I am not old fashioned when it comes to dating , sex, or much else really.
However, I do think that too many people are too quick to go for what’s easy, fast, readily available. I don’t (always) agree that faster, easier is better.
I don’t use a microwave (okay, sometimes, but very very rarely). I love old things (recipes, houses, furniture, vintage clothing, dishes). I never ever deep fry. I bake. I grill. I simmer. I like to cook the old fashioned way. I even wear an apron (vintage, of course, with cherries on it).
I feel the same about dating. I ‘ve come to have the opinion that slower is better.
I’ve tried the online dating thing. It’s the fast-fo odapproach to meeting someone and i t is not for me. Why? Because I very strongly dislike feeling like I have been chosen out of a catalogue.
I do not want a relationship (or a date , for that matter) with someone who decided that a photo (of my choosing, granted; and why would I post a bad photo?!) of me met their qualifications and therefore, I am deemed worthy of their time and attention. I receive entirely too many emails like this:
“Your [sic] hot. I think we should hang out.”
“I can’t tell from your photos, what’s your cupsize?”
“Hey, you have a sense of style in your eyes. Can I have your opinion on these (shoes, suits, etc.)?”
“I like a woman with a healthy sexual appetite. I’m funny, attractive , and well-endowed.”
None of these make me actually want to spend time with these “gentlemen.”
When I have gone out with someone from a dating site, inevitablyI don’t find them attractive, or I can’t get over their bad grammar, or we have little in common, he’s a creep, or he looks at me like I’m a steak.
I do not like to be looked at like I am a steak, unless I am looking at you like you are a steak.
I like steak. A lot. But the last time I looked at someone like he was a steak and he looked at me like I was a steak, he also assumed I was his girlfriend. I did not share that assumption.
I’m hot blooded, yes. I have appetites, yes (hey, I already admitted I like a good steak – rare, almost blue, with a great full-bodied red, please, no mushrooms) – but, unlike a lot of women, if we agree we have goode n o u g h , ah, heat to grill that steak to perfection, it does NOT mean that we will have steak together for life, or even ever again.
I much prefer to let the grill heat slowly, so to speak. The best heat develops when I meet someone in personthe old fashioned way – face to face, no computer. Sometimes these meetings or encounters have been t h e r e s u l t o f spontaneous mutual intrigue or attraction. Sometimes they’ve been blind, dumb luck, sometimes the best heat results from a mutual friend who can sense that the thermostat would be off the charts.
It’s much more reassuring – for me, anyway – to know that someone is drawn to, even attracted to, me because of all that my real , live, in-the-flesh person has to offer. They can hear my laugh, gauge my mood, my sense of humor, the size of my butt; decide if they’re interested by engaging with me, or sometimes staring across the dinner table for hours on end, thinking they’re going unnoticed.
That’s hot. That’s sexy. That’s how I want to meet my “person.” If someone approaches me in real life, or gets to know me and realizes there’s an attraction or interest there, then it feels genuine, not creepy. I don’t feel like they’re about to break out the A-1.
It’s actually flattering. Sure, it’s not as instantly gratifying (cough, wait, did I say gratifying?). It’s not as instant. But it’s often better.
Doing things the old-fashioned way brings a sense of comfort, of realness to my life. Am I unique in this?
It’s one reason I like to cook from scratch. It’s not just fun, I fear it will become a lost art, much like actually talking to someone you’re interested in, or buying a lady a drink, standing up when she leaves or approaches the table…
My latest recipe adventuresparked similar feelings.
First up , I made biscuits from scratch. Mostly because I really wanted to eat them , warm from the oven, with honey butter.
No other reason, really. Well, I wanted to bake them, too.
There’s something very comforting about getting your hands in soft dough, kneading it (only 14 times!) and waiting to see what the dough becomes, borne from the oven.
The recipe I used was from Fannie Farmer, my favorite cookbook for all things basic.
I made the biscuits pretty small, they were crisp onthe outside and soft and hot on the inside (heh). Perfect with melting honey butter. A good comfort food, and a good reminder of what is real and good.
I followed one old fashioned dish with another. Fried green tomatoes.
I’d never made these before, so I totally winged it.
I started with some tomatoes that were green when I bought them, and well, life got in the way , and they were slightly pink when I actually fried them up today.
I fried up three tomatoes.
I started with Sweet Betsy hush puppy mix – not easy to find, but some Southern grocery stores carry it. If you’re in NC, some Piggly Wiggly’s carry it, but I got mine at the Raleigh farmer’s market. (see “Hotter Than…”).
I added some minced green onion and some freshly ground black pepper. I added just enough warm water to make the batter as thick as pancake batter.
Then, I just dipped the slices and fried (in butter, in a cast-iron pan, of course).
I’ll tell you this – there must be a secret to making fried green tomatoes, and I don’t know what it is yet. Mine were good, I liked them. I’m not sure they would have passed muster from a Southern MeeMa, but I liked them.
I figured out – as I fried the very last tomato – that the trick , surely, is to coat the tomatoes thinly, not as thickly as I was. The thinner the coating (and, I think, the thinner the batter, perhaps) the better – I wound up with a nice crisp coating on the tomato, and less in the pan, than I did on the first few batches.
Nonetheless, they wereyummy, and I have more than my conscience will allow me to eat. They were not pretty, but they were pretty good eatin’.
My message in all of this is: Slow down. Take your time. Cook slowly, eat slowly. Enjoy it. It’ll all be over before you know it, and would you rather spend your time withmeals that were zapped, or slowly , sensuously cooked over a hot flame? That’s what I thought.
In the meantime, I’ll be over here, finding a few more ways to appreciate the slower way to pursue pleasure…and part of that pursuit means that you won’t find me on anymore dating sites anytime soon. I’d rather you earn your steak.
Afterall, it’s a lot more fun to enjoy a steak you’ve seasoned and grilled yourself.
It’s a lot hotter too.