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[i find, however, that by the time I sit down to eat I already feel satiated. This has puzzled me for years. Am I alone in this? It isn’t because of “excessive” tasting or pre-meal snacks. I’ve suspected that this occurs because I’ve been looking at food and smelling it as it cooks. This may satisfy my hunger center. It’s not unusual to serve my guests and have to struggle to sit down and eat. I do, of course, because I enjoy their company. Oddly, this doesn’t occur as often when I cook just for myself.

Would someone please tell me that I’m not alone with this phenomenon? Is there a way around it?

this is exactly what happens to me. i taste but not excessivly but i really think that

the smell of the food permeates my mind and makes me feel as if i have already eaten.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Cusina, you helped me a bit in explaining to myself why I usually put eating first. I love it all, from reading the magazines and menu planning, to thinking about it all times of the day and shopping and cooking. It's everything, but eating is the pleasure I like the most. Usually. :biggrin:

...eating should be about tasting and savoring the meal as well as enjoying the company you are in, even if you are by yourself.

Eating involves all the senses... what it looks like, the music that is playing or the football game on TV, the flowers, the candles, the aromas, the company, the texture of the food, not to mention the taste. I know I'm getting carried away, but as much as I love it all, I love to eat.

The one example of when eating might not come in first for me is when I'm entertaining. Then I do get a slight case of the nerves and enjoy the other parts of it, including seeing my guests enjoy the food, more than I enjoy eating the meal. That is when I experience what you all are talking about in terms of feeling satiated when it's time to sit down and eat. I think part of that for me is being tired from all the energy I put into the planning and cooking for guests. Eating alone is wonderful!

Also, I enjoy dining out, if it's fine dining, as much, and I include enjoying wine to match the food in the category of eating.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Eating involves all the senses... what it looks like, the music that is playing or the football game on TV, the flowers, the candles, the aromas, the company, the texture of the food, not to mention the taste.  I know I'm getting carried away, but as much as I love it all, I love to eat.

I usually hate to say "I love to eat", because in our society that is interpreted to mean "I want to be filling my face constantly with anything and everything I can get my hands on" - and nothing could be further from the truth.

You have described the delights of eating very well - it's the entertaining of the senses, the layers of flavors and scents and textures, the interplay between ingredients or dining companions (or both, depends on the circumstances). It's the excitement of the new, the comfort of the old, the serendipity of discovery, the physical pleasure of taste and satiety.

I've rarely, if ever, experienced this with indiscriminate dining. It doesn't seem to be related to cost of ingredients, or fat or calorie or carbohydrate content (or lack thereof) of the food, either. It's probably a gestalt of the situation, my body's wants, my tongue's desire for taste, what is currently available and good, what I have the skills and ability to acquire or cook - and when it all comes together, it's simply wonderful.

It's too bad pleasure has such a bad reputation.

Marcia.

but you guys know all this already.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Planning. I spend a lot of time doing this and is of great interest reading up on background details etc.

Cooking. Depends on the meal.

Eating. Rarely enjoy this as nothing is ever perfect.

i'm rather the opposite, mostly, when it comes to planning. i go to the stores, or the supermarket, and check out what looks good or what may be on a special offer, then think of something to do with it, trying to figure out what i may need that is not already in the fridge or the storecupboard, and bring it home. of course, if i'm to do a regular menu, it takes some planning, and that's good clean fun.

makes cooking something of a challenge at times, as i'm not always right about what's actuallly in the fridge etc. i do find pleasure in chopping and most other knife work (hehe), as well as sauteeing and other things that are touch-and-go. in a way, that's the part of it that's least potentially frustrating. it's also where you get your interesting ideas, when you have to deal with missing ingredients...

eating is, luckily, mostly all right. but once in a blue moon it IS perfect. like last saturday, the lasagne had us all just sit there, wondering at how such a simple down-to-earth thing could be, yes, perfect. you know the signs, i'm sure: you start eating, then slow down, starting to really enjoy the depth of the flavours, then look up and realize that everyone else around the table shares the same wonder - and you start talking about it, and a strange peace settles on you! it had never happened before with my lasagne, and it will probably never happen again. it is, admittedly, a very rare occasion.

and adam, i think your hit rate would be a good deal higher than mine when it comes to perfection :wink:

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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Planning, then eating, then cooking.

I love flipping through cookings, reading through recipes and seeing finished dieshes but I always go overboard and add too many dishes to the list. Then when it comes time to shop, I see stuff that I don't need for the meal but buy it anyways "in case I have time to make a little extra". Cooking, depending on how the planning/shopping went and how much time I have to prep/cook, can be fun and a good learning process or an excercise in coping with time and pressure. Eating is good no matter what because I finally get to sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labour but I still can't turn the brain off totally. While I'm eating I do a post-mortem of sorts, thinking of how to improve it or do it differently, whether I would make it again, etc.

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For me, they're all enjoyable, in different ways. They appeal to different aspects of my nature, satisfy different needs.

Planning to me is an intellectual exercise. When I'm devising a menu for a relatively formal dinner, it's the process of beginning with an infinite (or vast) universe of possibilities, and narrowing down the choices along paths that feel instinctively right, until I end up with a menu that fits the season, my mood and my event. Sometimes, when I'm cooking for myself or a few friends, I prefer to hit the markets with no ideas in mind, in which case I plan as I go, and the exercise is mostly one of memory, as I attempt to recall what, exactly, I have in the refrigerator and cupboards, and what that recipe that I only just glanced at a couple of weeks ago actually called for. A third type of exercise is the one that comes from opening up the refrigerator and determining just what I can make without having to go to the store, a more limited but challenging task that carries its own rewards.

In all cases, the planning stage provides that feeling of completing a puzzle, and when my menu or recipe settles itself, I feel the same sense of peace I get when the last crossword is filled in or the last jigsaw piece drops into place. If I try to start cooking before I get to that place, I always regret it.

Prepping, for me, instills a sense of order in my culinary universe: turning a pile of raw, wild food into neat bowls of ingredients. Yes, of course chopping, mincing, peeling and measuring are tedious in themselves, but they are satisfying tasks for the part of me that wants order over chaos.

When the real cooking starts, it catches my creative side – taking the neat bowls of ingredients and making them into something entirely new, turning them from separate ingredients into soups and sauces, stews and sautes. As long as I've been cooking, it's still always an almost magical moment I realize that it's worked yet again: I've created something delicious.

Because that's the point, isn't it? For all the satisfaction I derive from planning and cooking, I wouldn't do it if I didn't love the taste and texture of what I eat, if I didn't like to eat. Sometimes the wait seems interminable – when the smell of the short ribs braising is almost too much to resist, when the asparagus goes on the grill pan and starts to char ever so slightly – but that makes it even better when it's finally ready.

That's when everything goes well. There are, unfortunately, those days where the market is out of everything I need, and I have to revert to Plan B or even Plan C so often that I can hardly remember what Plan A was. The days where I run out of time to prep and consequently my cooking is disorganized, and the sink fills up with dirty dishes, and nothing finishes according to schedule and I’m so worried about what my guests will think of the horrible dinner I'm mangling that it all tastes like dust, and it's all I can do keep from apologizing and ordering pizza. Those days, I hate it all.

Until the next time, when I love it all, all over again.

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All 3! It's fun to discuss what you're going to cook and then go shopping for it. Cooking's always a joy 'cause it's creating art in the kitchen and eating is a pleasure.

Unless you're eating a poorly prepared meal or forced to share it with people you don't like (ex: business lunches/dinners) and then I'd rather have a root canal...

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