On Eating and Loving Food

The last supper

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 8:15am

Okay, this is it. My last column in the Boothbay Register. Kind of a good thing, kind of a sad thing.

I titled it The Last Supper, not for any deep, dark reasons – merely because my first column, back on February 23, 2016, was titled, “What’s for supper?” with this quote as a subhead: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw.

Ain’t that the truth.

It began like this: “I love food. I have an obsession with food and anything food-related. From the time I wake up and start thinking about what I’ll have for breakfast to the time I finish my last morsel of whatever I dreamed up for dinner, there’s probably not a full hour that goes by without at least a thought of food.”

Man, it seems like I just wrote that. I remember saying to a friend at the time, “How am I supposed to come up with an idea for a food column (an unprofessional, fun, funny food column) every week for god knows how long?”

And yet I managed, for 126 or so weeks, to come up with something new, and fun – for me at least.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” was painted in 1495. It would eventually become one of the most famous works of art in the world. It depicts the evening before Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples, when he gathered them together for a meal to tell them he knew what was coming. Supposedly during the meal Christ gave the disciples explicit instructions on how to eat and drink in the future, in remembrance of him. He also told them to wash their feet.

I would never have the audacity to tell anyone how to eat or drink, much less to wash their feet, but then I’m not Jesus Christ. And come to think of it, I did once ask my first ex-husband to wash his feet when he put them on my white couch a couple years ago. They were really dirty. He lives on boats and an island in the Caribbean and wears old flip flops most of the time, (not that that’s an excuse).

On March 26, 2016 my column titled “Another Friday night in Edgecomb” was published: It was the first time of many that I mentioned my penchant for manhattans. I said, of Friday nights: “It's a good night to relax, and have a manhattan ...”

Since then manhattans have been a common theme of mine, and so far I haven’t tired of them.

So along with manhattans, I’ve consumed a lot of good (fattening) food and drink over the last couple years, thanks in large part to this column. I’ve made, eaten, and given recipes for warm flaky biscuits, every manner of fried seafood and veggies, pizza, burgers, steak au poivre, pies, cakes, cookies, pork pie (torture pie), spatchcocked turkey, petit fours and French macarons, Yorkshire pudding and popovers, tacos, pecan-coated chicken (OMG!), chocolate bread pudding (my fave dessert!), pan-fried lemon-y scallops, curried chicken, crepes … you name it.

And then I complain about being fat. Ugh.

Aside from all the fun I’ve had writing this column, and the calories I’ve drunk and eaten, I have experienced some life-altering changes over the past two years, some good, some not good. The most notable, not just of the last two years, but my whole lifetime, was in mid-April when my mother died. She was a shining star, and my favorite person in the world. Many of the recipes I’ve shared in this column have come from one of her old recipe boxes.

My mother taught me to cook, and my father taught me to make manhattans.

I don’t think the reality of losing mum has sunk in yet, but I know it will when my sister Wendy, who’s here from Ft. Myers for two weeks, and my two brothers, and I, go to the cottage this weekend.

It is Mum’s cottage, through and through. We have rarely, if ever, been there without her. There have been many firsts without her over the last month and a half, but this will be the hardest first.

I know when we walk through that door to the 100-year-old cottage and walk into the kitchen where so many meals were cooked, so many manhattans were made, so many stories and laughs were shared with family and friends, the place where she has spent every summer for the last 50-plus years, our mother will be missed beyond measure.

Whenever we left the cottage in the evening hours, and we’d say “Bye mum!” she’d say, “Don’t say good-bye. Say goodnight.”

So, goodnight.