Sunday, May 12, 2013

Another First

Last night, Donna-Lane and I watched the French version of "The Voice" and had caviar, champagne ... and popcorn. You might call it a Robin Leach "Lifestyles ..." evening.
First time I've ever had caviar.

She had told me the story of a time she bought caviar, thinking she was spending about $25 but she was in Belgium paying in Belgian francs, with which she was not familiar at the time, and ended up spending about $250 -- only to eventually spill the delicacy on the floor, much to the delight of her Japanese Chin, Mika, who quickly devoured it.

I casually mentioned I had never had caviar, but perhaps I would someday at a party when someone else was paying for it. (Some corporate hospitality at a conference is what I meant.)

D-L decided the party was last night.

Those who know me know I have been a very finicky eater all my life. I tend to stick to a few things I know. I've always attributed my simple habits to my mother. We'd joke that every Sunday growing up we'd had roast beef and burnt potatoes. Then for two or three nights after, hot roast beef sandwiches with gravy. Truth is, I was the one afraid to try unknown dishes. If I didn't like something new, I might starve that night, right?

Donna-Lane, on the other hand, does not just enjoy food - she savors it. Selecting it fresh, preparing it, arranging the table, and of course eating the result. She loves experimenting with different dishes, sharing with her like-minded friends. She'll talk about the aroma of basil or oregano or garlic or dozens of other spices as they simmer on the stove. And she's keen on having at least five fruits and vegetables every day.

Since I trust her implicitly, I have eaten just about everything she's suggested I try these past several months.

The list of things I've eaten for the first time (and liked) includes: artichoke, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, carpaccio (raw beef), cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fettucini alfredo, lobster, mushrooms, nectarines, olives, plums, shrimp, tapas, zucchini, several authentic Indian dishes at a friend's home, and more ...

At the same time, I pretty much eliminated fast food, especially french fries, and other habits which a year ago had me at my highest weight ever.

Last fall I dropped 30 pounds, and I've consistently kept it off. When I was back in the States for a stretch, I'd tend to put on 5-10 pounds, but then I'd lose it again almost immediately when returning to Europe and healthier eating habits.

We still indulge from time to time. I love the boulangeries, and have appointed myself the unofficial chocolate eclair critic for Argeles-sur-mer, which means I must regularly sample each bakery. We both love mini-Oreos, which are not always easy to get in Europe (hint to Stateside friends who may visit us and wonder what gift to bring). And D-L can stick a chunk of dark chocolate in my mouth any time she's so inclined.

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