I’ve been married almost twenty years, an aunt to one nephew for five years and a sister to two brothers for fifty years.
I have yet to figure out the logic involved with how a man eats. And I cook almost every night, so it’s not like I haven’t had time to witness things first hand.
Men like to build stuff on their plates. They get started on this as small boys, playing with blocks and toy logs. They build ridiculous structures, destined to fall, and delight in it when their creations come crashing down. As they get older, programs about things blowing up, falling apart and being demolished seem to fascinate them to no end. Believe me, if this were not true, HGTV and their pissed-off DIY’ers (Renovation Realities, 25 Biggest [Landscaping, Decorating, Renovating] Mistakes), TLC’s programs about odd human behavior (My Strange Addiction, Hoarding: Buried Alive) and the History Channel shows about great engineering failures (Mega Disasters) would have no audience. Women don’t have time to watch disasters on TV, you see; they are too busy mopping up after the real-life kind.
Which brings me to the way that men eat. They imitate what they see and learn as little boys and enjoy on TV, hence the creation my friend Miss Rigby calls the Almighty Mashed Potato Crater. And then they fill it with Lake Gravy, gaze at their marvelous work, then attack it with utensil and appetite. And it doesn’tt matter if you’re making your meal from scratch, out of a box, or even if it’s takeout. The principle is the same, and a man won’t really appreciate the effort, or lack thereof. It’s all about the construction and the demolition.
None of this has ever dented my enthusiasm for cooking. My enjoyment in seeing my food consumed…well, that’s another story. We’re having pasta tonight, with mascarpone cream sauce and mushrooms. Since it’s difficult to build a dam out of rigatoni, I’m expecting mushrooms standing in a pool of sauce, like Stonehenge figures, with the pasta stacked to create a protective fence around them…