Sugar for the Mind
Since Father's Day I've broken up with sugar. No chocolate. No candy, no cakes, etc. The only sugar I allow myself is fruit, and one pinch in my morning coffee. Now, I'm not trying to be one of these self-denying puritans or anything. Let's just say that my body went into revolt and began screaming at me like Mommy Dearest saying: "No...More...Wire, uh, Sugar and Assorted Crap!"
When my body starts talking like Faye Dunaway, I listen.
So thank god for Nina Killham's book, How to Cook a Tart, which my boss has been trying to get me to read for months. In place of real sugar, I've been able to read descriptions like this:
It's one of my own recipes: Peach creme brulee with a brandy crust. She paraded it past Daniel's eyes. "See," she said. "I made your favorite. "Of course I've perfected it considerably these past few weeks. She poured over it a good douse of brandy, then rummaged in her apron and drew forth a long match. One flick and the brulee ignited in a crown of blue flames...
Her spoon crunched into the caramelized topping and reemerged with rich, creamy, peachy dessert. On the plate, the velvety brulee glistened with delicious, crackly caramel.
The book is about Jasmine March, a food lover and cook with a mission to reintroduce fat to a diet-stricken public that has put denial above pleasure. Other characters include a colon-cleansing big-chested fanatic named Tina who tries to steal her husband, her teenage daughter, Careme, an anorexic who is so disgusted by her mother that she tries to become a "breatharian," and a host of uptight, bitchy diet cookbook writers and sleazy agents. The food writing is exquisite and borders on the erotic, the characters are laugh-out-loud funny and the storyline is part mystery and part romance.
For anyone looking for a "light" read that is still a pleasure on the mental and gustatory palates, I recommend this book whole heartedly!