You’re Just Not That Into Him Blog

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Gourmet Love

“Spreading love, one recipe at a time!”

The back-story that inspired the menu that inspired the recipes! Foodie and Love stories combining love, romance, and adventure (remember this is all fiction my friends)! Let me take my paintbrush, paint the scene and the mood to take you there…

Inspired quote to love by: “If you say yes when you really mean no, how are you going to know when and how to draw your own line?” ~ Unknown

Love Dateline: D-Day

Where: Northern Ontario

When: Halloween

Mood: Wanting to fly far, far away

Emotion: Mixed

Ah-ha Moment

When I think back to a moment in time when I had an ‘ah ha moment’ and I knew 100% that ‘I just wasn’t that into him’ – I time travel right back to Halloween around 1987 (yep, that’s way, way back – thank goodness I have a very, very good memory for detail)!  My boyfriend, I’ll call him Superman, was getting used to the idea that he was no longer ‘my’ Superman.  I had to stay firm as I had fallen out of love with him and I had to be true to myself. I wanted to be kind, considerate and loving towards him as I shared my truth.

Background Check – Northern Bound

Just to give you a little Superman background – superheroes hook up all the time – just like real life people with similar friends, circles, jobs and hobbies.  It also comes with a caveat – wearing a cape means that you’ve just entered into a relationship that is likely to bubble over with danger and sometimes even peril (can be exhilarating at times though). ‘My’ Superman could fly just like Superman (he really did fly, he was a real true to life pilot) and he was big and strong – a superhero of sorts to me when I first met him. I was smitten by him, his superpowers and his charm, I became ‘his’ Wonder Woman, his superhero sidekick. I’d fly up north to his secret remote location in the middle of nowhere (only way in = airplane). Fully decked out in high heels and cape – you always have to look the part even though high heels aren’t exactly practical in the north with its gravel roads and no taxis! He would take my flying far, far north in his airplane and windsurfing on his lake – what’s not to love. He was strong and fearless, in fact one day he even climbed onto the roof of my car as it was moving (I never knew why really, maybe to show his bravery stripes). As a couple, we were like peaches ‘n cream, peanut butter ‘n jam, chocolate ‘n red wine, Barbie & Ken (yes, people told us that) and finally Superman & Wonder Woman. I also thought that we were such a perfect couple that I gave him my treasured record album collection for safe-keeping (I felt certain that one day we’d tie the knot, fly off into the sunset and I’d hear my music again).  I loved ‘my’ Superman (and my record collection), life was good, he was my hero.

Paris Bound

And then…one day I decided that I wanted to explore the big world, spread my wings and fly over to Paris (they need superheroes too). Away I went to expand my horizons and do good. I can’t explain why exactly, but while I was away I fell out of love with Superman (no I didn’t meet another Parisian superhero, that wasn’t it). I did have an affair of sorts though. I was feeling homesick and I admit it that I turned to chocolate to quell my loneliness (my new hero). I was eating chocolate by the hour, comfort food. It definitely wreaked havoc on my svelte Wonder Woman figure. In fact, when Superman flew over to visit me, he took one look at me and asked “What the Sam Hill happened to you?” (true story). I almost cried as I reached for another chocolate bar (I’m sure you would have too…ouch that hurt). Then he flew back and I realized that I was definitely NOT in love with him (no it wasn’t his hurtful words, I had a thicker skin than that…and a cape).  I loved him yes, but I realized that I wasn’t in love with him – that’s when I understood the vast difference between the two. Fast-forward, many moons later (and many chocolate bars), I returned back to Canada and broke the sad news to my Superman. I had to be truthful and an upstanding superhero. It wasn’t easy as he’d waited for me (kind of…yep, another story…ahem), but I had to speak the truth gently and tell him that we were no longer Superman and Wonder Woman. As he was not handling flying solo well, I reminded him that sometimes even superheroes have to accept the truth (sorry Superman). I was kind, compassionate and yet firm as I spoke. He didn’t take that well at all (long story), I will share one particular part of the farewell story with you.

