Tuesday, September 04, 2007


A Weekend of Food

After stepping on the scale this morning and lamenting the direction of that little blasted needle I realized that this came as a direct result of a weekend of nearly non-stop eating.

I suppose it all started Saturday when I joined a friend for lunch at a sushi buffet. I didn't really overdo it there, but by the same token, I could have stopped before I did. But it's sushi!

There was one thing that pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn't continue eating there, and this comes with a warning for the squeamish. Just as we were finishing our meal, an Asian family of some configuration (two old women in their 70's or 80's, one man in his 40's, and I'm assuming his 20-ish son and daughter) was seated behind my friend. We continued chatting at our table for quite some time as food was being delivered to the table behind her. As I glanced around the restaurant my eyes locked on that table. Seated between the two youngest members was one of the old women. What I witnessed nearly made my jaw hit the table. This old woman would take her chopsticks, pick up a piece of food, chew it for about ten or fifteen seconds and then spit it into a bowl beside her plate. No, it wasn't just a bone or some item that most people would put aside rather than swallow, but we're talking every bite. Yes. Every. Bite.

My friend was quite entertained by my disgust and fixation on this woman's practice, but I really had a hard time absorbing what I was seeing. The biggest question (and there were many) was "why is she spitting it all out?" Other questions such as "why would they take her out to a restaurant?" came to mind.

As she continued chewing and spitting her meal, not to be confused with actually eating her meal, her bowl quickly began to overflow. This bowl was about a foot away from her mouth, so she literally spat the masticated projectiles toward the bowl. Many times she missed, many times it hit the mark and rolled down the pre-chewed mountain onto the table.

I felt sorry for the server who would eventually have to clear the table. Picking up plates, glasses and cutlery that people have had in their mouths is one thing. Carrying a bowl full of the food someone chewed is another thing entirely. Let's not forget whatever was on the table near the bowl. It also seems to be a bit unfair to the owner of the restaurant. It's all you can EAT, not all you can chew and spit. If everyone did that, we could chew and spit every buffet restaurant out of house and home.

I am so curious as to why someone would do this. A few options come to mind:
1, She's a bit nutty.
2, It's her way to control her weight (even though she was quite thin already).
3, My friend thought she may be unable to swallow for some reason (throat cancer?).
4, She actually disliked absolutely everything she tried.
5, They had a bet to see who she could make throw up first.

I had to get out of that place, so my friend and I went for a drive to an apple farm out in the country where I picked up a couple types of apples, some cider, and an apple pie. As we were leaving, we heard one of the staff telling another customer that the MacIntosh apples were ready to be picked if they wanted to pick some themselves. Now Mac's are The Squeeze's favourite apple. He loves the tart taste, but the ones that the grocery stores are selling right now are last year's apples that have been in cold storage. Their texture changes quite a bit and they become mealy, so he hasn't had a good Mac since early this year. We loaded up the ark and headed back to pick a bag. It was a pretty big bag, actually. We have enough apples to choke many horses right now.

I've been doing some research into apple pie recipes, so I'm going back to the farm to pick up different varieties in a week or so, and I'll be on a baking mission. I love harvest time! All the farmers' markets...all the fall colours, cozy warm clothes and autumn comfort food.

Which takes us to Saturday night. FWIG, The Squeeze, a couple of his buddies and I made our way to a little event called Ribfest. It's an event that draws thousands and thousands of people to enjoy their choice of ribs from any of about 16 vendors from across Canada and the US. It's an outdoor event on the lake with live bands, booths of assorted merchandise and beer tents, but of course, it's all about the ribs.

Due to the fact that FWIG and I had a few stovetop s'mores at the house while we waited for The Squeeze's buddies to arrive, I was only able to eat half a rack of ribs while everyone else had a full rack...or more. Then of course, there were the funnel cakes. After we got home that night, we had to sample that apple pie I bought earlier. It was ok, but I think I can do better.

Sunday morning, The Squeeze, FWIG, and our friend Karen went out for a brunch buffet. Oh my god, kill me now! It was a fun time. We sat and lingered afterward and chatted for quite some time. But The Squeeze and I had work to do. Due to a neighbour complaining to the condo property manager that our back yard tap was dripping, we needed to replace some washers. Or so we thought. In the end we wound up having to replace the entire faucet and the shut-off valve in the basement. While we had the water shut off, it seemed like the time to replace our laundry faucets as well because they were on their last legs.

We finished those chores with just enough time to give the house a very quick cleaning in time for The Squeeze's cousins from out west and his brother to come buy before - yep, you guessed it - going out for dinner. We went to a very nice Thai place and had a rather sensible meal. Perhaps Dairy Queen for dessert was pushing it.

We got to spend some time on the holiday Monday with the kids, which was quite nice. Brynn is walking now. A bit unsteady, but that should be replaced with confidence in the next week or two. She's getting brave. She can walk across the room, squat down to pick something up, stand back up and keep walking. They grow up so fast.

Food-wise, we did ok on Monday, and we even spent some time in the evening making freezer peaches to enjoy over the winter months. But, like I said, the scale was not my friend this morning. I've been upping my treadmill routine over the last couple of weeks. From 45 minutes each morning to 50 and now 55 minutes. I'm attempting to get rid of unnecessary sugar, which means this morning I had Shredded Wheat & Bran instead of Mini-Wheats (wheats, wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la) which had a fair bit of sugar. Today there was none. The Squeeze asked how I liked it. My response was something like, "It's ok. A bit dry and tougher to choke down, but I'll get used to it".

Wow, it's almost lunch time. I'm back on the wagon with my salad, an apple and yogurt.

You know, the more I think of it, the more I think that old lady at the sushi place may have been on to something.

I don't think one weekend of not behaving yourself is a bad thing, as long as it doesn't get out of control. You had your fun and now it's time to get back to watching what you eat. You'll be fine and soon enough that stupid little needle will be heading in the right direction.

I have appts. today and tomorrow, so I won't be getting to the gym until next week. But I know that I've gained weight too. Pisser.
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