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Missing Out: Frites with Truffle Oil and Fresh Parmesan!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yesterday I took a colleague visiting my office out for an impromptu lunch at a bistro close by.

I first offered to share my mammoth salad waiting in the fridge: mesclun with carrot and radish and snow peas and beet and grape tomatoes and brussels sprouts and six giant shrimp (pineapple curry salad dressing OR roasted red pepper OR lemon poppy seed all on offer . . . ). There was plenty to share. Plus a fruit medley with mango and blackberries and raspberries and blueberries and kiwi and pineapple and orange. Yogourt if she had wished. Excellent coffee also -- Colombian or vanilla hazelnut or chocolate raspberry or butterscotch. Or tea of course: orange pekoe or Earl Grey or black currant herbal.

She preferred to head out. (Of course I didn't tell her exactly what she was missing).

The restaurant had a terrific menu. She chose a crab cake app with a spinach salad, which looked OK but I knew that her salad was not as good as mine.

And I chose a scallops app and a frites with truffle oil and fresh parmesan. To die for. Really. The scallops were great, three large ones, barely cooked, with a peppery tomato horseradish dipping sauce. But the frites: hot, thin, crispy . . . I have never EVER had frites as good. With aioli mayonnaise. I shared. But I enjoyed every single frite I ate myself. And it will probably be a year before I order them again . . . anywhere. Those frites will remain the highwater mark of frites in my mind for a very long time.

(Yup, tracked everything and was well within my calorie range at the end of the day . . . ).

So this morning I read a most intriguing interview in the Toronto Globe and Mail with psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. He's written a new book, "Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life". It's about our regretful yearning for experiences we haven't had . . . which falsely consoles us but at the same time deprives us of the joy of our actual lives in the present, or the joy we could have if we lived our lives fully.

The interview is a short read, and it's a fascinating read, which sparked a lot of thought. Do we spend too much time longing for the impossible? Do we waste energy trying to determine what we want, and failing to accept there are some things we can't know about ourselves or about other people? When what we need most is real connection in the present? Can we admire what others have without coveting? And how would our lives be different if we did?

I often joke that I'd like a nutrition tracker that recorded what I "wanted" and didn't eat. Yesterday I chose to eat exactly what looked most appealing on the menu . . . missed out on nothing . . . and savoured life in the present. I needed that.

So I'll be looking forAdam Phillips' " Missing Out", but in the meantime if you are interested here is the link:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Not sure what frites are, but love that you savored them!
    1822 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Ah a new high bar... no other frites will do now... and that can be a good thing. It is much easier to turn down sub-par frites while visions of excellence dance in your head. Living with no regrets, we can live our life.

    He had a wise grandmother-in-law, “I can admire without coveting.” it is like going to a museum, you can appreciate it without having it.

    You made me laugh about the tracker that would track what we wanted to eat... Yikes! Thank heavens for reality.

    1822 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Personally, I would have chosen your home made salad, sounds fabulous!! That surprises me you can come under calories with something like frites, but well done! I always feel life is too short to deprive yourself of anything simply because its the healthier or better choice. As long as its not something you will be having on a daily basis, why not indulge?
    Here is to enjoying life in the present and not worrying about what the future will hold!
    Enjoy what is left of your weekend!
    1822 days ago
    Beautiful meal, love truffle oil and even truffles the only time I tasted a tiny portion.

    1822 days ago
    The salad waited until today, right? The frites sound amazing (though I would eat them without the aioli) - and yes, sometimes we have to live in the here and now, and not worry about tomorrow.

    I think we need to maximize what we DON'T regret, knowing there will always be SOMETHING that will regret - so the big decision is always, do I eat something now and not regret missing it, or do I NOT eat it and later NOT regret gaining weight or not losing or whatever. The question is always which will one regret more - and ten years from now, we probably won't remember that we didn't eat whatever, but we will remember all the things we could do because we were fit and healthy.

    My problem is that I tend to forget the above, and I eat those little treats all too often because I live too much in the here and now.
    1822 days ago
    I am way too old to waste a single minute thinking about who or what I could have or should have had.
    NOW is all we really can be sure of.
    The frites sound fabulous!
    But, then again, so did the salad!
    1822 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    . . . frites as good. With aioli mayonnaise.. . . Unfamiliar words to me so 'Googled' to see what you had with the scallops. YUM.

    Very interesting article. Thank you for sharing.
    1823 days ago
  • DALID414
    1823 days ago
    Very interesting. You do come up with some thought-provoking articles. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I don't worry about anything I'm missing out on. Maybe it is because I traveled a lot in my youth and didn't have a child until I was 32, but I don't feel the need to experience everything. I've done a lot. Is there something else I should be wanting to do?? Maybe. I'll think about it.
    1823 days ago
    Sounds like an excellent book about the majority of my past life...!

    1823 days ago
    Your meal sounds awesome.
    1823 days ago
    It's one thing to say no when it's in your best interests (some of us - me - have to learn that), it's another thing to say no ALL THE TIME! That's crazy! Saying YES to life is far more interesting - important - and FUN!
    1823 days ago
    To a "no regrets" life, lived in the momemnt. emoticon
    1823 days ago
    I enjoyed reading your blog. Definitely food for thought LOL I am looking up Adam Phillips too. It sounds like you skipped a great meal and went on to have an even better one! Kudos all around. I recently had a restaurant meal like yours too. Epiphany! emoticon emoticon
    1823 days ago
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