Everyone has rocks to hold onto, things they know to be true; their little a priori touchstones that get them through the days. I have a whole slew I’m sure, but the ones I go to most often centre around things that I “know” I can do. I can, without fail, whip up The Best Ever Banana Bread Ever (assuming I have 3 hours to let it bake). I can be showered, dressed and ready to go inside of 12 minutes if truly necessary. I can knit, sew or bake anything I want to (except croissants), given enough time and starting material. I can wrap my hands around the bottoms of my feet in a stretch.
You get the idea.
Occasionally when I think about it, I wonder if I’m unusual in this way. Do other people anchor themselves in their minor daily waverings with thoughts about themselves? Or do they do it with other types of reassurance? That someone loves them, that they’ll always have their home/car/dog, that their job will still be there tomorrow, that they can always go back to the store and buy [whatever] next week. I assume everyone hangs onto something they can control, but I’d be interested to know if that’s true or not.
On a less noodley note (or is it?), I realized while I was travelling a couple weeks ago that I make my restaurant choices based on the carb that is served with the “main”, and thus am nearly always disappointed. For example, while I was in the hotel, I chose a scallop dish partly because I love scallops, but mostly because it promised to be served on a bed of creamy risotto with veg. Having not had good risotto in a really long time, that was completely irrestible, and of course, it turned out to be horribly thick, stodgy goo with three carrots and two asparagus. (The scallop themselves were lovely.)
I do it all the time. Pasta decisions made because I felt like stuffed pouches, when clearly the special penne would have been tastier. A salmon dish ordered because I wanted the Israeli couscous it was served with, or going against my craving in an Asian restaurant because it’s served on egg, instead of rice noodles.
Society is double-stacked against me on this one. Until someone gets rid of the “meal = main + side(s)” equation, meat will always be the main. Of the two possible remaining sides (veg or carbs), we are so pro-vitamin/anti-starch, there is no possible way that the carby part of the meal could ever be allowed to steal the limelight, and it shows. Unless I’m eating in a really nice restaurant, or somewhere that’s trying to go out of its way to show off its stuff, whatever the starch on the plate, it is becoming increasingly disappointing.
As a determined lover of bread and all things starchy, this both saddens and enrages me. Surely I’m not the only one who thinks that a meal needs to be seen as a whole, that the protein, starch and veg should be balanced together to make the meal… right?