Last week my friend came out from New York to stay with us for the night. The evening she arrived we had a fairly heavy meal of lamb stew with mashed potatoes, Irish Soda Bread and a bottle of Ermitage du Pic St. Loup which Steph had brought with her (she works at Wine Therapy in Soho). The next morning the Anderson’s woke up, had a light breakfast and, of course, started planning dinner and making a shopping list around the breakfast table. Steph looked at us a little quizzically and said, “You’re planning dinner at 8:30 in the morning?” We all looked up as if we could not quite understand the question. “Yes,” we said, the tone of our voices adding, “ . . . doesn’t everybody?”
Clearly, our family propensity for planning dinner before we had finished breakfast seemed odd. Her reaction definitely made me think.
The other day, after a heavy brunch, Andy and I went out with some friends to a brewery for a pint. We had eaten a full English breakfast not an hour before, but the four of us were practically drooling over the food that was coming out of the kitchen. My friend, Amber, laughed. She said, “This is what my friend Amanda calls Big Behavior.” I was intrigued. “What’s Big Behavior?”
“Well,” she said, “Being ‘Big’ has nothing to do with your size, it’s about your mentality when it comes to food, or even to life. You could be the tiniest person in the room, but if you’re the only one eating one meal and thinking about your next at the same time, you’re the biggest person in the room.”
I immediately remembered Steph’s reaction to our breakfast-table dinner planning session. Are we Anderson’s “foodies” who are smart about planning ahead, or are we simply displaying some seriously Big Behavior? I thought back to our family vacation in Pontre Vedra, Florida this past summer when Mom, Sharon and I sat on the beach (day #1) and planned lunch and dinner menus for the entire seven day vacation. I thought about how Mom had soup for lunch cooking on the stove before the breakfast dishes had even been cleared, or how I plan to get bagels and muffins for breakfast the night before.
Maybe I am in BIG-time denial, but I like to think we’re smart cooks. We don’t want to panic come dinnertime and end up ordering pizza or running to the store 3 times in a day. We like to know what we have to look forward to. For us, knowing we’re going to have a delicious dinner keeps us from eating junk all day long. Maybe our Big Behavior keeps us from actually being big, but who knows?