Food of Desire

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I was nineteen, almost twenty. That magical, sensuous age. I’d heard men say it was the sexiest word in the English vocabulary. Nineteen. I was lithe, fertile, and sexual, with glossy skin and lustrous golden hair. No longer a girl but still not a woman, I was of that age when men young and old desired you, and I could spend my hard earned holiday time in Ireland without my parents permission.

A summer in Ireland! I couldn’t imagine anything more glorious. Especially when I would be pursuing my interest in cooking. My parents could not understand my obsession with food, even though they occasionally had to eat themselves. They were both lecturers and were too busy working or researching to spend too much time thinking of food. That’s how I learnt to cook, with a little help. It was either feed myself or starve. My parents preferred cigarettes and bourbon, so to eat well I had to cook for myself. It surprised me when they had been so ready to agree to fund my trip to Galway, but I reasoned their decision was partly inspired by their recent discovery of a sex-tape of me and Greg, one of their students, indulging in clumsy oral sex on the kitchen floor. I guessed they would rather see me waste my life pursuing unfulfilled culinary dreams than with an unwanted baby.

I had wanted Greg to be as excited about me as of the food I cooked for him, so I concocted a plan that involved dipping various fruits into chocolate and taste-testing the results. My plan worked well, and one thing had led to another, and the tasting and testing had moved to various parts of our bodies. I had forgotten about the security camera my parents had installed, so when Greg and I ended up naked I never imagined my parents would get to witness the sight of their daughter, bare breasted and covered in chocolate, sucking the cock of their favorite pupil. I will never forget the humiliation I felt when I walked into the lounge the following morning and found my parents watching that video. I immediately proposed my trip to Eire and they unsurprisingly agreed readily.

I couldn’t wait to leave! I wasn’t nervous or scared leaving the family home, just desperate to leave behind the humiliation and shame I was feeling., so when I waved goodbye to my parents at Bristol Airport it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I’d hoped the whole shameful episode with Greg would be forgotten by the time I retuned, so was feeling optimistic about my trip by the time I had settled on the Ryanair flight to Shannon. My optimism was also raised at the thought of having Uncle Simon greet me on my arrival.

Simon wasn’t really my uncle. He was my dad’s best friend from their college days and, because he had spent almost every summer at our cottage in Wiltshire, was as good as family to me. He really thought the West Country the best place to get the full benefit of the English summer, which I could understand as he lived in London throughout the remainder of the year. The memories of those times are as vivid now as they ever were. I cannot taste the scent of red wine and mature cheeses without thinking of Simon. They were lazy, heady months of sun and hedonism. My parents are naturists, so we always spent our time at home naked, and Simon always got into the spirit of things when he holidayed with us. He was, and still is, a very attractive man, and as my flight to Ireland made it’s steady assent into the faultless blue sky I recalled the memory of seeing him without clothes for the first time. He was like a god in my eyes. Tanned, muscular, and supremely endowed compared to the other friends and family I had seen nude, he was my first girly crush. I adored him. My mother, I remember, was also impressed with his masculinity, as I caught her more than once showing her appreciation of him when my Father wasn’t home. But I could not be angry at my Mother for her betrayal for I understood what drove her to be unfaithful. Simon was irresistible, and instead of malice I discovered the joys of masturbation whenever I caught them alone.

So having spent so much time in the Southern countryside I was not surprised when he turned his back on the rat race and moved to Galway. The relaxed, arty pace suited him. I imagined the impact he would have on that unsurprising city, that god of men and of the kitchen. Within hours of Simon’s arrival at our family home we’d all begin seeing ourselves in a different, more sophisticated way. Our everyday lives took on a bit of glamour. My parents would climb down out of their ivory towers, and Dad would whistle old Stones tunes. Mum would giggle and blush and take to wearing chic scarves and dark red lipstick. And I would be just about the happiest I would ever remember, because Uncle Simon and I shared a passion that belonged to no one else. Food. He was a chef, and one of the best in the country, and swiftly became my mentor. Everything I knew then and know now I learned from him. He was my educator, in every way. We spent hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes, and over the years I blossomed from a shy, awkward girl into a canlı bahis şirketleri passionate, determined woman. And all because of Simon.

For while my father and mother could take it or leave it when it came to food, Uncle Simon and I would both practically swoon over a particular sauce or a perfectly grilled steak. Mushrooms were never just mushrooms, they were chanterelles, morels, porcinis, Portobello’s: all music to my ears and a symphony in my mouth. With Uncle Simon, fruits and vegetables became an odyssey of pleasure, and a snack of an apple and cheese became an experience infused with magic. Because it wasn’t just an apple, it was a perfectly ripe Golden Delicious and it wasn’t just cheese, it was perfectly ripe, soft, rich Brie. Simon taught me to taste, savor and linger over a meal or a glass of wine. I quickly grew from having little thought for what I ate to appreciating every morsel that passed through my lips, so that when I gave Greg oral pleasure, it was with the same passion as I gave when devouring a bowl of luscious strawberries. Sex and food had become almost the same, for they were pleasures to be enjoyed with the fingers, mouths and lips. The senses and tastes were heightened as equally in the bed as in the kitchen. Simon had shown me this about food, and after the episode with Greg I realized he had unknowing taught me about the sensual side.