Halloween Bound

Boo!  Weeks later is was party time at the local Flying Club, my entire circle of friends, co-workers and other superheroes were sure to be there (not a lot else to do in a small northern town). I knew that I would cross paths with Superman tonight (despite the fact that I was very cleverly disguised as Robin – I really was – I borrowed my sister’s cool superhero costume and mask not wanting to be Wonder Woman tonight or again). It wasn’t that I didn’t care for him, it was just that I wanted to avoid conflict and the pressure that I knew he was going to serve up (again). I was ready for his arrival and sure enough, right on schedule (he was a pilot after all), in he flew. As he scanned the party, we (my posse and I) executed ‘Plan B’. My friends snuck me out through the back door, cape flying, into a waiting escape car (backseat, head down, gas pedal to the floor…you know the getaway scene from a television CopsRUs show). Whew…we make it, I let out a long sigh of relief. Now to Plan ‘C’ – another party at a church rectory (yes a rectory, it’s true, that’s where my friends lived and where ‘the’ best parties took place). In case you don’t know what a rectory is, it’s an official residence provided by a church for its parson or vicar or rector.  None of the above lived there – just a bunch of men who fixed airplanes and flew them. They were ready for us, party in full swing with bathtub filled with ice (always a sign of a good party – during one party they even filled a canoe with ice)! Great, I was there and I could breathe again, knowing that Superman wouldn’t find me. Or so I thought…within no time he arrived (small town) and did not look happy. Oh boy, I thought “This is not going to be good.” I was so tired of being pursued and hounded by him to try to convince me to change my mind. I didn’t stand a chance, there was no where to run this time. My friends were on the watch as he cornered me in the bathroom (fortunately it was also the ‘bar’). We were not alone as party revelers poured in as he pleaded with me one last time to take him back. I held my ground and gently said “I’m just not that into you.” Kidding (these words weren’t even invented back then)…I don’t recall exactly what I said, but he FINALLY got the message and left me alone. He flew his way and I flew mine. My record collection was lost, never to be heard from again. On a brighter note, I still have one of his house plants left with me from the days when we were going to spend the rest of our lives together (it makes me smile to think that I still have a reminder of him with me). Years later sadly he left us way too young – his heart. It still makes me sad to think about the way that it ended for us at a party beside a bathtub of ice…always be kind, be compassionate, be empathetic, be gentle, but draw your line in the sand (or ice). We parted ways as friends, we were both meant to be free to find and our true loves and happiness. Rest In Peace my friend, I do think of you with love and kindness. You were my superhero.

Love Dateline: Say It All With Food

Where: Your kitchen

When: Anytime you are out of words

Mood: Wanting to fly far, far away

Menu of Farewell

Do you want him to politely get the message to let you be & move on? In the nicest of ways, say it all with food! As I designed this ‘Menu of Farewell,’ I considered all the dishes in my life that weren’t exactly the most exciting – bordering on boring (sorry Mom).  I wish that I had this menu to serve up to Superman to say farewell…oh well. This is designed just for you – serve up this bland menu and no words required! Beans on toast highbrow, nothing but the best (or the blandest). Make this meal and it will be a ‘tell all’ clue to him for sure (hopefully he’ll pick up on the hints)! He’ll know that the curtain is drawing to a close and the theatre’s going dark. Or…ya never know, maybe you’ll come around and enjoy this dinner together. Who knows, skies the limit, anything can happen! I love the mystery of life and romance, good luck!” Start your potentially last supper with
 “Catch You On The Flip Side” Extra Garlic Santa Fe Caesar Salad, follow with “See Ya Later” Liver ‘n Onions,“It’s Not You, It’s Me, Checked Out” Buttery Mashed Potatoes, “I Give You The Slip” Mushy Minted Peas, ending with “Hasta La Vista Baby” Cardamom Rice Pudding. Find love in your heart, you never know how tonight might turn out – this could perhaps also be the beginning of your lifetime together!

Love Dateline: The Inspiration

Where: My Mom’s kitchen

When: My childhood

Mood: Happy, happy

Emotion:  Joy

A lifetime of British Fare

I have a family story to serve up with this menu! As you’ve likely noticed, the menu is mainly British fare (except the Caesar Salad which I just had to include because of the extra garlic…I thought it was funny)! Our family immigrated to Canada from England when I was four years old. Therefore, I grew up with a lifetime of mainly British fare, although I would never, ever consider my Mom’s cooking “bland.” Never! Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t take this the wrong way! I was just having fun with the menu intro and the dishes. You are a great cook! Growing up I loved your comfort food dishes, albeit from what I recall you rarely made Liver ‘n Onions (because I’m sure we didn’t like them) and I don’t think you ever made mushy peas! Did you? You did, however, make mean mashed potatoes and I loved your rice pudding! Ahhh pure comfort. This rice pudding recipe has a little bit of a unique spin on it. I added an exotic ‘taste of India’ with the cardamom spice. I hope you don’t mind.

