Yesterday I bought a cooking magazine to kill some time. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I used to love to experiment and find new recipes, but now I simply prefer to read about food while dining on cereal. I have about 300 cookbooks at home and I hardly ever make anything. My theory is that foodie mags and cookbooks are food pornography for some of us. There are beautiful, glossy photographs of something perfect that you can never have. Porn, right? There are soft-focus filters and set decorators and stylists... Then there's airbrushing and cropping. When I cook something from a cookbook or magazine, I always hope it will look just like the picture. The chance of that happening is about the same as the chance of me taking off my clothes and seeing a centerfold in the mirror. pphhtbtt. I think that anyone who has ever watched any of Nigella's shows knows exactly what I mean. She tosses a knob of butter into a pan and you hear the bass guitar going bow chicka bow bowng. But I just love reading recipes. I don't know why. I did not enjoy reading this British food magazine as much as I like reading American food porn, though, because there were so many ingredients that are strange to me (or just disgusting). Turnips? Only for carving on Halloween. Parsnips? How would I recognize one? Brussels sprouts? Not if my life depended on it -- my mother tortured us with those nasty, bitter things when I was a child (another favorite weapon of hers was canned asparagus, along with constant criticism and belittling). What's a poussin? It's a little birdy of some sort, but they recommend cooking and serving it rare, so I don't want it. Rare bird? Have you ever had undercooked chicken? yuk. There were pages and pages of beautiful Christmas puddings -- which aren't beautiful after you realize that a) it's not pudding and b) this food is the progenitor of fruitcake.
Besides the temptations of food photography, the nature of friendship has also been on my mind lately. It's probably because of the holiday season. When you don't really have a family like the Norman Rockwell kind, you really depend on your friends more to fill the hole left by the absence of normal parents and siblings. Which of course leads one to reminisce about friendships that just faded away... How does that happen? There's no catastrophic girl-n-girl-break-up, it's just that someone who used to be a big part of your life gradually disappears, and by the time you notice it, they're gone. This happened to me and my friend Cookie with our other friend Stephen. He was there in his happy gayness, la la la, let's go here, let's go there. Once Stephen and I decided to go to all of the interesting-looking dive bars that we drive past every day and have a drink in each. We ended up drunk as could be, laughing with a bunch of cowboys who didn't realize that he was gay. We went to some places that were just plain scary, too. Where is Stephan now? How the hell should I know. He just poof disappeared.
So, anyway, the point I'm making is that Cookie and I should start working on our screenplay again because she's now in the right mindset to tackle the topic. OK, that wasn't the point I started out making, but it's a fine place to end up.2 comments so far