Last weekend Scot and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary at this small restaurant that delivered intimacy on a rainy night with lots of delicious promise in a cozy dining room. That night, thousands of yummy flavors and textures exploded in my mouth and my mind, lingering there still, many days later.
At some point, I lost count how many little dishes came out for the antipasti and primi. Eight? Nine? And the wine, oh the wine. All pre-selected and paired perfectly for us. Did I mention flavor explosions? My toes were twitching, it was so good.
The experience was perfect because I didn’t have to decide on anything. I didn’t have to choose. I just had to decide if I wanted fish, quail or pork for my secondi (easy!). I felt so free. Little tasty surprises showed up at our table every 10-15 minutes. Someone decided that morning what I was going to eat. I was so happy I wanted to giggle all night long.
While I was trying (and failing) to make this delicious morsel last forever — this melt-in-your mouth gorgeous ivory white soft cheese that sat in a perfect cradle of olive oil — I said to Scot:
I can’t wait for the day I can just cook or eat what I want, and not have to plan, decide, choose what is good and healthy for the family.
With growing kids, my cooking brain thinks in three parts: healthy protein, good carbs, lots of vegetables/fruit. Making the best choices possible can be a burden. Because sometimes, all I want to eat is a bowl of cereal. Or make that super spicy fish curry, or that delicious eggplant lamb dish I haven’t made in ages because the kids wouldn’t go for it. So I try to choose well. EVERY DAY. Not just with food, but with life. Choices and decisions. The best ones possible. So tiring sometimes.
So back to this dinner – freedom from decisions and choices was so nice.
The next morning, Scot and I ran in a 10 mile race with 4 other friends. And since I’m a control freak about race days, I laid out our race day logistics days before. The guys gave me lots of good-natured grief at the 5:30am call and my control-freak tendencies — some have never raced with me before. Those who have know better.
Heading home after a great morning of racing and a big post-race breakfast, the guys at the back of the van commented that I was not giving proper directions on the best route home. See what can happen when you make the decision to decide and choose?
So I sat back and let it go.
“Antelmo knows exactly where to go.”
“But wait. Antelmo, turn here so you can drop Pete off first….”
Someone bring me another helping of that yummy octopus and whatever else is on the menu…