It will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever laid eyes on me that Mrs. Chatterbox is a “foodie.” She’s an avid fan of cooking shows like Top Chef, Chopped, and Iron Chef. I have little reason to complain. For forty years she has prepared meals for me, and she has labored heroically to bring new dishes and cuisines to our dinner table.
My only complaint is that she usually prepares too much food. I’m an enthusiastic eater but I’m not a mess hall. She has a tendency to overfeed things. This is why I refuse to adopt a greyhound from the animal shelter. I can just hear a veterinarian saying to me, “You know, Mr. Chatterbox, these dogs aren’t supposed to weigh two hundred pounds!”
The latest trend sweeping the world of TV chefs, and many of the finer restaurants near you, is the “deconstructed” dish. In the past few weeks I’ve sat on the couch beside Mrs. C. and watched chefs create deconstructed lasagna, deconstructed burritos and deconstructed strawberry shortcake. Frankly, when I go to a restaurant I want the chef to actually make something for me. I don’t want it in pieces with instructions from my waiter on how to assemble it. This isn’t what I’m paying for.
A waiter recently gave me a lecture on how to enjoy a deconstructed martini. Enough is enough! Martinis shouldn’t come with directions. There are times when instructions can be useful, like when you’re chained to a ticking time bomb and need help deciding which wires need to be cut, but slamming a martini should be self explanatory.
Who thought up this crazy idea? I don’t think it’s catching on in any other professions. Can you imagine someone contacting an architect and saying, “Yeah, I’d like you to deconstruct a house for me.” Certainly not in medicine: “Yes, doctor, I’d like you to deconstruct my hernia operation.”
In a few days Mrs. Chatterbox and I are going to a fancy new restaurant specializing in gourmet hamburgers. I like my burgers simple; a hint of pink in the middle, no fancy Italian bun, no chutney or curry sauce, just mustard, catsup and maybe a few grilled onions. And remember all you fancy “foodies” out there willing to tamper with perfection—Wimpy never had to reassemble his own hamburger in a restaurant, and neither should I.