Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gourmet vs. Gourmand


The young doctor who lives next door brought me this rose
from his garden; it opened so much lovelier than
a lot of florist roses. Note my bud vase--a LaCroix can.
Happy Ides of March, everyone. Unlike Caesar, we do not (probably) need to fear the Ides, but some of us old folks remember when this was the day taxes were due.

Are you a gourmet or a gourmand? I worked with an editor once who refused to apply the word “gourmand” to a person. I think it conjured in her mind a picture of fat old men with huge bellies who sat around swilling ale after a huge dinner—someone from Dickens or perhaps Samuel Johnson himself.

Truth be told, a gourmand is defined as one who enjoys eating—and sometimes eats too much. I have been a gourmand lately. Last night at the Old Neighborhood Grill I had a breaded pork cutlet, mashed potatoes, and green beans—all preceded by a generous helping of artichoke/jalapeno dip. Today for lunch a friend served me a wonderful (and beautiful) salad plate topped by a large piece of salmon—and preceded by far too much pimiento cheese. I ate every bite of my lunch. Tonight, I could hardly face supper and brought home potatoes Dauphinoise and marinated asparagus for lunch tomorrow. Also a large Hello Dolly bar which I have not touched and won’t tonight.

I am hungry at lot lately, particularly just before meals. I’ve tried eating breakfast later to get past the pre-lunch hunger, but it doesn’t seem to work. In the late afternoon, I drink a cup of tea sweetened with honey—better than starting on the wine too early. But none of it really helps. I watch the clock, waiting for it to be a decent hour to eat. I’m not sure if this hunger is an effort to make up the weight I lost in recent months (I don’t really want to weigh that much again) or it’s a symptom of boredom with my writing. If the latter, I’m in trouble.

To switch subjects, growing up on Lake Michigan I loved looking at the water. But I was never much for being in it or on it. I think early training in the dangers of getting in over your head or rip tides had a lifelong influence on me. Today, at my friends’ house for lunch, I was struck by how central to their lives a body of water is. They are both waterbugs, as she said (she is a native of Florida) and they live on Lake Worth, with a view of the water that would mesmerize me all day. But their life in part revolves around boats—sailboats and others. Me? I found it delightful to eat that great lunch while staring at the water and seeing baby geese swimming by the dock.

But I came home gratefully to my cottage. Nice to be so happy with where you live. Home, they say, is where your heart is...or maybe where your dog is.

I am surrounded by good and caring neighbors
Daffodils from one; fresh from Florida oranges from another
I have no idea what these letters below are but I can't make them go away. Sorry.
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2 comments:

LD Masterson said...

"...a gourmand is defined as one who enjoys eating—and sometimes eats too much." Wow. I have my very own word.

I also have trouble not snacking during the day, especially when I'm writing. Maybe it's all that exercise going on in my head. Or...as you said...boredom.

Judy Alter said...

L.D., there's always that word I avoided-glutton.