Behind Closed Doors

Today I was running some Homecoming week errands in the middle of the day and stopped for a some lunch at Doll's Market.  Love Doll's Market.  It is a neighborhood market that carries some fabulous stuff, actually DELIVERS groceries still and has a salad bar at lunch time that rocks my face off.  Lovely things like crumbled gorgonzola and peppadews, marinated asparagus and chutney chicken salad.  Just goodness waiting to be boxed up with some croutons.  Anyway- I got the salad and thought that a McD's iced tea would be great so I travelled the few blocks up the road for one and pulled in a parking spot to eat my salad in the car.  I looked around and almost every single car in the parking lot had someone sitting in it, alone, eating lunch.  And from all walks of life.  Plumbers, MSD guys, business men and women, moms with kids.  I was shocked.  It got me thinking.  When did we, as a culture, decide that eating in our car alone was a viable option for lunch- or any meal?  It made me feel really sad and lonely and pathetic (even though I wasn't eating McDonald's anything- always a source of guilt if I partake) and disconnected. 

Anthony Bourdain has a great quote in his book Kitchen Confidential where he talks about fast food.  "When do I eat at McDonald's?  When nobody's watching.  When I'm desperately hungry and feel like defacing myself."  I think that is so accurate, the idea that fast food is just so self depracating it is something we want to do alone.  Or it could be that we are all so freaking busy that the 10 minutes it takes to wolf down the Mac and fries in the car is the only silence many will get in the course of a day.  Now there is definitely a place in the culinary world for junk food, don't get me wrong.  I happen to be a big fan.  But it is not a replacement for a meal.  It is a cheap and dirty substitute.  A tasty, tasty, cheap and dirty substitute, but a substitute nonetheless.  I will not be stopping at McDonald's anytime in the future.  At least not the parking lot.

On a happier note, there was the most GORGEOUS leg of lamb you have ever seen in our CSA today and I cannot WAIT to cook it.  It makes me want to cook and eat good things after the angry food episode today.  Like the most labor intensive dishes I can find that just require oodles of love to endure all of the prep and process and an end result that is utter bliss to eat and completely, totally soul satisfying.  Something that makes me remember why we decided dining was not only a necessity, but an event that needed to be marked with dishes, flatware, linens, wine, and conversation.  That leg of lamb is on the horizon, good people, and it will certainly not be eaten alone in my car.     


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