How the Slow Sex Movement was Born

Do you know where your porn comes from?

It began innocently enough: four women of a certain age meet on a Saturday in New York City to talk, eat, and see art. Yet by day’s end, we were innocent no more, and I’d conceived of a new movement: Slow Sex.

We started at M. Wells, the hip, newish restaurant in Long Island City, famous for Montreal cuisine. The place was packed, placing us within pheromone distance of a bevy of boys, all leaning Canadian in plaid shirts, black, square glasses, and baggy jeans.

Big chicks dig plaid.

The boys didn’t appeal to our sense of smell, but the food got our juices flowing (the meat being the thing at M. Wells). Sadly though, the venison jerky salad was so dry it needed K-Y jelly, and the fish soup, (the one thing you want to smell fishy), creamy in all the wrong places.

The fish soup at M. Wells. Creamy, yes, but where's the fish?

Thankfully, the desserts – coconut cream and maple pies – brought us the satisfaction we’d been craving.

Look how big it is!

From there we headed to the art museum P.S.1, where we walked smack dab into real sex, as opposed to the faux food-induced variety, in the photography of Laura Nakadate, whose looks suggested she never ate, and whose artwork gave the impression she preferred sex with herself, leading us to wonder: Do women even need men to get off, or is pleasuring yourself with dessert good enough?

Laurel Nakadate gets off on herself.

A few hours later – famished and parched from all the sex – we decided to get our fill at Jimmy’s No. 43, a Slow Food joint in the East Village, where our friend Rich served as chef.

We hadn’t expected that a place known for hand-crafted beers and organic, locally sourced food would lead us to dishing on sex again, but this time it was Rich who was all hot and bothered.

“Did you see the recent New York magazine article about how Internet porn is ravishing men’s sex lives?” he asked, handing us plates of roasted sweet potatoes with thyme he’d slaved over all day in the kitchen.

“I mean, you can find anything out there. Big-breasted women with fake boobs. Flat-chested hipster chicks who look like teenage girls. It’s all there, easy to access, and free. Which means, guys can’t get it up with their girlfriends any more,” he cried. We were enraptured, though whether by the implications of what Rich was saying or the braised kale with Heritage Farm bacon he handed us next, we weren’t sure.

So good you can eat it.

I surveyed the room, now thick with men, all of whom looked eerily similar to those at M. Wells: black, square glasses, plaid shirts, baggy jeans, all sporting thick beards one hoped would go the way of the once-fashionable female bush.

That’s when it hit me. If it was true that guys who got off on Internet porn were the same ones who could a) tell extra virgin from virgin (olive oil) with their eyes closed (and hands tied behind their backs?); b) would no sooner wrap their mouths around a hormone-injected hamburger than listen to Justin Bieber; and c) would give their last dollar to buy a dozen, free-range eggs rather than be caught fixing an omelet with the corner bodega variety, then all we needed to get them interested in their girlfriends again was convince them that pleasuring themselves online was equivalent to eating a McDonald’s Happy Meal!

I suggested this to Rich after pleasuring myself with his sticky toffee pudding.

Rich's sticky toffee pudding a.k.a. food porn.

“I’m not advocating a return to a boring sexual diet,” I argued, Ronnybrook whipped cream still glistening on my lips. “On the contrary. My point is to show gastronomically sophisticated men that sex with locally grown women (rather than ones shipped from overseas, whose origins are unknown), who aren’t picked while still underripe, nor filled with chemicals like silicone, are as worthwhile procuring as a perfectly marbled slab of Niman Ranch bacon for the superior mouth feel both offer. Heck, maybe we can even get men to see that older, heirloom women – while not always perfect looking outside – taste better than mass-produced younger varieties that just look fresh on the shelf.”

I continued, my excitement mounting. “And for guys who, for ethical reasons, only eat organic, free range, and Fair Trade food, we label porn so that, at least if they’re going to consume it, they can feel better knowing the women they’re watching are cage-free!”

Extra virgin. It's worth paying for.

Rich wasn’t so sure, nor were my girlfriends. But I contend that if New York magazine is right – that easy access to fast-food sex dulls men’s taste buds for the good stuff – it’s time to borrow a page from the Slow Food movement’s little black playbook. Maybe then, asking men to forego cheaply produced porn will feel less like a moralistic burden and more like a message they can wrap their legs around.

