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Friday, October 12, 2012

Reservation of senses

It's no secret I love food.

Or maybe, because I'm horrifyingly picky, I am really a food-voyeur.  I love reading, seeing, watching, talking and even listening to ... about food.

My favourite food-books of all time are those written by Anthony Bourdain.  Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour, The Nasty Bits and Medium Raw.  I have easily read each article/chapter at least 5 times.  I've scrutinised and searched for references or relevance to random items over and over again.  And I'd gladly do it many, many times more.

The tomes describing food, food-related places and food-related people ....  I love.

Obviously, I also enjoy seeing beautiful food and produce.  One thing I miss from my short time in Sydney are the farmer markets and fresh grocers.  The array of fruits and vegetables seduce me like nothing can.  Red berries, pink peaches, yellow corn ... except blue - there is officially no blue food.  There, a nugget of trivia.  Live food- at my local hawker store, markets, restaurants.  Or vicariously - through cookbooks, recipes in magazines etc.  I'd even bought random photobooks of food.

Ahhh, where do I begin.  I am very discerning in my watching material, especially since the arrival of Aedan. I have limited, very limited TV-time.  As a result, I have narrowed down my choices to 2 food-shows.  Top Chef and No Reservations.

I fell in love with Top Chef accidentally.  I downloaded the wrong file one day and voila!  a new addiction was born.  I have watched every episode of every season (even the seasonal ones or one-offs) and still haven't gotten tired of it yet.  I am head-over-heels with Tom Colichio, Padma and Gail.  I enjoy the parade of notable established chefs making their interesting comments.  I can't help but salivate at the creations of the chef-testants (even when I probably won't be eating frog legs or snake any time soon).  One day I'll write a post about this.

No Reservations is a no-brainer for me.  Travelling is something I like doing (from my couch) and pairing it with food content just draws me in hook, line and sinker.  You pick up some really great nuggets of information - for example, that "bottled" water in India are sometimes "bottled" at the sink in the restaurant.  LOL - I'm sure it's overgeneralised sometimes, but for someone who thrives on trivia - it's great!

Talking and Listening

Just as eating requires all five senses, you can't really discount talking about and listening as part of food appreciation.  Luckily for me, my other half loves doing post-mortems with me.  We can talk about food, produce and ingredients till the cows come home.  Sometimes, I am also lucky enough to talk shop with a chef friend whose restaurant (Food Republique,JB) we frequent.  Over steaming dishes of taste testing, we wax lyrical about certain cuts of meat or denounce certain garnishes (LOL).  'Tis fun IMHO.

I have to include this:)Tasting

Mmmm, if only we could truly treat our bodies like an amusement park instead of a temple.  Would I not scarf down that bowl of pesto pasta in a heartbeat?  Would I not mount butter on every dish I make?  Would I not have deep-fried snacks whole day and night?  Would I not stuff myself silly with 9-course meals (that's a Chinese thing for you) whenever I can?

So that's wishful thinking.  What's a girl to do when size 14 is too big and clothes don't look pretty on me?  Well, I buy handbags and shoes.  You eat less.  For me, I only indulge on weekends.  I pretty much eat light on other days (except holidays or festivals).  I try to eat healthy most times.  I don't eat everything and I'm lucky to be naturally in love with tofu and most veggies.  The downside is I love all things carbs and dairy and deep I don't exercise beyond pointing my finger threateningly at students or lugging Aedan around like a lil primate.

So yea, I try to spend my calories wisely.  A piece of "kuih" that I don't even like?  No thanks.  Chocolates when I don't have a sweet tooth?  That's alright, thanks again.  I'll store these negative calories and spend like a drunken sailor when I go to my favourite restaurants.  That keeps me happy. :D

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