’86’ Clothes: Food and Physicality

It was a feeling from day one – a feeling indescribable in a single word. So many different words came instead; words that came and come to mind looking into wandering eyes with wondering eyes like hers in clothes she had borrowed from my closet.

“I want something to eat. And if there isn’t anything leftover when we’re finished, we’ll simply make more.”

When things were still withheld and unsteady. When our imaginations ran wild and unchecked. When tension that could be cut with a knife was used to make Japanese noodles instead, and prepare dishes we knew would taste both different and the same, familiar and new, every time we sat down to eat.

When words fail it is fingers and toes, breathlessness and beating hearts, inexhaustible passion and heat of the kitchen that reminds us why we stand so close to each other. Why we fall asleep intertwined, all knees and cheeks and sweet words left on the pillow.

Because feeling and flavor are inextricably linked.

Some people (many people, other people) don’t need much to be happy. They don’t need decadent meals, or the time spent over stoves and ovens. They don’t appreciate the plates so well composed that they beg to play the notes of Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach. So beautiful they could be placed on the wall next to Van Gogh, Dali, Renoir –

A recipe for candied orange peel


  • 2ea large oranges, 1/4in cut off top & bottom
  • 4 cups sugar, in 4 different cups
  • 3 cups water


  • Cut the peel of each orange vertically into 4 pieces
  • Remove each section and cut into segments 1/4in thick
  • Cook for 15min in a pot of boiling water. Drain, rinse, then drain again.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Add your peel. Return to boil.
  • Bring down the heat and let your peel simmer until tender (45 minutes). Then drain.
  • Toss peel and 1 cup sugar on a baking sheet. Separate strips. Gently move your peel from the sugar and place on a soft bed of foil.
  • Wait, leave it, until the coating is dry.

There is an understanding about what this means, and maybe it is the same people that would never experience passion the same way that don’t understand this and have no need to: The clawing and needing and wanting that translates the kitchen into sheets pulled taut across the mattress.

The vanilla people. The indecisive people. The “No, thank you, I don’t think I’d like that, I don’t want to try anything new, I know what I like and that’s enough,” people.

Our feelings start the morning with espresso kisses and buttered toast with fresh fruit and champagne. Together lost completely. Why breakfast in bed maintains the allure that it does: There are no clothes necessary to dine this way.

It starts with a feeling deeper inside. A low rumble, asking, not begging yet but soon, to be satiated. This leads to the heat of the fire on the stove. This sets the mind and body in motion. It creates a shiver. The blast of the refrigerator and all the colors inside. The sound of cupboards opening, closing. The faucet. The sun, behind. Our breath, in front. The skillet on the stove getting hotter. Red rings, sizzling, sending smoke into the air. The cold metal of silverware that makes you wonder, if only for a moment, if it might be better to just eat with your hands. Reach deeper. A dash of salt, a little sugar. More. Push everything aside. The table covered in mixing bowls and melting butter.

There’s a German word that helps to describe this particular brand of anticipation – one which has no real English equivalent or translation:


{n.} The joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.

We stay this way. And then it ends with a taste. Something familiar. The taste of sugar, but not only: The smell of something so sensual cooking in butter. Not always: The corks of champagne bottles shooting endlessly toward unreachable ceilings as we fall backwards into a wide bed covered in chocolate, flour, cream, candle wax.

But these are just words. These words pale in comparison to the actual feelings they’re meant to capture/describe; unworthy of the the feelings they describe. How these words fail to tell the world what it is we actually want, or need, or desire. To capture the reason we fall in love. The reason we crave the taste of strawberries in summer.

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'86' Clothes: Food and Physicality