PENINSULA ZOOMERS: Loving relationship can be a matter of taste

Eat healthy, but never deny yourself the food you love, writes columnist April Lewis

In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

But I wonder if Alfred Lord Tennyson knew how to cook!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but let me tell you the converse is also true.

My new guy cooked for me for the first time the other week… OMG! It was lovingly and painstakingly prepared curried chicken.

Plump pieces of organic chicken with all kinds of vegetables cut up and mixed together with the balanced mix of exotic spices making it tasty but not too hot. With rice bubbling in the pot.

But wait there is more. He said it was important to refresh the palate while eating his culinary masterpiece so he proffered fresh, ripe pieces of mango and cantaloupe. I brought the mango chutney.

The wine was a perfect complement to this exquisite repast.

This was followed by sweet strawberries steeped in Cointreau for dessert. It doesn’t get much better.

And Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet would agree. As you know, CARP hosted a recent event where Graham was the guest speaker. You remember him as the first television celebrity chef in the ’60s and ’70s.

At 80, he’s still going strong, travelling and writing and sharing his love of all things culinary.

Initially in his career, food was all about “delighting,” but now “nutritious” comes first.

What a clever man. He calls his wife, Treena, of 59 years, his beloved and continues to enjoy cooking for her.

Kerr prefers to eat healthy food but never denies himself the foods he loves. He tells us to go ahead and have that ice cream, but perhaps only one scoop buried under berries.

Or, instead of bacon and eggs, why not crumble one strip of bacon over a salad.

He has a thing for acronyms and his latest is EGGS.

• E stands for Eating. Yes, we all must do it to survive but it is in the way we eat, that is important. And that includes choosing what we eat and how we prepare it. As my guy did in a pas de deux created with his two hands.

• G stands for Growing… the food. Realistically, that might only include a few sprigs of basil in a patio pot or a garden full of potatoes, tomatoes and spinach. There is nothing more satisfying that eating something you have grown yourself. As summer approaches, you can take advantage of the local farmers’ markets.

• G stands for Gathering – getting together with friends or family or the person you love. It is one thing to painstakingly prepare and/or grow some of the food, but it takes it to a whole new level when you are sitting at a table with someone you care about.

• S stands for Sharing – the best part of the entire eating experience. What a joyful feeling it is when you cook for someone who is enjoying your efforts and utterly consumed (pun intended) by the experience.

So not only does the adage ‘food is love’ ring true in any relationship, putting your EGGS in one basket may also serve you well.

April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.’