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Friday, November 11, 2005

A Couple of VIces

Back in my younger days, I put a lot of stake in food. This caused me problems, particularly during my five pregnancies (my first baby “didn’t take”, but even by 10-weeks, the damage was done). I am still “enjoying” the consequences of food-love these many years later. However, food, as a general concept isn’t as “important” to me as it once was. For the most part, I eat so I can keep folding laundry. Meanwhile, I console myself with the idea that I’m done EVER being pregnant (a sad thing, as well as a good thing). I need never experience the kind of food cravings I once did (except for four days per month – though there’s really no comparison to NURSING).

Nevertheless, there is one particular food item that still causes me “issues.” Am I alone in having that one thing, that one little item, that in times of stress or fatigue or celebration, wants to sit at the family table, offering solace or congratulations?

I’m sure I’m not, though most might not admit it.

So, here I am, baring my soul, confessing my (possibly unhealthy) obsession with…

Cheese fondue.

I have an inherent weakness for the bread/cheese combination, whether it be quesadillas, nachos, mac ‘n cheese, etc. But, darn it, melt a little swiss with kirsh, wine and garlic and I’m an insane woman. Since we moved to Alaska (though this isn’t a strickly “Alaska” thing) I have used packaged fondue, Appellenzer (I THINK) is the brand I go ga-ga over. It is $8 for one packet of pre-made fondue. You need only reheat it to indulge.

The other day, in an act of selfless love, Bruce brought me Appellenzer fondue, a loaf of como (chewy, dense, a little sour) bread and a bottle of wine from the grocery store. It was about 7:00pm. That particular night we had eaten McDonalds for dinner, so upon receiving my love-gift I declined it.

“Bruce, “ I protested, appalled, “I ate a Big Mac and fries and a Coke for dinner. I COULDN’T POSSIBLY eat cheese fondue!”

I held fast, imbibing only in the wine. At 9:30pm (or was it 10pm?) I had a change of heart.

“Honey, you what sounds REALLY good?…. Cheese fondue!”

But Bruce insisted that it was too late at night for fondue. He said I would never fall asleep. So I resisted, and indeed, that night, I slept very well.

The next afternoon was parent/teacher conferences (PTCs) (about which I have written in general detail in “PTCs”.) Between picking up Ellie from preschool and having to get Jack and Sabrina from THEIR school (it was half-day due to PTCs) I had only 45 minutes to feed both the younger kids and me. A PERFECT TIME FOR CHEESE FONDUE!

My blood-sugar was plummeting, so I can tell you, cheese and bread were sounding MIGHTY GOOD.

I fed “the babies” and then proceeded to my meal. It was absolutely disgusting. I sopped the bread, drenched it, stuffed it with the fondue. The cheese was hot and melty and gooey and strung between fingers and pan and bread and face. I sucked, slurped and inhaled the fondue/bread combo. Oh my gosh. It was SO GOOD. And I was SO gross.

I went to my PTCs feeling on top of the world and fueled for ANYTHING. (See essay entitled “PTCs” to consider the irony of this statement.)

What is it about that certain food item that makes us just a bit crazy? Why why why? I am immensely thankful that not every single thing I eat affects me this way. At one time, it did, and that was taking me down a path I hope gets grown over with bracken and tree-roots for all eternity.


I know a lot of people who simply shrug at food and say “Whatever, “ about it. They don’t care; it isn’t important to them; it’s just fuel enabling them to do what’s REALLY important.

For the most part, that is now the case with me. But it seems that every few weeks, or maybe every few months, fondue calls to me. I feel a similar calling with books.. I experience it when I go on a shopping binge in a thrift store. There is this weird release of adrenaline (?) or some other chemical that makes me feel relaxed, calm, able to cope for another day or two. It’s a little frightening to feel like something so compulsive can be so grounding. Even if normal, this can’t be good.

Well, I’m tired of talking about this. I don’t crave fondue right now. Only sleep. Ut is 11:15pm and I’m quite tired and will end this with just a few more comments.

There is no snow in the forecast. (Bastards.)

Ellie has been dry at night more times than not, lately.

I am less than 100-pages from being done with “Possession.” (What shall I read next?)

I actually sold something at the gallery tonight to the one person that came in.

Last night Bruce and I watched the Johnny Depp version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I LOVED IT!!!! WHY are people so creeped out by it??!! It’s genius! It’s the ultimate pro-family movie! Johnny Depp is an acting genius, and the reason his smile was so weird was because HIS DAD WAS A DENTIST!!!! Duh, people. It’s a small, little, tiny creative device called…. IRONY! (Note how many time HE used the word “weird” in the movie!… the pot was calling the kettle!)

Anyway, I am a huge Tim Burton fan. “Edward Scissorhands”, “Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”…. all these and more are such great, original, clever and entertaining movies. No single man could make so many popular movies over so many years if he wasn’t a TOTAL GENUIS.

Get over your fear of death and decay and have a sense of humor.

I can hardly wait to see “The Corpse Bride.”


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOPS! Didn't I introduce you to my close personal friend, Herr Appenzeller? And perhaps I shouldn't tell you this, but it sells for less on Amazon. Also, through much experimentation, I found that the Safeway "Classic" fondue is a very good substitute. Others don't come close enough, getting wierdly watery. Not good. By the way, congrats on nearly finishing "Possession." It's one of the very few books I've started but never finished. Worth going back to? I just bought the new book on Venice by the writer of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Can't wait to start it....over a nice steaming fondue pot!!!!!


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