In fact, I’ve come up with a slogan to start the campaign:

“My milk’s free of bovine growth hormone, and my girlfriend’s breasts are too.”

That's right guys. They're all natural.


___________________________________________________________________________________

For a fabulous meal made with organic, locally grown food (all prepared by a chef we love), visit Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th Street, NYC, 212.982.3006.

Read a review of Laurel Nakadate’s show from female friend #1 and art critic/editor extraordinaire, Carol Diehl.

Buy paintings by female friend #2, Julie Wolf, and crafts and antiques by female friend #3 Liz Asch.

Learn “What’s Organic About Organic?” by bringing this new documentary to your home town.

Want organic milk and humanely raised meat produced by farmers not agribusinesses? Support Ronnybrook Farm and Niman Ranch.

Advertisements

The Couchsurfer Who Changed Everything

Marcel as I imagined him...

Ah, romance! The dirty, little secret of Couchsurfing. Sure, sometimes it’s all kumbaya, joining the world’s diverse peoples in a platonic group hug. But other times, CSers just wanna have fun, at least with people whom they know have already pre-booked their ticket home.

Yet I can state unequivocally, that in over two years of Couchsurfing, no man (or woman) has ever broken my Bristol-Palin like chastity.

That is, until Marcel.

From the moment we met, I knew Marcel was different: gentle, funny, willing to share the tiniest details of his life as if we’d known each other forever.

Initially, I swore I wouldn’t “out” our love on the blog. But now that I’ve changed my Facebook status to “In a relationship,” I’ve decided it’s time to let the world experience, as I did, the man – and day – I’ll never forget…

____________________________________________________________________

After Marcel and I awoke (he on his air mattress, I on my off-the-ground, queen-size bed). I suggested we hit the Lower East Side for breakfast at Panade, a “puff” cafe known for their sweet and savory choux pastry concoctions.

Panade girls staring at Marcel and me.

Marcel, having never experienced “puffs” in his country, the name of which I can never remember, took delicate bites of the cheese and rosemary and declared it better than the leaves he usually eats.

Choose your puff.

From there we walked to the Union Square Greenmarket, a perfect spot for people watching, as well as purchasing fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat, all by local purveyors, and at sizes even Marcel could chew.

Foolishly oblivious to the difference in our heights (did I mention Marcel is rather small?), I noticed his feet were worn to nibs by the time we arrived at the market! Helping steady him with my hand, we momentarily touched and, just then, something ineffable passed between us; at that moment, I knew our connection was much stronger than merely our mutual love of sleeping for free in other people’s homes.

After sharing a handmade Dutch pretzel (was he imagining us entwined?), he asked if we could stop at the Apple (PRODUCT PLACEMENT) store, to send an email. Immediately, my mood deflated. Was he writing to his girlfriend in his unpronounceable country to share with HER the fabulous day he was having with ME?

My hopes for love dashed, I sulked off to check my own email when, strangely, one from Marcel magically appeared on the screen: “THANK U FOR THE MOST PURR-FECT DAY OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!! I’M FALLING IN LOVE WITH U!!##$$, MARCEL!@#$%”

Our eyes locked across the crowded Apple store. We rushed into one another’s arms, the other guests too immersed in their iPods (PRODUCT PLACEMENT) to notice. After that, there was nothing, not even the fact that Marcel’s country only sells PCs, that could come between us.

Marcel and I relax at Sanctuary T.

Exhausted from the Apple store – and the excitement of our newfound love – we decided to recharge at Sanctuary T. There, in the dimly lit, Asian-influenced room, Marcel and I sipped mood-enhancing teas, grew tipsy from tea-infused cocktails, and ate tea-dusted main courses, secure in the knowledge that whatever herb or caffeinated beverage we imbibed could only further stimulate our feelings towards one another.

But just then, a dark cloud of recognition jolted us from our reverie: our day of love was nearly over, and soon Marcel would have to return to his difficult-to-locate-on-a-map country. Could our love withstand the oceans, mountains, hurricanes, mudslides, tsunamis, and occasional locust infestations, that routinely pummel his impossible-to-spell nation?

Teas and tea objects on display.

But there was no time to ponder, as night was upon us, and it was time for dinner.

Amazingly, Marcel had taken the initiative to read the New Yorker in the bathroom of my apartment earlier that day, and recommended we check out Millesime, a restaurant that had recently opened in a former no-man’s land (the East ’30s) that had begun trending hip.

