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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Perfect Meal?

Recently I took a poll on facebook to determine what people thought of as their perfect meal. My friends came up with great answers, listed below in their own words:

- Jennifer: brie, baguette, red wine. follow with a little chocolate.

- Ty: Salmon Wellington, gnocchi, and asparagus or green beans steam with lemon butter and black pepper and cheese cake ....yum (strawberry, lemon, blackberry, blueberry, chocolate - it doesn't matter which flavor), to finish

- Jessica: almost anything i dont have to make myself or clean up after ;)

- Dave: Chili & ribs

- Doug: Warm up with oysters and a Tanq 10 martini. main is a New York strip, asparagus and a really great cab. Key lime pie and coffee for dessert followed by a really great scotch

- Claire: It would be hard to settle on one... depends on the mood, but it would definitely involve roasted meat, caremelized and crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. Potatoes and some just barely cooked seasonal vegetables, plus probably beet salad with goat cheese. Followed by dark chocolate in some form, for sure.

- Aaron: well ok, you asked for it. bacon wrapped scallops and a nice white wine for an appy, and staying with the nautical theme...lets make chicken neptune with a mediterranean rice pilaf and some steamed seasonal veggies. Dessert of course would have to be chocolate ganache with raspberry reduction.

- JM: It should start with rockefeller oysters and end with a chocolate soufflet!
Great answers, all. What got me started on this theme was Carri the Witch Doctor. Homegirl loves her some supplements. She has tinctures and potions and vitamins and bottles and bottles of pills that she keeps spread all over her desk in a clandestine order only she understands. Usually I listen to her rantings about Omega 3 in a double way; knowing its something she's into but distracted by my own bullshit. Until I noticed this:

Sorry. SORRY. The perfect meal DOES NOT come in powdered form, to be reconstituted in water and used in place of whole, prepared, flavourful foods. SORRY. This idea offends me. Fine, I understand the need for these products and that they must have marketing and names, etc. But the perfect meal? NO. This brings up the notion that we can take all the best things in food, extract them, and put them to our use as we see fit, and I disagree. It doesn't work that way. Food exists as it is for a reason. It is meant to be enjoyed as a full experience, not simply for one aspect of it's (many) benefits. I might not know what my personal perfect meal is, but I know it's not this. Never this. Pfft.*Note: Carri does NOT think this is the perfect meal. This rant is about the marketers, not Carri. Carri is lovely.

I gave this a lot of thought. And after poring over cookbooks, looking at restaurant menus, and remembering meals of my past, I decided that my perfect meal isn't actually a meal, it's the ability to choose what I want to eat each and every day, and have it vary to the extreme, or not at all. To live in a place where the only certainty is that when it comes to food, I can get absolutely anything, either prepared for me or in ingredient form. I'm making myself barf from the cheesiness of that statement, but perhaps its cheesy because it's true. I don't know. I just know that for all it's faults, Vancouver is a great city to cook and eat in. It's my idea of a city on a hill for this reason.

P.S I was going through my cookbooks meditating on this subject when this happened:

Stella is an only child, like me. And, like me, she doesn't like it when her primary source of affection is distracted by something else, so she has a habit of not mincing words and injecting herself into the scene like a furry wrecking ball. Books are chewed, meals eaten, sweaters snagged, boyfriends chased away. She knows what side her bread is buttered on, and I pity the fool who gets in her way.


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