Food here, there and everywhere

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2008

Have we passed the part where people keep bringing snacks to the office?

Man, I hope so.

But I was warned a few weeks ago that our office during the holidays was going to be a magnet of snacks, whether they be baked at home, bought at a store or plucked from a farm.

And the parade of food has been ongoing, as in going on one’s belly, hips, ribs, pouches. You name the fatty body part, and it looks different than it did a month ago.

I’m beginning to learn that the holidays are defined by meals: Who’s having them? How many people are coming over? Who’s bringing what? Who doesn’t eat this? Can I borrow that sauce pan or that casserole dish?

Then the whole process starts again. For that day’s lunch menu.

By the time the dinner menu rolls around, so are we. Rolling around, that is.

I think part of the fascination with dining might be regional, but I’m not sure. I am re-learning Southern ways in the few months that I’ve returned to parts seriously south of the Mason-Dixon. Remembering to order sweetened tea is one thing; learning to plan for three multi-course meals per day over a period of weeks is quite another. Then, throw in the “in-between” goodies, and the digestive system never gets a break.

It’s little wonder, then, that one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. It’s probably one of the least observed, as well.

It makes wearing the larger clothes we got for the holidays an easier choice to make.

There is, nevertheless, a shock to the system when a month-long holiday season arrives that seems to be centered on eating.

Paul McFarlane is the Editor of The Tidewater News. His e-mail is