Jeg har nettopp lest The Marriage Plot av Jeffrey Eugenides. Den handlet om ei jente, Madeleine, som leser en masse bøker og er forelska i Leonard som er en manisk-depressiv* biolog; og Mitchell som er forelska i Madeleine og skriver brev til henne fra India hvor han jobber som frivillig for organisasjonen til Mor Teresa mens han lurer på om han skal konvertere til katolisismen eller ikke. Og innimellom lesning av attenhundretallsromaner, studier av gjær og søken etter Gud, spiser karakterene i boka mat.
Det er ikke alltid lett å skjønne hvorfor Madeleine er forelska i Leonard:
Finally, the waitress came over. Madeleine ordered the cottage cheese plate and coffee. Leonard ordered apple pie and coffee. When the waitress left, he spun his stool rightward, so that their knees briefly touched.
"How very female of you," he said.
"I like cottage cheese."
Mens Madeleine leser Roland Barthes:
Madeleine had the book in her lap. With her right hand she was eating peanut butter straight from the jar. The spoon fit perfectly against the curve of her upper palate, allowing the peanut butter to dissolve creamily against her tongue.
Selv gjør jeg det samme med Nutella-boksen.
På vei til Leonard:
She kept her glasses on, left her hair loose, and walked over to Leonard's apartment on Planet Street. On the way, she stopped at a market to buy a hunk of cheese, some Stoned Wheat Thins, and a bottle of Valpolicella.
Mmm, biscotti med anissmak!:
Madeleine [...] nibbling all the treats, the nice-smelling fruit candies, the meaty drumsticks, as well as more sophisticated offerings, the biscotti flavored with anise, the wrinkly truffles, the salty spoonfuls of olive tapenade. She'd never been so busy in her life.
Om matvanene til Pleshette-familien:
The Pleshette's refrigerator was the first place Mitchell had encountered gourmet ice cream. He still remembered the thrill of it: coming down to the kitchen one morning, the majestic Hudson visible in the window, and opening the freezer to see the small round tub of exotically named ice cream. Not a greedy half gallon, as they had at Mitchell's house in Michigan, not cheap ice milk, not vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry but a flavor he had never dreamed of before, with a name as lyrical as the Berryman poems he was reading for his American poetry class: rum raisin. Ice cream that was also a drink! In a precious pint-size container. Six of these lined up next to six bags of dark French roast Zabar's coffee. What was Zabar's? How did you get there? What was lox? Why was it orange? Did the Pleshettes really eat fish for breakfast? Who was Diaghilev? What was a gouache, a pentimento, a rugelach? Please tell me, Mitchell's face silently pleaded throughout his visits.
Larry Pleshette er Mitchells beste venn og frankofil. På backpackertur i Europa drar de først til Paris, selv om Mitchell egentlig helst vil til England:
"How about couscous?" Larry said. "Mitchell, have you ever had couscous?"
"Oh, you have got to have couscous."
Claire made a wry face. "Whenever somebody comes to Paris," she said, "they have to go to the Latin Quarter and have couscous. Couscous in the Latin Quarter is so encoded!"
"You want to go somewhere else?" Larry said.
"No," Claire said. "Let's be unoriginal."
Leonard og Madeleine i ostebutikken:
"What do you recommend today?"
"What do you mean 'recommend.' Cheese! Same as always. The best. Who's your girlfriend?"
"This is Madeleine."
"You like cheese, young lady? Here, taste. Take some home with you. And get rid of this guy. He's no good."
Yet another revelation about Leonard: he was friends with the old italian cheese maker on Federal Hill. Maybe that was where he'd been going when Madeleine used to see him waiting for the bus in the rain. To visit his friend Vittorio.
Myntete er en av mine favoritting i verden:
They wandered the narrow beehive streets, listening to the muezzins' emotional cries, and drank bright green glasses of mint tea in the town square.
At a restaurant across the street Mitchell ordered a carafe of restina and a plate of feta cheese and olives, not even trying to speak a few words of Greek, just pointing.
Det samme skal jeg gjøre når jeg drar til Hellas, ass. (Ok, kanskje ikke peke, men bestille et fat med fetaost og oliven.)
Taffy = en slags karamell:
"Saltwater taffy is always pastel," he commented. "Why is that?"
This time Heidi didn't respond at all.
"You know what I think it is, Heidi? I think pastels are the palette of the seashore. I'll take these pastel green ones, which are the color of dune grass, and I'll take some pink ones, which are like the sun setting on the water. And I'll take these white ones, which are like the sea foam, and these yellow ones, which are like the sun on the sand."
He brought all four bags to the counter, then decided to take a few other flavors. Buttercream. Chocolate. Strawberry.
Mathandletur i Calcutta:
He bought bottled water, mandarins, a chocolate bar, a package of biscuits, and a hunk of strangely crumbly cheese. He still hadn't had lunch, so he stopped at a restaurant for a bowl of vegetable curry and parathi.
Whisky- og kjeksbord i en leilighet på Manhattan:
[S]he joined Kelly at the drinks table, which was lined with Jim Beam bottles, Oreo cookies, glasses, and ice.
*Handlingen i romanen foregår på begynnelsen av 80-tallet, før denne lidelsen bytter navn til bipolar.