We all have our own kryptonites.
You know, those things or people in life that can seep into your very soul and leave you utterly helpless against their respective powers. Some of these things — like alcohol, drugs or gambling — can completely take over your being through addiction, and others, like a former love, can dance around your brain until you feel like you can’t take it anymore. We often become powerless, and find ourselves either fighting the good fight against its magnetism, or simply succumb to its forces.
I have long ago surrendered to the powers of good food. I know intellectually what I should or should not eat. I know that the middle-aged version of me can gain weight simply by smelling some foods cooking, and I’ve read all the stories about how certain foods can cause heart disease or other serious ailments. People of older generations than mine often say that they didn’t know the dangers of smoking or eating rich foods as they were younger. I can’t offer that excuse. I know better. I know this stuff can literally take years off my life, and a little will power could go a long way toward extending my life and improving the very quality of said life.
And I just say, pass the gravy.
Take Tuesday night, for instance. I settled in to watch the debut of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg, and I did so not with a bowl of fresh fruit and a bottle of water, but with a plate full of peanut butter cookies and a pint of Guinness. Then two pints. Then three. And then, well, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was watching any more, but I woke up at about 2 a.m. with the television still on, a Guinness mustache stuck to my face and some loose cookie crumbs on my shirt. After eating the crumbs and licking off the Guinness mustache ...
But I digress.
Assuming you can get that last mental image out of your mind, we’ll move on with our story. The point is, even though I know I should be eating more responsibly, I don’t. It’s not some rage-against-the-machine stand I’m taking to revolt against the healthy-living movement sweeping the nation, it’s just a lack of self-discipline. Well, that, and a lack of truly caring about the consequences. If it tastes good, I eat it. Enough said.
So you can imagine my joy every year when the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Coastal Delaware event rolls around. It’s like Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one tasty wrap, seasoned heavily with Old Bay. The event was held last Sunday in the parking lot of the Marketplace at Sea Colony, and I arrived early, armed with an empty stomach and a mind filled with visions of local culinary treats.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
I filled up on barbecue sandwiches, pizza, ribs, amazing seafood combinations and little Coastal Point cookies made by our own Maria Counts. They were washed down by lemonade provided by the Chamber, and a few adult beverages served by local restaurants.
I ate. I drank. I got indigestion.
And I was reminded once again that this event is one of my favorites of the year to attend — not only because my massive food cravings get satisfied each and every year by our fantastic slate of local restaurants, but also because of the atmosphere created by those at the Chamber. The music is loud and cheery, without being overly intrusive. The two-tent setup this year was definitely less crowded and claustrophobic than in some previous years. And people are genuinely in a good mood.
But, again, the local restaurants were the stars of the show.
I got asked by one person at the event what my favorite item was, and I couldn’t offer an intelligent response. One, I’m not all that intelligent. And, two, it seemed that just about every restaurant represented at the event had at least one item that caused me to make a mental note to definitely get into that restaurant and order that sampling as a meal.
It was, again, a terrific day of food and fun.
But now I’m hungry again.