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Monday, October 6, 2008

Eat at Home

Seven Reasons the Food Tastes Better at Home

Ann Patchett

1. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, my kitchen is always open. I never need a reservation and I can always get a great table. I can whip up a really good omelet at 4 a.m. There's never that bitter disappointment of wanting breakfast in the late afternoon and being told they stopped serving it at 11.

2. The food is always served at the correct temperature. Hot food is searing, boiling, sizzling, served on a hot plate, which is how my mother taught me to do it. My food doesn't hang out under a heat lamp while the chef tries to engage the waitress in conversation. I let the ice cream sit out until it's slightly mushy.

3. There is no waitress, no waiter. I don't have to bond with a stranger in order to get my food. I don't have to make witty banter with myself just to get the plate on the table. I don't have to feel bad that maybe the person bringing me my food isn't following her true life path. If I want ketchup I get up, go to the refrigerator, and get it. And I never forget to bring it.

4. The portions are the right size. If I am only a little bit hungry, I eat a few almonds and a cheese stick and call it quits. I don't have to take on an entire meal. I don't get a to-go box that will probably slide under the front seat of the car and rot. I don't overeat at home. Nothing at my house comes with a side of fries. No one every steps out of the pantry and asks me if I want a dessert when I am already perfectly full.

5. I know what's in the food at my house. Sugar, salt, butter, cream, various heart-stopping transfats. I'm not saying I don't use them but I know how much I'm using. I don't put them in everything in order to create a narcotic-like affect that will enslave me to keep coming back. I don't push the fish when I know the fish is bad. At my house I throw the bad fish away.

6. At home I neither have to see or be seen. Sure, it's nice to get fixed up from time to time, but what a relief it is to eat in your bathrobe. The dog never checks out what I'm wearing. I don't wonder if the dog has a better table than I do. I don't notice that the dog got her bowl of kibble before I got my entree even though we both know I WAS THERE FIRST.

7. Frankly, I'm a good cook. I am my own personal chef. I know exactly what I like to eat and that's how I fix my food every single time. I almost never let myself down. Most of the time I'm in a restaurant I am struck by the fact that the food is better at home.

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