My folks invited me over for dinner last night (they were obviously feeling sorry for the straw bachelor). I’m a pretty good cook, but my mother is better, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. When I arrived, the kitchen was filled with delicious smells. My mother was preparing one of her special recipes: meat objects. I suppose that technically, one could classify them as ‘meatballs’, but ‘meat objects’ or is closer to the truth. After all, balls tend to be either spherical or sort of egg-shaped, whereas these babies looked more like noses, feet and other severed extremities, but ironically enough, not at all like testicles. A veritable physio-topological wonderland, in other words. My mother is a good cook, but presentation has never been her strong suit.
I’ve been to restaurants where the food has been arranged like a beautiful work of art, but has tasted like a boiled sock. Feasting one’s eyes is all very well, but at some stage the mouth and stomach are going to want to get involved. I think that’s what I enjoy about a home-cooked meal – it’s the triumph of substance over form. Given the choice, I would much rather eat something that resembles a dog turd and tastes like heaven than the other way round.