Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"I think eating is nice." "So do I," said Frances.

Albert took two napkins from his lunch box. 
He tucked one napkin under his chin. 
He spread the other one on his desk like a tablecloth.
He arranged his lunch neatly on the napkin. 
With his spoon he cracked the shell of the hard-boiled egg.
He peeled away the shell and bit off the end of the egg. 
He sprinkled salt on the yolk and set the egg down again.
He unscrewed his thermos-bottle cup and filled it with milk. 
Then he was ready to eat his lunch.
He took a bite of sandwich, a bite of pickle, a bite of hard-boiled egg, and a drink of milk.
Then he sprinkled more salt on the egg and went around again.
Albert made the sandwich, the pickle, the egg, and the milk come out even. 

-Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
(and the title, too)

In general, I manage to subdue my inner Albert, and I try not to be obsessive about food coming out even. But some foods just have to be eaten such that they come out even.

For example, I love eating nuts and dried fruit. My favorites nuts are walnuts and pecans; my favorite fruits are dried cherries and raisins. And whenever I eat them, I have to turn this:

into this:

A few days ago I was eating walnuts and raisins in the car at night, and it was so difficult. I had to squeeze each item to figure out if it was squishy and raisiny so that I didn't accidentally end up eating two nuts or two raisins at once instead of the perfect one-to-one ratio.

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