Thursday, October 29, 2009

Power of food

I can't explain it, but I am viewing food differently these days. I am not looking at a piece of cheesecake and thinking "bad, bad, cheesecake" as I eat the whole thing.

I realized this last weekend, when we were eating with a group of friends at my favorite restaurant, 121 Restaurant & Bar at Oxford Airport in Connecticut. Our dinner, as always, was magnificent, and I controlled myself, filling up on salad before my rich entree of duck and risotto. (Kudos to Chef Bryan Gilmour and his wonderful, young, talented staff.) Of course we had all saved room for some dessert, except we decided to share, and not order one for each person. As the desserts were circulating among the six of us, the only one I really craved was the Creme Brulee, which at 121 is among the best I have ever had: decadently smooth and creamy, with a hard crust that screams "EAT ME!" I did, but only three bites. And for me, that is an amazing feat.

My conclusion: Right now, food does not have the power over me it once had. Food can't make me eat it. It's me who makes me eat food. No one is forcing me to eat anything. I really do have the power to say "No," and now that that fact has penetrated my brain, it is really freeing.

I pray this lasts. I know that this is the way people stay trim. For many, it comes naturally. Unfortunately, for me, it is anything but natural, although it is getting easier.

Today's recipe is a continuation of this week's Pick of the Week: My take on an apple pie. I know: It's nothing like apple pie, but believe me, if I am craving something sweet around 8 p.m., this does the trick. I pair it with a cup of Teavana Haute Chocolate Rooibos tea — — and I'm sated.

Val's Fake Apple Pie: Slice 1 apple, leave the peel on, but removing the stem, seeds and core. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Microwave until apples are soft — this depends on your microwave and the type of apples you use. Check it after 2 minutes, then every minute after that.

I was honest: It is not the real thing. But it is delicious and stops me from raiding the pantry.

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