Tradition

My favourite dishes, made by Mom’s loving hands, were our Sunday Roast Beef Dinners – complete with Yorkshire Pudding and lots of gravy – the best (thanks Mom). I loved the well-done to sometimes burnt end pieces of the roast beef, I loved the caramelization (ha, I didn’t even know this culinary term back then but I knew what I liked)! And one unique dish that my Mom made was bread sauce, I loved it with its nutmegy flavour. What could be better? A nice quiet Sunday meal with my family at the dinner table, all of the dishes oh so well-done. I say this because well-done typically equals quiet which equals no crunching while eating. I have no idea why, but loud crunching of food drives me crazy especially when eating with family. So…Sunday dinners were perfect. I could have eaten Sunday dinner every night of the week! Well done, soft and delicious, a perfect combination!

Exotic?

Mom also made curry, I didn’t quite get that connection for a long, long time. I wondered to myself “Why would you eat curry if you’re from England?” It didn’t quite add up to me – curry was exotic and British fare, not so much. Part of my questioning was also likely because I didn’t like curry when I was growing up. Whenever my Mom took her fancy new fangled crock-pot out from the cupboard, I knew that it potentially wasn’t a good sign (50/50 chance – chilli good, curry bad). Curry was ‘bad’ to me because I had to finish whatever was served on our plate – every last morsel (or raisin in this case)! Curry nights meant a long night of sitting at the dinner table choking it down (sorry Mom). At least I wasn’t alone, curry had the same affect on some of my sisters…if not all. As an afterthought, this perhaps explains my sensitivity to the sound of food being eaten by my family. At times I had to endure listening for extended periods as we all worked towards our goal of a spotless plate. Our dog Pete (my black lab) was happy when curry nights came along, he watched and waited for that famous crock-pot to come out of hiding (he was smart in that way). He knew that he’d be ‘slipped’ a bite or two or ten of curry from the table!

Well, that was then, this is now. I’d eat curry in a flash, especially my Mom’s curry with raisins and apples. Today I LOVE it and I’d eat it anytime day or night. And now that I’ve travelled to India, learnt how to make authentic curry and I know more of the history with England, I completely understand ‘why curry’? It all makes perfect sense now! If only I knew then what I know now.

Steppin’ out

I recall the day well that my Mom introduced Italian cuisine to our young palettes (my memory can be very good when it comes to food). She was steppin’ out in the kitchen. What was that? We had never had anything quite as exotic as pasta and tomato sauce? Hmmm? An interesting combination of flavours and textures, but I didn’t like it at all. Tomato sauce…yuck! Who would take a perfectly good tomato and make it into a sauce? The Italians, what were they thinking? I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Consequently spaghetti wasn’t the easiest of dishes for me to eat either. I remember taking tiny bites and washing it down with milk. Bread was my best friend during these meals. Remember the ‘clean plate’ policy – spaghetti dinners also meant long nights.

And yet today, I LOVE Italian cuisine and I completely get why the Italians would crush tomatoes! Although I still can’t bring myself to drink it – tomato juice/tomato soup – yuck – can’t do it. That’s about the only food that I can’t drink – I’ll eat or drink anything else but that!

Thank you Mom

I’ll wrap this up now – thank you for cooking for us for all of those years! I know we weren’t exactly the easiest to please. I so appreciate it, I learnt a lot from you and I do love your cooking and your recipes! And I learned to love curry and spaghetti thanks to you! Love you Mom. XOXOXO

XO

Jackie's 'signature'_Briar Rose

PS Love your food, what comes from the heart touches the heart! Craving isn’t a ‘Bad Word,’ food IS sexy!

PSS I came up with this handy wallet-sized ‘Manly Ranking Scale’ – pull it out when you need it! It’s similar to the Richter Magnitude Scale that measures earthquakes (the idea came to me as I survived a major earthquake in Vegas years ago). I’ll grade each man of my life at the time of my Love Dateline story! Feel free to grade the man of your life, If he’s a +10 (and I hope he is), I’d say go for it!:

-2-Manly rating card-2

Sorry Superman, I had to call in help!


Check out the complete “You’re Just Not That Into Him” menu



Author: Jackie DeKnock

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