My friend Mary is a historian and not given to my flights of fancy. She is all about the steak, and I am unabashedly about the sizzle.
Mary is also the food general who marshals the minions who would commit unspeakable acts of disorganized potluck, creating order where chaos might otherwise ensue. Her attentions result in a large number of noteworthy receptions for various non-profit groups like IRIS , GPAC , and the Germantown Charity Horse Show, as well as nutritious and appetizing Wednesday night church suppers.
Here is how the project has been working. I go to Mr. Wu in the evening, and he asks me what I would like to eat. Then I gently remind him that this is not about what I want to eat, but what he eats. This will take some getting used to for Mr. Wu, who is accustomed to a very different arrangement.
At the same time, I am detecting a certain a satisfaction in his chuckle. Mr. Wu seems to be enjoying this!
For convenience, Mr. Wu boxes up two meals for me. One will be my supper, and the other one will be my lunch the next day. This is exciting to me, since one of my evil diet deeds is a failure to eat lunch. I know. That is bad. But it is easy for me to skip when I am immersed in work…oh well, you know. There is no excuse, really. This is one of those habits I mentioned that I need to change.
The first night Mr. Wu prescribes his fabulous tofu with mixed vegetables. Awesome! However “mixed” is quite an understatement. This was an entire hootenany of flavorful vegetables bathed in a wondrous brown sauce. We are talking Woodstock! I know Mr. Wu’s menu would not have the same vibe if I were to name his dishes, but really, I would call this dish “V-8 Tofu” –guaranteed to rev your motor and send you across the finish line– cause that is what it did for me!
Normally I do not count the vegetables on my plate ( in fact I count very few things), but Mary will be interested to know that there were indeed 8 vegetables. I shall recite them for my friend the former teacher in alphabetical order: broccoli, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, red peppers, and water chestnuts. Maybe chestnuts are not a vegetable. But they are definitely not an animal or a mineral.
Suffice to say the dish was delicious. And again, the appearance of great mounds of brown rice continues to astonish me.
Last night, Mr. Wu chose chicken breast with spinach and brown rice. This brings my green veggie toll for the last three days now to asparagus, green beans, broccoli, and spinach. I am very impressed with myself, and gleefully point this out to Mr.Wu, who is not all that impressed and merely looks somewhat bemused.
Now here is the first thing I am noticing, other than the abiding presence of the rice mounds–the food is really, really rich in a variety of textures . And there is a significant chew factor. Unlike some of my favorite dishes I call bucket foods, because you put them in your mouth, wallow them around for a bit, and quickly swallow bite after bite, these bites are a party in your mouth, a variety show for your tongue, and a challenge to your teeth. In short, you are forced to slow down and smell the aroma of the food, enjoy the flavors, and be more mindful of what you are eating.
Oh sure, there are those who can suck on a grape and ponder its mysteries, but I have not discovered that campground yet. Tantric eating may elude me forever. So to speak. I am thrilled just to slow down enough just to chew my food. Wu Food and its crunchy ingredients and delightful textures will help me break my bad habit of rushing through my meals–and who knows? Maybe someday I will let the M&M melt in my mouth!
Breakfasts have been the hearty oatmeal that takes longer to cook , skim milk and bananas and cherries. And hot tea.
I must say that I very much missed my morning cup of coffee with the Commercial Appeal this morning. Turning the pages and sipping a medium cup of McDonald’s coffee, five creams, two splendas, is a cherished morning routine. I missed the kids at the drive-thru who are so much fun to see everyday, and I know they missed me. Maybe Mr. Wu does drink coffee. But I bet he doesn’t, since he is quite a connoisseur of teas.
I am a curious person, and am interested to see whether or not I become an enraptured tea drinker. That would be dandy.