Well. So. As a few discerning readers suspected, the real reason blog activity was slow for a long time and is just picking up again is that I’m pregnant. Like you’d guess, first trimester completely changed my relationship with food. For more weeks than I care to remember, I couldn’t read a recipe, never mind try to cook, without feeling queasy.

What was different about the queasiness was that food usually helped — especially something hot, gooey and caloric, like mac and cheese. This was a primitive kind of eating, involving little more than taste, smell, and the sensation of a full stomach.

I got hungry but never had an appetite.

What my body wants these days isn’t generally low in food miles. I ate thirty pounds of grapefruit. Whole pineapples. Liters of lemonade, and one week I mostly wanted potato chips. I’ve since moved on to champagne mangoes. For weeks my stomach rejected most everything else, and I could only believe there was some unknowable molecular reason for it all.

When I was up for cooking I prepared chicken, appealing in its blandness, but even then all I could manage was two simple recipes from the whole bird. I’ll revisit that one one another time. To keep food smells outside, I had Charlie grill for us in inclement weather. For omega-3s, I bought fresh fish as often I had the taste for it, which meant on-demand trips to the grocery store.

At ten weeks I thought my appetite was making a comeback. I got fish tacos on the brain, specifically of the kind I ate twenty years ago on a street corner in Ensenada, simple corn tortillas filled with the freshest fish and cabbage slaw you can imagine. And happily, the ones we put together at home were pretty darn similar to the tacos of memory. The creamy cabbage slaw, made from a combination of thinly sliced savoy and purple cabbages and grated carrots, was the first local thing I’d eaten in weeks. As I cleaned my plate I wondered if I would finally start to enjoy eating again.

Not so fast. Some of the worst times came in the weeks after that meal. But these days I’m upright again and thrilled to be able to experience just how sublime eating can be, to remember how the best food feeds not just hunger but evokes time, place, and story.

Now I just need a work around for sushi.

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