From Grandma’s chicken and dumplings to a dish best served cold, Greg White recalls the meals most strongly associated with the people he has loved most.
As a kid, I thought I would die at our family dinner table, from laughing at things my brother Clay would say. I’d have to cover my ears or leave the table. I perfected the spit take at an early age.
Eat Your Feelings: Grab a hot dog from a cart as you enter Central Park and stuff it in your mouth as you hurry across the park to work. The next day, buy a hot dog from the same cart, but with your lover, and nibble it in front of the Small Boat Pond. Nothing adds more flavor to a dish than being in love.
Meal I Can’t Have Often Enough: Ice cream after sex.
Meal I Miss Most: My grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings, eaten with her, in her kitchen—the first room where I watched food become magic.
What Kills My Dinner Buzz: Loud music, bad service, only white napkins if I’m in black slacks, and the inability of a line cook to properly interpret and complete the flavor profile of the passionate chef’s original creations. Oh, and crying.
Fantasy Dinner Party Guests: Served in the dining room of my hillside villa in St. Jean Cap Ferrat. The walls are cranked open by my pet monkeys every other hour, exposing the guests to the most magnificent and breezy view. Every lover who ever broke up with me is seated around the table. In front of each of them is a dish, covered by a sterling silver dome. On a silent cue, the domes are lifted, clanged together and removed, revealing their dinner—crow. I am not there. I’ve moved on.
My Last Meal: First course is beluga caviar, eaten off a firm, young belly. Next is vichyssoise, hand-fed me by a frozen-in-the-50s William Holden. My main course is filet mignon, poached lobster, and seared foie gras. Then a nibble of every cheese in the world. For dessert, just one last, long look into my lover’s eyes.
After this meal, I can die, as happy as those who die during or immediately post orgasm.
Best.Meal.Ever: I hope I have not had it—yet.
Image of waiter with tray courtesy of Shutterstock