The Tables Turn on Food is Love
So usually I'm the one spreading the love via food... but this weekend, crippled with a muscle spasm in my neck that radiated down my shoulder and back, I was the beneficiary of the Food is Love philosophy in a big way!
First of all, I'll tell you that I have NO idea what gymnastic feat I pulled in my sleep on Friday night, but let's say that I awoke to nothing but pain. And not that stiff neck, "I slept funny" pain... but pain as in: "There is an alien living in my upper spine and he's fighting his way out to breath Earth's air."
I tried comforting myself with some figs, gorgonzola and proscuitto drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar... and while it was yummy and wonderful and delicious... in truth it didn't make me feel any better.
Steve took me to a great dinner at Three A's in Hoboken on Saturday night, and I could hardly sit upright. So that, too, was disappointing.
Sunday came, and with it -- a girlfriend bearing gifts in a grocery bag. Not known as a cook so much herself, she stepped into the kitchen and said, "I will take your direction"... and I proceeded to order the vegetables chopped (big chunks, please), the thyme slipped under the chicken skin, the garlic head sliced and the roasting pan prepared.
With an ice pack on my neck, I sat in the arm chair that faces my kitchen and played both patient and culinary teacher. "Like this?" she asked, as she placed the chicken atop the vegetables... "Yes, just like that... now up in the right hand cabinet, get some olive oil."
"Which olive oil?" My secret exposed... I have several bottles for different recipes, occasions, etc.; and no one understands that but another foodie.
She placed that roaster in the oven, using oven mitts although the pan was not yet hot... very cute... and came to replace my ice pack with a heating pad. "Twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off!"
We sat and talked and gossiped and she felt bad for me in a way that my husband -- who had been feeling bad for me for over 24 hours already -- could no longer stand to do. And besides, the Giants pre-game was on. And the smell of roasted garlic filled the air, and I breathed in and felt -- for the first time in two days -- better. Not perfect, not well... but better.
And the eating of it... well, the eating of it alongside my generous and thoughtful and sympathetic friend... made me feel better still.