Tiffany roof at Millesime.

There we found the Carlton Hotel, a Beaux Arts-style building built in 1904, recently renovated into a fashionable boutique hotel and now home to Millesime and the downstairs M Bar. As we entered the airy restaurant with its Tiffany glass sunroof, red leather banquette, marble bar, and candle-lit tables, it was as if – not only Marcel and I but the entire room – was aglow!

The dinner only heightened the exquisiteness of what we believed would be our last night together, beginning with the perfectly chewy yet crusty bread served with wine and olive tapenade, moving on to the perfectly prepared lobster on a bed of ice with house-made cocktail sauce and aioli, and ending with a simple yet elegant dessert consisting of a honeycomb square paired with a salty, French cheese.

The dining room at Millesime.

It was only then I saw Marcel crying.
“Why are you sad, my love?” I asked, barely able to contain my own tears.
Because,” Marcel squeaked, “We’re at the most romantic restaurant in New York, and I have something to give you.
He lowered his already small body down further to the ground and knelt on one knee.
Will you marry me?
Before I could answer, the wait staff burst into applause.
“Say, ‘Yes!'” they shouted.
And I did, amid tears and laughter, as a waiter lifted Marcel from the ground and carried him in his hand for all to see.

Downstairs at the M bar, we celebrated and danced, snacking on lamb chop lollipops and Basque-style popcorn, while the DJ spun songs from the ’50s, because Marcel said it reminded him of home.

____________________________________________________________________

Now that we’ve caught our breath, Marcel and I have decided to divide our time between New York and the land mass he calls home. Happily, we both still love couchsurfing and continue to host people when they come to visit. We do though still sleep in separate beds. After all, I don’t want to crush him.

Marcel was kind enough to make this video to share himself with all of you. I think you’ll agree, he’s just as described!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To recreate my perfect day with Marcel, we encourage you to visit our favorite places:

Panade: 132A Eldridge Street
Union Square Greenmarket: From 14th – 17th Street between Broadway/University Place and Union Square East. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Sanctuary T: 337 West Broadway
Millesime and M Bar: 92 Madison Avenue

How to Get Laid on Valentine’s Day…and Beyond!

Guaranteed to get your loved one horizontal.

Do you want to get laid on Valentine’s Day…and Beyond?

If you answered YES to this question, then I’m about to reveal a SUREFIRE METHOD that’s GUARANTEED to get the woman or man of your dreams under the covers wearing nothing more than their tighty-whiteys in less than 24 hours or I WILL GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK!!!

How do I know this method works? I speak from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!

When I was 21 years old, I worked for a summer as a bartender in London. Being 21, I admittedly had other things on my mind besides alcohol (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, say no more…).

Yet no matter how much I batted my eyelashes, dabbed beer behind my ears, and yelled at blokes in the bar that they could “wank off” if they didn’t like what I was pouring, British men avoided me like I was Fergie pre-Weight Watchers.

To drown my sorrows, and cool my searing flesh, I began swimming at the local pool. Then, one day, while emerging Bo Derek-like from the piscine, I met a handsome Frenchman who, oo-la-la, also happened to be a chef.

Jean, as I’ll call him, was just what the doctor ordered to restore my joie de vivre. Yet despite his whistling “Tea for Two” beneath my window at night and covering my neck with passionate kisses in front of the guards at Buckingham Palace, I refused to let him have his way with me, delicate, young thing that I was.

But all that changed one afternoon, when he suggested we take a walk in the park. Expecting nothing more than a chaste stroll, I was shocked when Jean suddenly pulled from his pockets – not what you think, dear reader – but rather a Swiss Army knife, spoon, apple, and bottle of wine.

Now what Jean did next – and what I’m about to share with you, dear reader – is something that is SO GUARANTEED TO ENLARGE, I mean, ENTHRALL the woman or man of your dreams, you’ll be running to the drugstore for protection faster than a free-range chicken at the Slow Food – Charlotte Chapter’s Southern Food Cook-Off!

What he did was carefully remove the central part of the apple’s core, leaving the apple bottom in place. He then cut a wider circle around the apple top to create a shallow opening. Using the spoon, he scooped out most of the innards to form a cup. Finally, ever so gently, he filled the apple “cup” with wine, and offered me a sip. The rest of the afternoon passed in a dream-like blur, as the apple cup of wine moved back and forth between our two lips, until they were stained cherry-red.

