making it.

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