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Eating With Pleasure

 

 

The human species is biologically and genetically programmed to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. This desire for pleasure actually enhances the survival of the species.

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Ever since I began this blog I have wanted to do a post on the topic of the pleasure of eating. I like to do a bit of research before I start writing, hopefully to lend some form or organization to my writing.

But every time I did an internet search on ‘the joy of food,’ or ‘the pleasure of eating,’ I could not find what I wanted. I tried many variations of those two phrases and a few others and NOTHING on what I was looking for.

Instead what I kept finding was lists and rules and numbers for eating. What I kept finding was what to eat. What I kept finding was lists of foods you have to deny yourself.

If you need rules and lists you are not talking about what I am talking about when I say, “Eating With Pleasure.’

Talk about sucking the joy out of life!

I am talking pure simple almost child like joy, sensuous and even hedonistic PLEASURE in the food I eat. I am talking about eating with love and gratitude and sensuality. I am talking nourishing my mind, my soul, and my spirit; not just my body.

I am talking The Five Senses Appreciation of food from the preparation of that food to the actual eating of the food.

What is five senses eating?  It is enjoying looking at my food; its shape and color.  It is enjoying the feel of my food; it smoothness, its roundness. It is enjoying the sounds of my food; its sizzle, or crunchiness. It is enjoying the smell of my food; its fragrance, its savory aroma. And finally, it is enjoying the taste of my food; its sweetness or burn; its tartness.

I love to linger over the taste of my food.

For me there is a full body multi-sensory enjoyment and pleasure in food. The times I enjoy eating most is when I can l-i-n-g-e-r over my food as I bring it from plate to mouth. And then I let it linger in my mouth before swallowing it too.

Oh!!!  I just don’t want the taste to go away.  

It is also being able to stop mid-chew, throw my head back, close my eyes, and utter a “Mmmmmmmmmmmm” or “Ohhhhhhhhh,” or “Ahhhhhhhhhhh. “That is sooooooo good.” ” These times are often by myself, but there are some friends I trust enough to linger over good food and eat it pleasurably and utter guttural pleasurable sounds.

When is the last time you really appreciated and eyed with longing and anticipation, with mouth salivating at the bright shiny yellow flecked red of a crispy crunchy juicy sweet apple?

Have you ever bitten into the juicy mushy flesh of an over ripe peach and felt the warmth of its juice dripping down your chin. Did you ever try to lick it up with your tongue?

                                                                                                                                     Or when did you last slowly savor the taste of a good steak as the sweet fatty juices spilled all over every last taste bud on your tongue, roof of your mouth, and the insides of your cheeks?

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That is what I am talking about when I say The Pleasures of Eating.

I love holding melted chocolate candy in my mouth and on my tongue an extra thirty or forty seconds and linger over it slowly sucking every last ounce of cocoa flavor before swallowing.  And after swallowing waiting in awe another 30 seconds and pay attention to the disappearing taste of the chocolate as it fades from my tongue into a memory.

I love holding and/or chewing the food I love in my mouth and on my tongue to feel it and taste it as long as I can. I never want the taste to go away. Well not till the next taste of food.

It is a rippling cascade of pleasures, a gift falling from heaven.

Yes, food is a nutritional necessity that keeps me alive and healthy. But I refuse to stress out at meal time by counting every calorie, carb, fat, and grain of salt in each forkful of food I put into my mouth.

I do not believe that God made all these wonderful beautiful exotic foods with so many different tastes and textures, colors and scents for me to worry, fret and count over while missing the essential joy and pleasure of simply eating delicious food. I think that is slapping God in the face for the glorious feast given to us.

I also believe that the less joy and pleasure you have in eating the more you eat. 

And there is medical research that supports this belief. Read Healthy Pleasures: Robert Ornstein, Ph.D & David Sobel, M.D. and/or Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Dean Edell, M.D.

So eat, drink, be merry and enjoy the full pleasures of what you eat every day.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.
Ecclesiastes 9:7
Featured Recipe           Peas with Bacon Vinaigrette

After that essay I had to share a recipe with bacon in it. Bacon. BACON. B-A-C-O-N!!!!!!

Although this is really a side dish to go with an entrée, I like to fix it with a whole package of bacon, some good crusty bread with butter and eat it as a complete meal in and of  itself. But I am strange that way.

Quick and easy and so delicious. And I am eating a green vegetable. A balanced meal!!! Who could or would complain about eating a green veggie?

This is a Martha Stewart recipe from the May, 2011 Everyday Food magazine. This recipe would be a perfect side dish with  Monday’s recipe: Lemon Tarragon Chicken

This is what you will need for 4 people:

4 slices of bacon

2 small shallots

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 – 16 ounce bag frozen peas thawed

Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

Here is what you do:

Heat a large skillet over medium.

Cut the bacon into ½ inch slices and place in the hot skillet.

Cook until bacon starts to crisp, about 6 minutes. While bacon is crisping dice your shallots.

Add the shallots to the skillet and cook stirring occasionally until shallots are translucent and starting to brown.

Then add 2 tablespoons of the white wine vinegar and stir to combine.

Add the thawed peas to the skillet stirring occasionally until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Pour into a serving dish and add the salt and pepper.

Optional: Add some chopped mint leaves if you like. I did not like! 

Bon Appetit!!!!!

Cost

4 slices of bacon                               $1.32

2 small shallots                                 $0.60

2 tbspns white wine vinegar               $0.21

1 – 16 ounce bag fzn peas                 $1.78

Total Cost = $3.91
Cost per person = $0.98

Note: If you use mint I do not know how much that would cost.

Quote of the Day

An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.

Oscar Wilde

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6 comments to Eating With Pleasure

  • As one who believes in as well as practices the joy of creating and eating wonderful food, I applaud this post! I’m not surprised that you tried to research the pleasure of eating only to come up with rules and more rules about what you should eat, how much you should eat and when you should eat it. Then there are all the foods we shouldn’t eat.

    How has humanity lasted all these centuries if they ate what they wanted? Astonishing that we’ve survived at all.

    While there is truth to fact that food is like anything else we put into our bodies – it has an effect. I believe finding pleasure in everything we do, including eating, is what our goal should be.

    Just call me a radical.

  • I will have to try the peas w/bacon recipe. I do not eat peas (it’s a texture thing with me as I do not like their squish) but they are a favorite veggie for my son & Hubs. Peas + Bacon = Happy Menfolk! Great post!

  • You are speaking my language Roberta – what a fantastic post. I felt it – and tasted it too.
    Reading through this (more than once) I just have to highlight one of the lines that I want to print out and frame on my kitchen wall: “…I am talking pure simple almost child like joy, sensuous and even hedonistic PLEASURE in the food I eat. I am talking about eating with love and gratitude and sensuality. I am talking nourishing my mind, my soul, and my spirit; not just my body.” Beautiful.

  • […] For me eating slowly is less about the health benefits and more about pure hedonist and pleasurable eating. When I eat slowly I can taste and savor every flavor I love. If that has additional health benefits, then so be it. I wrote about this in detail in Eating With Pleasure. […]

  • […] extolled the Pleasure of Eating in an entire post last spring, but did not know of the pain killing benefits of food […]

  • […] Eating and cooking are sensual pleasures that must not be missed. If you are interested in my philosophy of Pleasurable Eating you can read more here: Eating With Pleasure. […]