More important for YOU to know, is that within eight hours of Jean’s skilled handiwork, I was laid out on his bed as horizontal as Click and Clack the Tappett Brothers beneath the body of a Mustang lowrider.

Which is why, dear reader, if you want to get laid on Valentine’s Day – and beyond – there’s NOTHING, I mean NOTHING, sexier or more romantic than hand-carving your beloved an apple wine cup. And, better yet, this SUREFIRE METHOD costs less than $10!! That’s right!! LESS THAN $10!!

So don’t delay!! Act now!! Rush order your apple today!!
THIS METHOD IS GUARANTEED TO GET YOU LAID OR I’LL GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY – OR READING TIME – BACK!!

Oh, Mexico!

Rocio and her mom at home in Cancun.

Location: Mexico
Person: Rocio
Recipe: Ponche, Winter Fruit Punch
___________________________

There are three ways a person can travel:

Walk among the people.
Bike, bus, or train with backpackers.
Observe from a remove, knowing it’s all a mirage.

Over nine days in Mexico, I experienced all three.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


___________________________

On January 1, I flew to Mexico for what I thought was a much-needed vacation. To be clear, I live in the United States, have a roof over my head, eat three meals a day, enjoy the benefits of heat, electricity, and hot water, and am fortunate enough to engage in work I find meaningful that also pays enough to meet my basic needs while giving me extra for occasional splurges.

I first couchsurfed at Rocio’s home in Cancun. Incredibly, she left me alone in her house while she stayed at her boyfriend’s; her boyfriend, she later confessed, was her ex-husband.

In the bedroom at Rocio's.

I then headed to the beach town of Tulum where, lacking a reservation, a Swedish woman on the street directed me to a cheap, but clean, hotel.

A hotel in Tulum.

Finally I spent four days at a luxury resort in Playa del Carmen attending a workshop — the real purpose of my trip.

The bedroom at Grand Velas Riviera Maya.

___________________________

In Cancun, Rocio’s mother fed me bacalo and gave me warm ponche to drink to celebrate the New Year. At night, I wandered the streets and found a restaurant called Blanca Elana, where I watched a woman make tortillas while I ate papas con rajas.

In Tulum, I sat by the beach at restaurants with outdoor terraces and wooden tables. At Las Estrellas, I ordered ceviche and drank cold, Mexican beer.

Ceviche at Las Estrellas.

At Xcatik, the French-born chef treated me to fusion versions of traditional Mayan food and introduced me to Mexican wines.

Steak with black beans and guacamole.

Once at the resort, I dined at five or six restaurants, each with its own cuisine. Getting to them required taking a shuttle bus down a smooth, dirt road through a mangrove jungle. Waited on by beautiful waitresses and handsome waiters who anticipated my every move, I took delicate bites of strange and exotic dishes like Napoléon de Foie Gras Mi-Cuit Sur Tuile d’Amandes, each dish a kind of theater unto itself.

Foie gras at Grand Velas, photo courtesy of Loaded Kitchen.


___________________________

For fun, in Rocio’s neighborhood, I wandered the neighborhood in the early morning and listened to birds.

In Tulum, I biked to an archaeological site filled with Mayan ruins, where I hiked through green fields scattered with tourists.

Mayan ruins with tourists.

At the resort, I lounged by the pool and read or drank margaritas and chatted about food and photography.

The pool at Grand Velas Maya Riviera

___________________________

Nine days later, I returned to New York City, the memory of Mexico quickly vanquished by the onslaught of wind and snow and the inevitable routines of daily life.

But when I drink a cup of ponche now to warm my hands, I’m reminded of why I love to travel and how fortunate I am to experience travel in its many incarnations.

___________________________

With thanks to Rocio and her mom; Chef Dennis Radoux at Xcatik (Calle Sagitario Pte. esq. con Alfa norte, Tulum); Petter from Sweden, who walked me back to town after visiting the ruins, and the Swedish tourist who led me to the hotel; the leaders of Food Blog Camp and all the wonderful bloggers I met there, including Maggie, my former roommate, who blogs at Loaded Kitchen; the staff at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, and the doctor who treated me when I fell ill there; KerryGold for providing a scholarship to the workshop; and all the strangers who crossed my path whose names I will never know but who supported me along the journey. Namaste!

