Sunday, August 30, 2009
What is it about the very word "Buffet" or smorgasbord as my german father calls it, that can strike terror into the heart of a 52 year old woman? Maybe it's the images of rows of steaming pans holding stuff like mounds of fried chicken, heaps of fluffy mashed potatoes, taco bars, carvings of rotisserie meats? So when my mother-in-law announced today that she wanted to go to one for her 81st birthday I cringed. My husband cheerfully announced "Good choice"! I shot him a look that said "traitor"!
All the way there I pulled out my best self talk and said you can do this. Use the salad plates for all your choices. Maybe they'll have lots of fruits and vegetables.
We parked in front of the restaurant and were greeted by a huge sign that proclaimed "Welcome to the ALL YOU CAN EAT MEGA FOOD BAR"! Dum de dum dum...
A sunny waitress sat us down and asked if we would like some of their house speciality fresh baked rolls. My husband and I answered yes and no respectively at the same time. I murmured a faint yes, I guess. Another dirty look to my "better half".
I bellied up to the mega bar and was nudged by a an older gentleman wearing a belt buckle as wide as the state of Texas. He looked over my slender frame and booms out "You need to eat, darling. Why my belt buckle is wider than your hips!" If he only knew that I didn't get to this weight by eating a steady mega food diet!
Somehow that jarred me out of my culinary sensory haze into reality. You did lose 70 lbs. You didn't do it eating platefuls of creamy "best in the midwest" macaroni and cheese or polska kielbasa just like grandma used to make.
I strode to the salad bar and loaded the small, chilled plate with dark leafy greens, fresh cut veggies, threw on a few olives for some mono unsaturated fatty acids, and said a prayer of thanks that there tucked in the ice was a bottle of FAT FREE RANCH dressing!
After slowly eating that while my husband was digging into barbecued ribs, I approached the steaming tables. No need for a small plate. They had bins of cabbage, broccoli, green beans with a little ham, and whole kernel corn that didn't even look like it was swimming in butter!
Piling my plate with that there was a little room left for some baked salmon. The mega sized woman next to me leaned in and whispered "That's not chicken, honey. It's some kind of fish". Yeah! Ain't it sweet!
I finished gobbling all that down and watched my husband plop down with a huge piece of cake smothered in chocolate ice cream. He beams me a winning smile and says they have some sugar free desserts at the dessert bar. He's all supportive now his stomach is beyond full. I thought about going up there. Filing by my absolute weaknesses -- cheesecakes, bread puddings, brownies.
"Thanks dear, I think I'll just stay here and have a roll"...