Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest post: Meet Pat and Pretty Food

Pat was a neighbor of mine for far too short a time. We moved out, she moved out...but not away. Now I get to visit her in the gem of a house she and her husband found, mere minutes away from where we first met. I love getting together with her and I love that she has jumped into he blogathon.
She blogs at Pat Blumer: I really should be in church right now, where she makes me smile and makes me think. Go visit her there.

For today, I am lucky to have her as my guest poster. I give you Pat:

Pretty Food

Only once in my life have I witnessed a bona fide meltdown over a poorly presented plate.

My husband and I were with new friends, Suzie and Dave, at adowntown Atlanta restaurant. It was the first visit for all of us; we had heard rave reviews about the new-Asian cuisine. Food writers throughout the city promised a dining experience like none other -food not only delicious, but gorgeous – colors and textures thrown together to produce tantalizing works of culinary artistry - diners finding themselves in quandaries as to whether or not they should violate this art with a fork!

As we were escorted to our table we admired the pretty food on the tables of other diners; Suzie even stopped dead in her tracks at a table or twoWhen seated I noticed Suzie kept her head on a swivel, twisting and turning to examine our fellow diners’ entrees. (hmmm…) While the rest of us began perusing the menu, Suzie began wondering aloud if she should ask the next table which dishes they had selected because of how delicious they looked(oh Lord …We all felt confident in assuring her that anything she ordered would be wonderful and that she should just relax.

We were wrong, big time.

The entrees soon arrived with much fanfare and were placed before our expectant eyesAll seemed well, for about a second and a half.Suzie took one horrified look at her plate and exclaimed, loudly, “It’sliquid! It’s … liquid!” The rest of us forgot the artistry placed in front of us and peered at just what on earth she could be talking about. And sure enough, her food was swimming in a plate that was just as plain, blandbeige in color as any entrĂ©e I have yet to see in any restaurant, anywhere.

Little did my husband and I know that Suzie had a history of choosing poorly. Her husband, Dave, was Johnny on the spot and saidcalmly, and with great intent, “Here Suzie, have mine”, as he shovedhis plate under her nose in exchange. But she was way past diversionand continued to lament … loudlyIt was at this point that Dave looked at my husband and said in a hushed voice, “This always happens to her; whatever she orders is always brown and runny. It was at this point that my husband switched over from wine andordered a double scotch.

She kept on, “It’s liquid! It’s liquid!” Adjacent diners stared. Waiters flitted and offered anything short of their firstborn to rectify her choice. Nothing doing. By now, I was past mortification and somewhat entertained! We had gathered quite a crowd and I was interested to see how this would play out. But suddenly the chefappeared – that man just came out of nowhere. What you say you no like my food?!” Whoa … things had escalated past entertainment – at one point I thought we would be asked to leave. Heck, by that point, I was ready to leave!

All the while, poor Suzie wasn’t blaming anyone – she just could notbelieve her stupid, bad luck at always selecting beige food! By this time she was in tears, apologizing, sniffling and hiccupping, “No, no it’s okay … I’ll eat it. She stuck to her guns, refused a different dish, calmed down and began to taste with trepidation. We all began to breathe again, except, of course, for my husband who had been self-medicating during the entire debacle. He was breathing just fine.  

Poor Dave. Poor us. After all the drama, I am to this day clueless as to what food we ate or even if it was any good.

But I learned a good lesson. It can be summed up in one word – garnish. No one could argue that the enjoyment of a meal beginsbefore the first morsel is placed upon the tongue. Faced with a beige or unappetizing dish, it’s doubtful we will enjoy it. Since forever, food just tastes better if it’s dressed up. My grandmother always dusted her deviled eggs with paprika and expertly placed a green olive half in the center of each one. I still do the same to this day.

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