I touched on this idea a couple weeks ago, but I’m going back to it because I just can’t stay away. I end up hovering over this subject like that favorite place on a lover’s collarbone – that place that feels so secret, like maybe you’re the only person who’s ever appreciated your lover’s beauty in exactly that way. A way they probably didn’t know they deserved to be appreciated. The simple adoration of this silly little spot on their collarbone. But still, you like the way your breath brushes sweetly against it, while your bodies move together…and the way you fill your lungs with desire, and the scent of their skin when you finally inhale.

Or, you could have a quickie and forget all about that passionate shit. Finish up, get what you need, and move on.

But I’d rather hover. I’d rather hum and stir, while onions slowly caramelize. I’d rather make buttercream the hard way: over a bain-marie, rhythmically whisking sugar and egg whites until they come up to temperature. Then, whisking the hot mixture into stiff peaks as it cools, working in sticks of butter until the frosting is smooth and sweet. I’d rather make it from scratch; feeling every texture, sampling every flavor, experiencing the sensual nature of creating and eating everyday food.

Of course, there are times when a quickie is necessary. Sometimes you’ve only got 15 minutes. Sometimes you need to be full more than you need a sensual experience.

We could blame Food Network and the fact that we’re an overworked and under-pleasured society, but I just can’t deal with quick and easy recipe gimmicks. Sorry Rachel Ray, quick and easy is just that: quick. and. easy. I want more authors, more chefs, and more Food Network stars to say, “This recipe will take you all day, but it’s worth it.” The way I knew my grandma’s tamales were.

Somehow, we’ve created a culture where pleasure is expected to come in an instant, and then we’re surprised when it doesn’t last or satisfy. Next, we blame our appetites. We say things like, “I just want too much, I need too much, I should just be fine. You know what, I am fine. I don’t need that/him/her.” Then, we stuff our faces with cheap white bread and shitty chocolate.

It’s because we’re starved. We’re starved for affection, connection, comfort, and security. And you know where we find that? We look for it everywhere, but where we really find it is in the homes we share, the meals we eat together, and the people we snuggle up with. Sure, we have our shit. Nothing is perfect (if you haven’t noticed), but it’s pretty damned beautiful if we take a little time to appreciate it.

So eat good food, today. Look at the stars, tonight. Make love; first to yourself, then to your world. And don’t forget the collarbones.

Jen Cartier misses Chico! However, she has taken to the great beyond (er...The Bay Area) to be some kind of chocolate maven while simultaneously figuring out how the hell to navigate her long-ass work commute, and still kick ass at raising three munchkins, loving one soon-to-be husband, and keeping one rascally Brittany Spaniel in the damned yard. She loves Nutella, red wine, and American Spirits. She takes her dog along on runs to wear him out (sometimes he shits in someone else's yard - bonus!) and also to balance her own general consumption of all the fine tasty things life offers, ciggys included. Follow her blog at riceflourmemoirs.com