________________________________

Mexican Ponche, Adapted for Gringos

To make true ponche requires ingredients that may be difficult to find in some parts of the world, like piloncillo and sugar cane. I’ve included a link to a traditional recipe from the wonderful Mija Chronicles and created my own version using more easily available ingredients. For the dedicated, some but not all, Mexican ingredients can be ordered online and delivered to Europe through Mexgrocer. For U.S. customers, Latin Merchant has a wide selection, including the ingredients below, all of which can be shipped within the U.S.

Servings: 8-10 teacup size servings

Ingredients:

4 cups water
5 cinnamon sticks, 3-4″ each
2 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 cup firmly packed dark, brown sugar
1/2 cup whole walnuts
1/2 cup yellow apple, cut into 1″ pieces
2/3 cup pear, well-ripened, cut into 1″ pieces
8 prunes
1 cup orange slices, peel left on, each piece cut into small triangle

Optional if you can find them:

4 whole guavas, also called guayabas, in syrup, seeds removed and cut in half
6 tejacotes in jar, pre-cooked

Directions:

1. Place water, cinnamon, tamarind paste, and walnuts in medium size pot on stove over medium heat. Cover and heat until just beginning to boil.

2. Add remaining fruit except orange or tejacote or guayaba if using.

3. Lower heat and allow to cook until fruit is soft but not falling apart, approximately 15-20 minutes.

4. Add orange slices or Mexican fruits and allow to cook another 10 minutes or to taste.

5. Remove cinnamon sticks. Serve hot, scooping pieces of fruit and nuts into each cup.

恭喜發財! Gōng xǐ fā cái!

Congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope! – Chinese New Year’s greeting

For those who don’t live in a multi-culti city like New York, it’s possible you were blithely unaware that Chinese New Year began yesterday.

This is the Year of the Rabbit when we’re supposed to eat carrots, hop around, and have sex as often as possible. I don’t know if any of that’s true, but I just added it to Wikipedia for the heck of it.

Now in 50 years, we’ll all know when Chinese New Year is because, by then, the Chinese will rule the world – if not the universe and most of the alien galaxies – which means it’s only a matter of time before we’re counting on abacuses, silverware as we know it will have disappeared, and our grandchildren will be speaking to us in Mandarin so that, not only won’t we be able to hear them, we’ll have no idea what they’re saying.

To give those of you who’ve never experienced Chinese New Year a 50-year leg up on the competition, I’m sharing photos of what it was like yesterday in New York City’s faux Chinatown; I mean faux only in the sense that, in the real China, people probably don’t hawk “I Love New York” T-shirts alongside their black market “Black Swan” DVDs.

The air was chill that morning, but the streets felt warm as we wandered among crowds dressed in bright colors, some beating on drums. Policeman stood by while firecrackers popped and cracked. Even they had no intention to stop the fun.

Firecracker droppings

Dragons shook and danced their way into stores, sending New Year’s greetings and asking for gifts. Store owners obliged by giving the dragons money in small, red envelopes. I’m told it goes to the benevolent associations and not the gangsters. Hey, what can I say? I’m cynical. I live in New York City.

Dragons roam the streets.

My co-workers and I celebrated by having lunch at Joe’s Ginger, the country cousin, though no less delicious, version of Joe’s Shanghai.

Joe's Ginger at 25 Pell Street

My co-worker, also named Joe, suggested we order soup dumplings. I’d never had one before. They sounded scary.

Filled with fat mounds of pork with soup snuggled inside – all of it held together by a spiral twist of sticky dough – soup dumplings pop a dollop of liquid in your mouth if you’re not wise to the fact before biting down. Joe advised we poke a tiny hole in the sack to let a little juice slip out first. Ha! I’m no fool! I knew to tuck a napkin under my chin to prevent squirtage.

Plate o' soup dumplings

Then we shared plates of cold noodles with sesame sauce and Shanghai-style eggplant with garlic. The eggplant had a little pork too. It was an awful lot of pork in one day for a nice Jewish girl like me, but I didn’t want to be rude so dug in with the others. Of course, God punished me later that day by having me lose my subway Metrocard. Darn you, God!

