Prompt: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
Ooh, boy. Now *this* is something I can get on board with. I ate a lot of good food this year. Breakfast casserole (multiple times), homemade pierogies at Aunt Ann’s, Stacy’s tom yum soup, Jenny Fuller’s coconut cream pie – all of it, and so much more made my belly quite happy in 2010. However… the meal I experienced on April 9, 2010 was beyond the pale.
I was up in Seattle for Molly’s 30th birthday celebration and we started the weekend off with Friday dinner at the fabulously named Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Beginning to end, it was one of the tastiest, most fun meals ever. First of all, well, it’s a restaurant named Purple. I was bound to love it. But it also has this really awesome spiral staircase wine rack thingy.
We started off the meal with a couple of flights of wine.
After that there was a salad and some kind of chicken pizza. I remember enjoying both of them very much and there may have been more food than that, but frankly it’s all a little hazy around the edges because of what came next.
There are many reasons to love Molly Kimmel. Our history is long and silly and one of the very best parts of my life. This is a major digression, but there is a description of a character from my all-time favorite J.D. Salinger short story that has always reminded me of MK. “…a breathtakingly levelheaded girl.” Molly is as silly as they come when it’s called for and a stable, level force of strength when someone needs her. I have called on both those elements of her nature many times over the years.
On April 9, 2010, however, the thing I loved best about Molly was the fact that she LOVES when I eat a lot. She of moderate appetite and the unfathomable (to me at least) ability to leave food on her plate at the end of a meal, seems to derive great joy from watching me pack it away. During times of such great gluttony, she calls me a Gilmore. As in, these gals. A key and recurring plot point during that series was the fact that the two female leads ate. A LOT. They ate often and heartily, and Molly was the first to point out the similarity.
So… back to Purple. The next course after salad and pizza was… lobster macaroni and cheese. Take a minute and let that sink in.
It was unreal. A cheesy perfection unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. At some point, John, our server walked by and noticed that Molly had set her fork down and was taking a breather. He told her that if she did that, she was a goner. It was so rich that – likely based on what he’d observed before – if she stopped long enough to think about it, she probably wouldn’t pick up the fork again. She assured him that she was just taking a brief break. And then she said, “Plus, don’t worry, if I don’t finish it, she will.” John looked at me and was wholly unimpressed by this suggestion. Pretty sure he laughed and said, “Oh, I doubt it. There’s no way someone could eat their own and finish yours.” At which point Molly saw exactly where this was headed and sort of gave up, I think.
The deal John and I struck was that if I finished my bowl of mac AND whatever Molly couldn’t eat, dessert was on him. Molly made a lame attempt at a couple more bites, I polished off mine and then hers, John (beside himself with surprise) brought us a plate of salted chocolate caramels AND I ordered a second dessert. Beginning to end, it was one of my finest gastronomical performances, in the company of the only person I know who would truly enjoy watching such a spectacle.