For my husband Rick’s birthday last weekend, I offered him the choice between a dinner out and a home-cooked dinner with a menu of his choosing. He opted for the home-cooked meal. And when it came time to choose the menu, he named all his favorite dishes – which when put together comprise better fare for a Superbowl party than a birthday dinner.
Nonetheless, I complied with his wishes, because cooking what my family members want brings me such satisfaction. So we celebrated Rick’s 43rd by raising not a glass but our cholesterol, as we feasted on baked artichoke Parmesan dip spread on slices of warm French bread, chili con queso scooped up with tortilla chips, cold shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce, and a million-calorie dessert consisting of mint chocolate chip ice cream atop an Oreo cookie crust layered with fudge sauce.
Yes, it was decadent. Okay, maybe it was even beyond decadent. Birthday dinners should be special meals, though. One horrendously rich and anti-nutritious menu won’t spoil us forever. Because the food was so rich, we ate only modest quantities.
I can come up with any number of rationales for why it’s okay that we ate like this on Rick’s birthday. Mostly, though, there’s just this: eating against the mandates of common sense a few times a year is a thing of joy. I can’t imagine life without the occasional decadent meal. We all savored every bite.
And now if I could only come up with an equally compelling rationale for eating the leftovers.