Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I just found her annoying. Just the whining "waaaa I don't want my beautiful house and my handsome husband; waaaaa I gotta go to Bali to find myself" Whatever...

This is what a colleague of mine had to say on her Facebook page about Elizabeth Gilbert after seeing the movie "Eat, Pray, Love." (I'd include a link to the movie website, but if you haven't heard of it by now...)

I laugh out loud when I read the comment.

I have mixed feelings about the whole "spiritual journey"aspect of the film, but will explore that on the other blog. Here - I want to talk about THE FOOD.

So I'm sitting there in the darkened theater along with a few hundred other people on a rainy Sunday afternoon. As much as I want to see the movie, I am a tad anxious about all of the Italian food I know is going to make its appearance during the next few hours.

Afraid that watching Julia Roberts on the screen indulging in pasta and pizza will make me want to run out to the nearest Italian joint and stuff myself silly.

But as I sit there in the theater enjoying the edamame that I have snuck in with me, I find myself strangely uninterested in the food on the screen.


It's true.

In the scene where Julia's character (Liz) takes herself to a cafe with the sole aim of enjoying her food for the first time in what's she claims has been years, a plate of pasta with red sauce is placed in front of her. It's a lovely mound of perfectly al dente spaghetti topped with what looks like a light but luscious tomato sauce and garnished with a perfect sprig of basil.

It's a thing of beauty.

Liz looks at this gorgeous plate of pasta as if she is seeing and smelling spaghetti for the first time.  You can almost watch her salivary glands go into overdrive. You can see that it's a turning point for her. A real moment in her life.

She eats one large mouthful. And another. And another. Smiling and laughing all the while. Once she has devoured every last noodle, she toasts herself with red wine.

It looks heavenly.

And I should be drooling. Right?

But I'm not.

Instead I'm munching contentedly on the edamame. Enjoying the texture of it in my mouth. Reveling in the salty goodness of the sea salt. And knowing that edamame is a much healthier choice than a huge plate of gluten-laden carbohydrates.

Or a big bucket of movie popcorn for that matter.

Other amazingly decadent looking meals make their appearances in "Eat, Pray, Love." I watch the characters indulge in a variety of very rich Italian foods. But, again, remain uninterested. Instead I briefly wonder what lovely healthy meal Chris has planned for dinner.

It feels good not to be obsessing over food.

It feels good to come home today to a dinner of Chicken Nicoise Salad. To appreciate a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and sherry. To enjoy beautiful ripe Roma tomatoes and lightly steamed green beans. To savor the simplicity of chicken breast cooked with oregano, the richness and decadence of a few slices of hard-boiled egg, the saltiness of Kalamata olives. To know that my food doesn't have to be full of fat to be tempting and delicious.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful salad! And let's not forget that much of Italian cuisine is a few fresh items cooked just a little and enjoyed in small quantities. I found the same went I went to France and Japan - their cuisines feature fresh ingredients in small quantities. xoGG