Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Cooking & Shopping While Hungry

Years ago, my mother told me 'Never go to the grocery store hungry'. Her theory was that a hungry shopper would be more inclined to make impulse purchases that would exceed the family budget. Which is all well and good for a thrifty householder, but when preparing a gourmet meal, I think it's better to have a keen appetite at the grocery store. I tend to be much more creative and visionary in my purchases when I'm hungry than when I shop on a full tummy.

I have a similar philosophy when it comes to cooking. I usually eat quite lightly in the early hours of the day, and save the larger meal for the evening, when I can relax afterwards. On those days when I'm preparing an elaborate meal, I rarely eat anything more than a few soda crackers and maybe a little fresh fruit or yogurt to appease my rumbling tummy while I cook. That way, I have a clear palate and plenty of room to sample all the dishes without spoiling my appetite for the actual dinner. And I always have a glass of Chardonnay close at hand to keep the chef happy and relaxed [wink].