Sep 30, 2008

The perfect bite

I have self-diagnosed OCD tendencies. It would be great if they'd manifest themselves in some useful way -- like manic household cleaning -- but no. It's all much less helpful than that.

For instance, I subconsciously seek the perfect bite, every bite, in each meal that I eat. (Can something really
be subconscious if you're sort of aware of it at the time?) I've actually seen people make a PB&J without spreading the PB and the J all the way to the edges of the bread. What? You clearly end up with sub-standard, non-uniform bites using this approach. I can tell you that I honestly would not be able to sleep at night if I sent one of the boys to school with a sandwich cobbled together like that. Sub. Standard.

When I eat a salad, I dip my fork in the Ranch dressing to get the right amount ready to go. Then I try to ensure that each bite has a little lettuce, one small piece of grilled chicken, a pinch of shredded cheddar, a quarter of a slice of cucumber and one almond. But I'm telling you, I don't even
think about it. And if there's not enough of each item to make an entire meal of perfect bites, I'll sacrifice a few bites in the middle -- go without an almond or grab a little less cheddar -- so that the last eight bites, well, we're back in the saddle again.

I have a similar approach with one of my favorite desserts: the fudge brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. The perfect bite has the balanced combination of all three elements. Again, if I have to skimp on the ice cream mid-way through, it is
so totally worth it to wrap up the experience with three or four bites of perfection. If I miscalculate and end up with one bite of brownie by itself, I'm forced to leave it behind. Or offer it to Grayson.

On the other hand, Chick-fil-A is a good example of a low-OCD-impact meal for me. Just wheel up to the drive-thru speaker-in-a-sign: "A number-one combo, value-sized with sweet tea, no pickles," and floor it around to the pick-up window. This meal can only backfire if -- as happens once in a blue moon -- I hit a mealy bite mid-sandwich. You CFA diehards know what I'm talking about. A nasty, mealy, almost gooey, has-no-place-in-my-number-one-combo type of bite. And when faced with that bite, I usually pause and head back around the sandwich the other way. Cleanse the palette with a bite from the opposite side. Hope to the heavens there aren't any more traps waiting to thwart the meal.

I know. You can just leave your shrink's number in the comments.


Harry Miree said...

Just added you to my RSS feeds, here...

Looks like I've missed out on lots of action!

For the sake of relevance, I'm there with you on going around to the other side when you hit that goo in the #1.

Otherwise, Nicholas sure does look like my Uncle Fred. Pretty sharp.

I'll be keeping an eye on you guys. Keep on!

Leslie said...

Ok, so I thought I was the only one. I eat a hamburger or other sandwich in a circle (the edges first) so that the last few bites (from the middle) have all the ingredients!

I'm also always telling John that he doesn't know how to spread pb or j! He tries to do it with a spoon, when we have wonderful cutco and pampered chef spreaders made for getting that uniformity we crave!

Well, I never knew, but I could have guessed!

The Grays: said...

me too. I actually take a sandwitch to work everyday, but have a tendancy to eat the whole thing in one bite thus compeltely miss the experiencce of having lunch. So always slice my sandwich into eight evenly square smll sandwiches, and I allow myself only on every five minutes....seems to be working. :-)

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