HOW THE OTHER HALF EATS

Menu blogs have become popular with low-carbers; Jimmy Moore chronicles every bite, usually with pictures, and many of his readers are following his lead. Even Dr. Michael Eades did it for a week on his Protein Power blog. Now Ruth Reichl, famous restaurant critic, author, and current editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine, has given us a peek at a few of her daily menus and a chance to see how our choices stack up to an unabashed gourmand and foodie. She patronizes the world’s best restaurants, she loves to cook, she loves to eat, and she can slip down to Gourmet’s test kitchen for a snack whenever she feels like it. Here’s a typical day’s list (although I doubt that she ever has a typical day):

Breakfast—Pork and chive dumplings. Coffee with milk and sugar.

Snack in test kitchen—Brown-butter scrambled eggs. Dark chocolate cake with light chocolate frosting.

Lunch at a restaurant—Chicken curry with white rice, “all the vegetables,” and extra red sauce.

Snack in test kitchen —A “tapioca fry thing” that was “gooey and crispy and had garlic and peanuts.” An avocado crème brûlée.

Snack before a lecture—A banana.

Snack after lecture—Coconut macaroons in all different flavors.

Dinner at a restaurant—Baked clams, chopped Caesar salad, veal piccata, spinach, and wine. (Probably also included potatoes or pasta and bread, since this was a restaurant meal.)

You can read the whole story here: http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/04/ruth_reichl_rips_into_lobsters_gets_her_dumplings_to_go.html

Judging from the picture of her at the top of the article, she is getting away with it. Oh, to be so lucky! A dream job and a metabolism that can handle it! (Mario Batali, Paul Prudhomme, Ina Garten, and many others prove that just being in the upper echelons of the food world doesn’t guarantee that you can eat this way without suffering the same consequences as the rest of us.)

I have thought about blogging my menus, but I don’t have time to do it now. I think I eat as well, as much, and as often as Ms. Reichl on my low-carb regimen—and I probably have, if such a thing is possible, an even more varied diet than hers. My husband often says, “There are 7 billion people in the world, and I’ll lay odds that we are the only ones having this.” Here’s one dinner that elicited that comment (not necessarily the best example, but a recent one that I remember):

Baked ham and roast turkey, mushroom and turkey dressing (made with popcorn—not a keeper), broiled kippered herring, cherry tomatoes and avocados with olive oil and vinegar, and rhubarb fool with strawberries and whipped cream for dessert plus something chocolate for him and butter-pecan ice cream for me later in the evening.

Granted, some of the above resulted from recipes that needed to be tested that I didn’t want to waste, but it’s not really that different from the way we normally eat. (Perhaps normal is not the right word.)

©2009, Judy Barnes Baker

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