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My First True Love

My daughter Sarah came home from University for Thanksgiving and it was a great visit. Everyone got along and she was happy to be home. We missed her and I know she missed us. But it became more evident over the course of the weekend that what she truly missed was the food.

And on several levels, I can’t blame her. There is a huge difference between university cafeterias and home cooked meals (and celebratory dinners out). But she’s a food snob. And she comes by it honestly. As a family, we Bussins love good food. Whether it’s nature or nurture hardly matters, it’s clear that our kids have picked up this predilection.

I am, perhaps, the most passionate of my family about eating. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved food...perhaps a bit too much (although not in an “American Pie” way). As a young child I would eat slouched over the table with my arms wrapped around the plate so as to block anybody from tasting. My father’s favourite teasing game at restaurants was to see if he could spear a forkful of my dinner. He didn’t even want what I was eating. He was just making a point, which largely went unnoticed. As an adult I’ve witnessed the selfless parents who will give their kids the best cuts of meat, or prettiest pieces of pie and take the dregs for themselves; but that ain’t me. I’m no food martyr.

Like any great longtime love affair, there are ups and downs. A good meal will pick me up when I’m feeling blue. Eating a favourite food isn’t just viscerally satisfying, it makes me truly happy. But the corollary is that I’m also very susceptible to emotional binge eating. Documented ad nauseum in Tonic over the years, I once was very fat; trapped in a cycle of perpetual unhappiness fueled in large part by overeating. I’m proud to say that I can now control the impact of those urges, but I know that I’ll always have to be wary of the siren call of Thyme Roasted Chicken...or Veal Chops Diablo..or Caramelized Date Cake...or Sicilian Pistachio Gelato.

For fellow food lovers, the November issue of Tonic will not disappoint. For those of you interested in cooking, I recommend Naomi Bussin’s review of the Thug Kitchen cookbook (p.14) and Marni Wasserman’s article on the top, hearty vegetarian foods (p.29). For those who who suffer from Celiac Disease or have chosen the gluten-free lifestyle, please proceed to p.30 to find the best GF bakeries in the GTA (and learn about the upcoming Gluten-Free Garage event). If you’re not into food (and I can respect that, sort of) please read Joel Thuna and Claude Gallant’s article on sleep (p.37) or Bryce Wylde’s article on the natural treatment of menopause (p. 23). As always,  if you want to share your thoughts on this note or anything else Tonic-related, feel free to email me at Jamie@tonictoronto.com