Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.
Today I had lunch with a good friend. It was a miserable experience; the lunch was overpriced, the portions were ridiculously small and we were waited on by poorly trained indifferent people who wanted to be anywhere but at work. Now you might say bummer or unlucky you. However luck had nothing to do with it; we always meet at the same restaurant and always have a predictably frustrating experience. It’s a chain restaurant. The power of unexamined habits never ceases to amaze me. I contrast this with a local pizza joint (it’s a mom and pop shop) that Kathy and I frequent every Sunday night. We love their salads and always look forward to a fun adventure. The owners are glad to see us and everybody has fun. Today’s poor dining experience was a wake-up call. I realized that these mediocre eating-out experiences were happening with regularity. So I made a commitment to consciously plan and find restaurants that had a good ambience and provided good bang for the buck. It’s just no fun to be on automatic pilot; life is too short to needlessly endure mediocre experiences.
This commitment inspired me to investigate further and see if we could enhance and upgrade the regular meals eaten at home. We usually have a salad with our evening meal and discovered that adding a little gourmet cheese (Maytag Blue Cheese) and experimenting with the salad dressing really enhanced the taste of the salad. We are currently enjoying a Raspberry/Framboise dressing; it’s tasty, healthy and got a fancy name. A couple of glasses of red wine is a great way to end the day but we decided to be a little bit more adventurous and see if we could upgrade the experience. We switched to Port; Port is a sweet fortified wine from the Douro region of Portugal. We had it in Portugal and found we could get it at a reasonable price at home in Minnesota. Mission accomplished as former President Bush would say.
Sometimes experiments go awry. I enjoy coffee and wondered what I could do to brew a better cup of coffee. I decided to grind my own beans and that was I good decision; the coffee seems fresher. I should have quit while I was ahead. I decided use a French Press to make my coffee. All my coffee drinking friends thought that this made the best cup of coffee ever. Maybe, but everybody forget to mention that it’s a very labor intensive and messy process. I’m too lazy and impatient to use any device that has the name French in it.
We decided to buy our produce every week at the farmer’s market. It’s a fun experience and the produce seems to be a little cheaper and a little fresher. While summer is here, it’s a shame not to eat fresh produce. So for the summer we are going to pig out on good salads, lots of corn-on-the-cob, fresh peaches for dessert and top it off with a good glass of port and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Bon appétit.