|La Boca in Buenos Aires - Sept 2019|
When I first met Rosemary in the waning days of 1967 people who knew her told me she ate “como un pajarito”. It was not until we moved to Vancouver in 1975 that I found out that there was such a thing as an eating disorder or that I was dyslexic!
So in our 52 years together I had to coax and trick her to
eat. If you piled stuff on her plate she would not eat any of it.
Who Will Be First? May 18, 2013
Now that she is gone I have the questionable and upsetting ability to eat what I want and not what she would have eaten. I can eat steaks (I am an Argentine) but my desire for meat is greatly diminished.
What did Rosemary eat? There were a few things she adored
and in her last three months of life she had that woman’s “I am pregnant” food desires so she would say, “I want to eat papaya." (at 3 in the morning) - or a tomato sandwich. We both liked unsalted, cultural butter.
Rosemary liked, Manila mangoes, Mexican rice with a fried egg on top, ditto on mashed potatoes, my barbecued hamburgers, ditto hot dogs, Bonne Maman strawberry jam, Nestlé Quick, many spoonfuls (she would stir the mixture with a spoon and make a noise close to that of chalk on a blackboard. She knew it annoyed me so this was one very rare trait of her little cruelty!), Yorkshire pudding (she was famous for it), her flan with a spoonful of Nestle Nescafe and lots of burnt sugar syrup. The biggest smile would happen in our Merida hotel or in any other other Mexican hotel when she faced papaya for breakfast.
Rosemary made delicious pineapple squares that we served when we had an open garden. It was only after about 45 years together that she told me that she really did not like my special cucumber sandwiches (English style) that I served at those garden openings.
While I loved asparagus she did not care for them. But Brussels Sprouts she liked while I passed on them.
She tolerated my homemade pizza.
The high point of our day for at least 25 years was our
breakfast in bed with our cats. We had the NY Times and the Vancouver Sun to
read. In our tray for her she had toast with her Bonne Maman strawberry jam.
She would drink her terrible Decaf which I made in a French press. She said
that my orange juice was too acid but when I served freshly made apple juice
she liked it. For the first ten years we had bacon for breakfast. This custom
began to slow down as we felt we needed to eat healthier. But occasionally she
would manage a couple of my very crisp bacon slices. What really made her happy was when I prepared hot cream of wheat with brown sugar. I am sure she suspected that I put in my 2% milk not her 1% and sometimes added cream.
In the middle of those “pregnant desire” nights she would go down for peanut butter and crackers.
There was one custom of hers to which I had mixed feelings. She always wanted to try what I was eating when we went to restaurants. But in the end if she was willing to eat anything I let her try.
Rosemary liked my Mexican cooking. She had a fondness for quesadillas made from wheat tortillas and with the strong Gruyere I used. She liked my Mexican salsa but I had to make two batches one had Serrano chiles the other did not.
Our fave quick dessert was the Argentine quince jelly called dulce the membrillo which we sandwiched with that Gruyere or a cheddar.
Presently in this rainy January melancholy I am trying to finish eating anything that Rosemary might have bought. Will I be able to not connect anything I may eat for the rest of my life?
I doubt it. And yes she liked Fanta and that is what she is holding in that bar in La Boca.