Food: A Love Story
I just put Jim Gaffigan's first book, Dad is Fat, on hold at the library after reading Food: A Love Story and relating to nearly everything he wrote. I’m going to sound like a pretentious grad student right now, but what can I say, the content really resonated w/ me.
Jim doesn’t make excuses for his weight; this is what first drew me in. Wait, someone who likes eating as much as I do? Who fantasizes about what to have for dinner while eating lunch? Who may not even like a particular food but can’t stop eating it?
So many of the sections were laugh-out-loud simply b/c they were so relatable. I don’t know if that’s b/c I’m secretly an overweight middle-aged man, or if I just have the eating habits of one. First off, he starts the book w/ a disclaimer on how he’s not a food expert or “foodie.” He admits he doesn’t have a huge culinary knowledge base, he just knows what he likes.
“I’m way too lazy to be a foodie. Foodies will travel for miles in search of the perfect hamburger…It can’t be better than the burger I can get across the street. Mostly, I just want the closest best burger in town.”
This. Seriously, this sentiment mirrors my own exactly. When I tell people I’m a pastry cook their first question is always, “what’s your favorite thing to make?” (please, don’t ask a Chef this question, it makes me want to stick
your my head in the oven). My favorite thing to make is like, cookies, or pie, or very basic, simple recipes. Because those desserts evoke happy memories and those desserts are my favorite thing to eat. I’m not a foodie. But being in the culinary industry, everyone expects you to have a refined palate and know all the best places to eat and only eat a certain caliber of food. That is so not me.
The tagline of this blog is “ramblings of a (wannabe)…foodie” (or something like that). I used to wish I was a foodie. Until this book made me realize that I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not. Jim Gaffigan: hot pocket aficionado, stand-up comedian, and life coach. When I return this book to the library, I’m going to stick it in the self-help section. Hopefully it will change someone else’s life, as it did mine.
Who am I kidding, I won’t be returning this book. I need to reread my favorite parts on a daily basis:
“Once I dated a woman who made me go blueberry picking. The whole experience was much worse than it sounds. Picking blueberries is not like picking pumpkins. It’s not like, ‘hey, I got one, let’s get the hell out of here.’ With blueberries you are never done.”
(maybe this isn’t as funny if you’ve never actually been blueberry picking, but as a woman who made her husband go blueberry picking this summer, I was practically crying when I read this)
“Once I was on CNN speaking seriously about the good work that the Bob Woodruff Foundation does on behalf of veterans and, unbeknownst to me at the time, on the bottom of the screen I was identified as Jim ‘Hot Pocket’ Gaffigan.”
Probably my most favorite section was the part on McDonald’s. Besides being hilarious and spot-on, it also goes that extra step of calling out the people who claim to never eat McDonald’s. Psssshh, okay.
“I’m tired of people acting like they are better than McDonald’s. You may’ve never set foot in a McDonald’s, but you have your own McDonald’s. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac, you read US Weekly. Maybe your McDonald’s is telling yourself your Starbucks Frappucino is not a milkshake, or maybe you watch those Real Housewives-of-some-large-city shows. It’s all McDonald’s…By the way, if you care about the British royal family, that’s Burger King. That’s not even our gossip.”