Into sugarland … and back again … somewhat unscathed
February 2, 2010 § 13 Comments
at Buena Vista Cuban restaurant, Miami
HM: Yes, sure.
Me: OK, wanna share?
I don’t really like want to share food. I’m not one of those who, when at a restaurant, is all excited about trying what’s on other people’s plates and offering up mine. I order what I like. And then build a sort of wall around it. But for HM, love of my life…(and for my waistline!) I’m trying to “kick” sugar. Not easy. Even writing about it doesn’t help. It makes it worse. I am lusting for some of the chocolate-covered pretzels in the kitchen right now as I type.
The waitress brings us one flan, as we requested. I am grateful for the way it’s plated. I have something to look at, to exclaim over, to praise, before digging in – gently, gently!
HM: Go ahead, you go first.
Me: You sure? (He nods.) Thanks.
Proceed slowly. Suddenly I stop the fork action and get out my camera to take a picture. HM raises an eyebrow.
OK, now, for a taste.I take a small forkful. In truth, I could have pulled the plate closer, built my “traditional” don’t-touch-it wall and been done, fork rattling on empty plate in less than three or four completely non-conversational minutes. But I take only enough of a bit of the flan to engage only two prongs of the four-pronged fork. Just a whisper of the flan. Not even enough to fall off the fork!
HM: Oh, that’s your highest praise, that smiling “mmmm.”Have it all. Enjoy it!
Me: (waving my fork) No! No! Don’t leave it to me. Please! Come on, taste!
HM: Are you sure? I can order something else, maybe just a coffee.
Me: waving a fully loaded fork in front of him, hypnotizing him, smiling: Taste it. Come on, love, it’s bliss on a fork.
(Did you ever notice that when you could have only a tiny little bit, how rich and delightful that tiny bit is? omg.)
He leans in to take the offered “dolce.”
HM: Oh, yeah. Surprisingly good. He leans back in his chair.
We are tango-ing with our appetites. We both could polish off this flashy flan easily if the other turned his/her head away for even a half second. Yup, we know that. But we’re enjoying this little dance, tasting it bit by bit like some kind of professional tasters or judges in a contest. I am impressed by our reserve. It’s a new kind of enjoyment for us both.
Me: Whaddya’ think? A 10?
HM: Yeah, I’d give it a 10.
Me: Good thing we can’t get to this bistro on a regular basis.
HM: You’ve never made flan, have you? You could try it. Bet you could do a really fine flan!
(Ah, I recognize that train of thought…he’s throwing down the culinary gauntlet. Will I rise to the occasion and promise to make a flan as soon as we get home?
Me: I shrug. We’ll see.
HM: Playing it cool, eh? This from the woman who can eat ice cream so quickly that the spoon melts…let’s see what you make first when we get home – dinner or a flan dessert. Two weeks later…
I haven’t made any flan yet. Why? Because I’ll have to lick the bowl, if there is one during the making of it, and I’ll have to taste the final flan when it’s done, the “cook’s taste,” you know. And then have it again when I offer it to the family for dessert, erring, calorically and in terms of “sweet stuff” all over the place.
Ah, the trials of a person searching to sack her sugar love.