After lunch, and despite being stuffed as dumplings, we went scheming for dessert. First we hit the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, but the scoops were expensive – $3.75 for flavors like green tea, lychee, and almond cookie – so we kept walking.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory at 65 Bayard Street

Heading back to the office, we found many shops closed for the holiday, but luckily one of our favorites was opened: EVERYTHING FROSTED! And whether you like cupcakes or not, you have to admit it has the best name in the whole, wide world.

John Wu, owner of Everything Frosted at 105 Mosco Street

The owner, John Wu, makes cupcakes in exotic flavors like pink champagne and tiramisu and in Chinese flavors like jasmine with vanilla bean frosting and green tea with black sesame frosting. He trained under the Executive Pastry Chef at the White House. Do you think that means they served cupcakes for dessert at the recent White House dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao?

Joe liked the cupcakes so much, he bought six. Each one cost $2.50. A lot less than that $3.75 ice cream cone!

Now $2.50 times six equals…uh…uh… Well, if I was one of those whip-smart Chinese kids, I’d have figured it out by now. Too bad I’m just a dumb-ass white lady licking frosting from my fingers, when I should be using them to count!

Joe’s Ginger, 25 Pell Street, 212.285.0333
Chinatown Ice Cream Factor, 65 Bayard Street, 212.608.4170
Everything Frosted, 105 Mosco Street, 212.227.9828

There Will Be Blood

rib roast

Was I wrong to long?

Every 28 days, I crave meat. Bacon. Hamburgers. Skirt Steak. The desire always presages what, in the parlance of our times, is quaintly referred to as “that time of the month.”

For three years, however, I dated a man who was macrobiotic. A man who never ate red meat. Around him, my carnivorous urges felt embarrassing. Shameful even.

Helpless to stop the hormonal deluge, I spared him my animalistic longings by sucking bones in secret. Returning from these sanguinary sessions, I’d fear that he’d taste charcoal on my breath or spot an incriminating barbecue stain on my collar, thereby dooming the relationship forever.

Yet despite our gustatory differences, I found myself falling in love. And so, as lovers often do, I hid from him the more salacious details of my past culinary dalliances, like the time I ate a bucket of Hecky’s Ribs after a failed audition or when an ex-boyfriend and I took mushrooms then ordered one too many burritos from a Mexican place on Chicago’s West side whose cleanliness was highly questionable.

I was ultimately humbled though by his nutritional certitude. Of course it was wrong to eat animals, any fool with a graduate degree knew that. If I was honest, I’d even shared his beliefs, back when I was an idealistic vegetarian sleeping on futons and lugging casseroles to potlucks in my hubristic youth.

ribs

I wanted love -- the whole hog.

It was New York that hardened me, I now realized. In a city requiring testosterone to survive, I’d become unfeminine by eating meat. With his help, I’d change my evil ways. Become pure again. Virginal. Or at least a respectable pescatarian.

In all fairness, he was a fabulous cook. One of the best I’ve ever had. He could do things with miso and seaweed no man had ever done for me before. And his wild Atlantic salmon — steamed simply with garlic, ginger, and tamari — was a revelation; fish still redolent of its aquatic self.

But the relationship wasn’t without challenges. Problems began as early as our third date when I suggested eating at a restaurant; a proposition he found distasteful. It wasn’t until years later — once we were already enmeshed — that he explained his belief that our constitutions are affected not only by what we eat, but by the manner in which food is prepared. Enjoying a meal born out of a chaotic restaurant environment was for him as abhorrent as ingesting sewage. Needless to say, we dined almost exclusively at home.

Still it pained me when, after nearly three years of romantic and culinary bliss, I nonetheless felt compelled to admit that I’d grown weary of our all-macrobiotic diet, and wondered if we could perhaps spice things up a bit, you know, cook something Italian or French, say, using only locally grown and organic products, of course.

The situation worsened a few months later when I asked, gently I thought, if we could eat out once a month, his manhood seemingly bruised by the suggestion.

Then one night, as we sipped kukicha tea in the living room after another of his healthy and delicious meals, he said impassively that he thought it might be best if I moved back to my own house, where I’d thankfully kept a second set of dishes, anticipating just such a moment.

The discovery a few weeks later that he’d been cheating on me was admittedly a shock. Yet I found myself oddly comforted when I learned about the woman who’d stolen his heart and satisfied his appetites where my own attempts had failed.

Understandably, she was Japanese.