The best meal ever, well that’s a difficult one; there’s been so many. The best meals in my opinion are the ones visibly enjoyed. You can see it on the faces; the world has slipped away and existence is in the mouth, introducing itself as pleasure. Food, as many people know, can be equal to sex, and trust me when I say a good eating experience can lead to cuddling. If you want to achieve a “best meal” you should start with foreplay.
I learned about culinary foreplay years ago. When I designed kitchens, I would throw a loaf of bread in the oven of our working kitchen display. Retail seduction softens the edges of the most discerning customers. The aroma of fresh oatmeal bread accompanied by the real thing and a cup of tea is definitely a closer.
I learned to bake bread years earlier as a hobby. My Sundays were spent baking bread with two local miscreants who introduced themselves while attempting to sell me tools stolen from a neighbor’s garage. They each got three loaves of bread to take home at the end of the day and were free to sell them for cash. The point is food can change lives, but you have to believe!
Believing is part of the personal arousal that contributes to foreplay. The “best meals” have always been cooked by me (except one) and included trips to several locations to select the ingredients. The freshest, healthiest and best ingredients play into the conjuring and believing. It’s the essence of a true romance novel leading to an orgasm of a different kind. Get aroused.
A note on food: Whether rational or not, please consider eating fresh food grown from the ground you walk on. You will be consuming the elements that are common to your environment along with bacteria that is common to your environment. Your resistance to your environment will improve. Maybe I’m quirky but I’m living with it.
Pasta is a personal favorite; but very specific. Fresh angel hair accompanied by savory meatballs seasoned with spice and pre-baked. Handmade tomato sauce from blanched, boiled tomatoes strained to a smooth sauce with additional savory spice, simmered slowly, gently, lovingly and completely. There must be garlic and it must be mellow and distinct. Best to shave the garlic into a couple of table spoons of olive oil, let stand for a couple of hours, and heat it lightly before draining your angel hair. I toss the angel hair in the warm garlic oil before serving.
For me the orgasm is achieved by a very specific process of eating this dish. It must include a piece of meatball with a swirl of pasta, include a bite of fresh sharp cheese and an additional bite of warm buttered bread pulled from a loaf, chased with a sip of red wine. It must be in that order. This to me is like rough sex in that there’s so much going on that you’re just left to submit to the flavor. The mellow aftertaste of garlic is a subtle reminder of where you have been and the pleasure that it was. I am a pasta slut and I will be organizing a pasta walk.
Give me a moment here to adjust my trousers. Harrrummph!
I first cooked this meal when I was nineteen, for a date I had invited to dinner. When I answered the door she handed me a jug of baby duck and said she could smell the food from the elevator. I told her to prepare for a meal equal to sex to which she replied, that’s why she brought the baby duck. Well let’s pour a glass and see who flies south first. She returned the favor by offering to cook me a meal the following week. Dry pork chops, potatoes, and canned corn. I could have rubbed this meal off at home and had a better wine to go with it. Alas, a true gentleman never speaks of culinary conquests or battles lost.
Crepes are another killer and I should remind you “food doesn’t make people fat, people make people fat.” I deliver mine from a low carbon steel pan imported from France, cooked paper thin: almost translucent. You can roll anything into a crepe: meat, vegetables or fruit. My personal favorite is fresh strawberries folded into fresh whipped cream, rolled and flowing out each end, topped with strawberry yogurt and a sprinkle of anything you like.
We had a couple over for after-dinner crepes one evening and while I returned from the kitchen to get more, I came back to see the husband licking his plate. His wife was embarrassed and apologized for his manners. I smiled slyly and responded “Think nothing of it, maybe when we’re done he can lick your plate. I’ll give you some to take home.” Well, didn’t she turn as red as a berry. All that was left to do was squeeze and enjoy.
My son has taken up the art of culinary seduction. I’m very proud of him. For his girlfriend’s birthday he traveled across the city at five in the morning to cook her German apple pancake in bed. We cooked it twice at home to make sure he had it perfected. Apparently, after the pancake she proposed to him, but he told her he wasn’t that kind of a cook. He’s more than just German apple pancake. He is young and needs to sample other ingredients, be self-defining and make those dishes his own.
I have a few things I like to cook for kids. One, I call Klingon pie. Basically, it’s meat loaf, but I shape it the same as Worf’s forehead on Star Trek. Of course the dish my kids really love is mashed potatoes with a béarnaise meat sauce of savory, spiced ground sirloin. They’d wash walls for that one.
The best meals for me have been those accompanied by smiles of satisfaction highlighted by seductive aromas, hearty food and a hearty appetite. And if you want your kids to eat more vegetables, give it to them raw with a nice savory yogurt dip.
Image of fresh sweet pancake with cherry courtesy of Shutterstock