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Unless You Have Self-Governing Innards, Avoid Any Opportunity Allowing You The Possibility Of Consuming More Than Your Stomach Was Meant To Hold

July 23, 2010

For July 21, 2010

You can only eat so much, you know? • Elvis Presley

It is difficult to find a good meal when you’re on the road. I like home cooking for reasons too numerous to go into here, in part because most of what I encounter in restaurants sounds better than it tastes. Menu descriptions are enticing, but the plate seldom delivers what the words and pictures promise. Even finding a green salad—the meal I really crave—can be challenging.

Sometimes I consider visiting an all-you-can-eat buffet so I can load up on spinach and broccoli and tomatoes and carrots and a garden of other goodies, but these fiestas of food are not a bargain for someone like me who prefers multiple small meals to gorging myself by taking in a week’s worth in an hour.

I know that’s what these purveyors of excess are counting on, that for every overeater, there’ll be several of us who want to stop before we’re stuffed beyond capacity. They make their money off the likes of me and not on those folks who keep heapin’ the goodies on plate after gravy-dripping plate. I watch in amazement as people who can eat all they want by returning to the steam-table trough pile their platters high, mounding the stuff as though they have to get all they can consume at once.

Miss Piggy said you should never eat more than you can lift. I say you should never lift more than you can comfortably eat and you certainly shouldn’t put it onto a plate or two or three or more and plow through it as though you’d never get to eat again. I also say that you should travel with some dried fruit and granola bars just in case you need them.

When you’re on the road, what foods do you long for?

It is really wonderful how men of refined tastes and pampered habits, who at home are as fastidious as luxury and a delicate appetite can make them, find it in their hearts – or stomachs either – to gorge such disgusting masses of stringy meat and tepid vegetables, and to go about their business again under the fond delusion that they have dined. • George G. Foster (1814-1856), columnist writing about “eating houses” in New York City’s financial district

My time is up at this connecting point. More later. Perhaps much later!

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