Nothing gets Eleanor Samuels's heart racing like a double scoop of mocha fudge chunk. Sure, the magazine writer may have some issues aside from food, but she isn't quite ready to face them. Then her beloved Uncle Benny falls ill, and what at first seems scary and daunting becomes a blessing in disguise. Because while she cooks and cares for him-and enjoys a delicious flirtation with a new chef in town-Eleanor begins to uncover some long-buried secrets about her emotionally frayed family and may finally get the chance to become the woman she's always wanted to be.
Valerie Frankel, author of The Girlfriend CursePowerful and provocative...a novel you don't soon forget. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 22, 2005
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Excerpt from Eating heaven by Jennie Shortridge
Cheese. Bread. Butter. Noodles. You can almost hear America screaming, "Fat! Carbs! Fat! Carbs!" and it's my job to calm the masses, to lead them down the "lite" path. Sure, writing for the kinds of magazines I do won't fetch me any journalism prizes, but if nothing else, it's easy. I start with a perfectly wonderful recipe and subtract and substitute everything good until it tastes like a rough imitation of its former self. Then I think of the most insipid, alliterative title I can, incorporating the tried-and-true "magic number"?that tantalizing digit that promises the impossible:
5 Fantastic Low-Fat French Fry Recipes!
6 Sexy New Desserts That Will Help You Stay in Shape!
7 Stupendous Suppers to Make Everyone Love You and Achieve World Peace!
If I could write anything I wanted to, I'd write about the splendor of butter and sugar hitting your taste buds at the same time, or smooth pasta and sharp Romano, or a fat strawberry dipped in bittersweet chocolate. That kind of nirvana can only be achieved through fat and calories, and, yes, carbohydrates. Eat, for God's sake, I'd tell the food phobes, the Atkins addicts, the warily weight watching. They've made consuming food far too complicated.
Here's the article I should write:
How to Eat: 6 Surefire Techniques to Get Food into Your Mouth
1. Place food on fork
2. Insert fork in mouth
3. Slide fork out, leaving food on tongue
4. Chew (food, not tongue)
I wish getting food into Uncle Benny's mouth was that easy.
"What'd you say this stuff was?" he asks, sitting at his kitchen table in the same chair he's always sat in, as long as I've known him. He stabs a piece of tofu with his fork, brings it close to his face to inspect it. "Mongoose and peanuts?"
"Very funny," I say.
He's fighting a flu bug, so he's wearing the green robe that's seen better days and tube socks, drugstore reading glasses parked on top of his not-quite-convincing comb-over. Thai tofu with Broccolini and peanuts is probably a stretch for a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, but I had a batch left over from my last article: "Why Order In? 8 Asian Dishes with Half the Fat."
He sniffs the tofu, wrinkles his nose for effect.
I sigh, feigning irritation. It's a dance we do, Uncle Benny and I, an old soft-shoe. He almost always likes what I bring him.