The secret recipe of CDV -- another food blog alert, my new favorite way to while away some time online, reading other people's dad's recipes for salad dressing (written up very wittily, of course). "Chocolate & Zucchini" is a lovely blog by Clothilde, Parisian food lover and former Sili Valley Girl who seems to have it all: access to incredible French treats, a delightful sense of humor, kitchen skillz, and a motorcycle-riding French boyfriend. Non, rien rien...non, je ne regrette rien...

Interestingly, Clothilde and I share a phenomenon she calls the "Last Bite Axiom" -- saving the tastiest morsel in a dish for the very last bite. Since I was little, I've been a very compartmentalized eater, and prone to fixating on things -- I still usually eat all of one item on my plate, then all of the next, etc. (i.e. all the peas, then all the chicken, then all the potatoes). Even if I'm eating something altogether delicious (say, an ice cream sundae), I still instinctively prioritize so that the tastiest bit (the cherry on top) is saved as a "reward" for having slogged though the lesser material -- whether that material is ice cream and whipped cream, or liver and kidney beans (my least favorite childhood meal, served with rice, which was the understandable reward). I came up with a much less charitable description for this behavior: The Bourgeois Postponement of Pleasure. Despite the abundance and relative deliciousness of all the food I had to eat, it still made me feel good to "reward" myself at the end of the "task" of eating, and putting off that "reward" as long as possible assuages the subconscious guilt of having plenty and not having to work hard to get it. In other words, the bourgeoisie is marked by a tendency to create the illusion of effort and reward where there really is neither, just comfort and abundance for the asking. Hmm, clearly the hedonism of my French forebears is being eclipsed by the dour impulse of self-denial handed down by their Slavic counterparts...maybe I need to go visit Clothilde in France! :P

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