By Suzanne Sparrow Watson
While my brother spends his time fantasizing about travel and hiking, I can generally be found thinking about my next meal. He has a lot more “get up and go” than I do. In fact over the years several people have wished that he’d get up and go – but I think that was mainly in his college days. I’m more of a sit-down and snuggle-in person and consequently, I have way too much time to think about things – like food. My preoccupation with eating was pointed out to me the other day (at lunch, naturally) when I mentioned something in passing about my “Last Meal” wishes. My table mates assumed, given my near-Senior Citizen status, that I was referring to what gourmet delights the nursing home might bring my way before I pass on to my great reward. Unfortunately, I’m not that sane. Nope – for about the past 30 years or so I’ve thought about what my last meal might consist of should I ever be strapped in to the electric chair.
Cause for intense psychoanalysis? Perhaps. But I chalk it up to growing up so close to San Quentin, where every detail of a prisoner’s last requests were publicized in great detail. Of course, that included what the person wanted as his last meal. I was always intrigued by the food choices – and never understood it when someone requested a Big Mac. Since then, I’ve given more thought than it deserves to what my final requests might be. I think my
obsession thought process stems from constant dieting. How liberating to think that one could eat an entire meal without one shred of guilt about calories or a subsequent need to hit the gym! I’m hoping that the odds are slim that I’ll actually be arrested, convicted and jailed for a major felony, so here (for entertainment purposes only) are my requests. Requests, by the way, that have basically stayed the same over the past 30 years. The only change has been changing from white to red wine – for health purposes, of course.
First, I’d start with a big bowl of clam chowder from Fisherman’s Grotto in San Francisco. I used to go there a lot as a kid and it is still considered one of the best places in The City to get chowder. I would accompany that with a whole round of their best Sourdough bread, warm and slathered in real butter. I know that you can get the clam chowder served in the sourdough round, but I’d rather just break off some huge hunks and dip them in the soup myself. After all, at this point I don’t think I’d be concerned with table manners. I’d clear my palate with a bit of fresh cracked crab. We used to buy some almost every Saturday in season when I grew up in Novato, a luxury I didn’t appreciate until I moved to Arizona where scorpions are the closest thing we have to crabs. Next, I’d get a crisp Caesar salad, replete with anchovies and TONS of dressing. Next up, a filet mignon, charred on the outside and medium rare of the inside, served with a loaded baked potato. No vegetables. I’m not a big fan in the first place and heck, if I’m going to “the chair”, why would I bother at that point?
To complete this wonderful repast (and assuming I hadn’t keeled over in a food coma), I would complete my meal with an entire “All American Chocolate Cake” from Costco. If you aren’t familiar with this delicacy I’d suggest that you hightail it down to your local Costco immediately. It is always baked in-store, so it is fresh and moist every time. It weighs an astounding SEVEN pounds and is about 8 inches tall. It consists of four layers, each surrounded by the creamiest chocolate frosting and then whole thing is covered in chocolate shavings. At one time the cake was so popular that it had its own Facebook page and followers. Let’s just put it this way – it’s more than a dessert, it’s a conversation piece.
So, that’s it. I got to thinking the other day that since the probability of me going to jail is so slim, why don’t I just have my “Last Meal” and enjoy myself? I’m considering it. Perhaps I’ll take the plunge next time we visit San Francisco. But since I don’t know when that will be, I’ll just start with the cake. After which I’ll check myself into the local “diet farm” which, when you think about it, actually is like going to jail. I could start my own reality show, “Chocolate is the New Black”.