At the time of his last visit I had been fifteen and Uncle Simon thirty-two, and though I hadn’t fully realized it, he had become the standard by which I judged men. It had proven a difficult standard to bear for I found most men lacking. Greg had come close, mainly because he loved food and had been almost like a brother to me, but as my culinary skills had increased at the same rate as my libido I thought no man could ever truly satisfy me. Simon had proven a tough act to follow, for when you’re fifteen and lonely a man like he is hard to beat, so when I saw him at the arrivals lounge of Shannon airport the look on his face almost had me on the next flight home to Bristol.

I recognized him immediately. He was still tall and dark, though some silver had worked its way into his temples. His eyes were still a sensuous, chestnut brown and his mouth still almost too beautiful for a man, the lips giving way to a sensuousness that hinted at his true nature. I realized with one look that I’d been half in love with him for years and now, catching sight of him anxiously checking the line of disembarking passengers, I felt the full impact of my feelings. He hadn’t caught sight of me or if he had, he didn’t recognize me. But I sure recognized him, as the thudding of my heart attested. As with most momentous occasions in my life, I did what I usually do when overcome with emotion; I lost my balance and promptly tripped over my carryon luggage, landing in a heap on the airport floor. There ensued a loud tangle of unintelligible cursing from my fellow passengers, some of which sounded unpleasantly rude. And that is how Uncle Simon finally noticed me. A quick look of annoyance crossed his face as he took in the spectacle and then he turned to walk away, obviously still not recognizing me.

“Uncle Simon” I called out, “It’s me, Alana. Alana Sandrey!” He turned back around and stared at me. I willed myself not to start crying but I was close to tears. I was tired. I was far enough from home, but not far enough to still feel the humiliation of the sex tape. I was embarrassed. I was in pain. And I was fast becoming aware that my beloved Uncle Simon looked pretty disgusted at the first sight of me he’d had in four years.

“Good lord Alana, what happened to you?” he asked, looking me over in an odd way.

“I tripped… I know, how stupid, I mean I’m not even in Ireland for ten seconds and I’m…” He didn’t let me finish.

“No,” he said, looking me up and down, staring in what was a pretty good impression of surprise at the sight of my newly formed plump breasts. “I mean what happened to you? You grew up… Christ!”

I could feel the heat of shame rise up in me instantly. I knew my face was as red as a rose and I made a ridiculous attempt to cross my arms over my suddenly awkward breasts. I have no idea then of the exact measurement of my assets, but as my ass complemented the size of my breasts and I had a relatively small waist, “Deliciously Curvy” was the title I gave my generously endowed shape. I was especially ashamed as this was the first time Simon had seen me as a woman. At our last meeting I had been a flat chested girl with no ass and no sex drive. Now I was a curvy woman with a young woman’s libido, and as Uncle Simon stared at me in a bewildered way I felt like I had betrayed him. I remembered myself as the fifteen -year-old he must have been expecting. I had never been skinny, but at fifteen I had been stick-straight, with braces and braids and a seriousness that often passed for mental maturity. Uncle Simon had often told me that I had “an old soul.” Apparently, I was no longer the cute “old soul” that he remembered.

“Yeah” I canlı kaçak iddaa replied in a resigned, almost apologetic way, “I grew. I’m not fifteen anymore. Sorry to disappoint.”

Then he smiled and said how good it was to see me. He reached out to hug me, but then evidently thought better of the idea, for he pulled back as if to rethink the idea. I think he was baffled at what to do because of my breasts. He offered me his hand to shake, but he went to hug me again and I mimicked his movements, bobbing back and forth in an awkward sort of dance, never quite hugging though the intent was there.

Finally we reached a point of exasperation and he turned and picked up my carryon, never having the hug, and walked off with me following at a fast clip to match the his long legged stride.

After locating the rest of my luggage we were finally bound for Galway, where Simon had settled after his divorce. We were late arriving at his beautiful home as we stopped off at the City Hospital on Simon’s insistence, for my wrist was quite sore following my fall. There was a long wait, and when I was finally examined by a handsome young Doctor I was told I had a sprained wrist and would need to wear a sling for a week or two. Unfortunately, I had sprained my right wrist and I was right handed. Being dangerously uncoordinated even when all my parts were in working order, my plans for earning some of my keep by working on Simon’s farm were suddenly in need of revision, and Simon seemed to have similar thoughts, mumbling about having to be a nursemaid or something or other, just as the busy season had started. I was dangerously close to tears, again. I realized I hadn’t come to Galway just to learn more about cooking and wine. I’d come to see Uncle Simon again in the hope that we could recreate the closeness we’d had, and it had been a disaster from the moment I’d landed.

As we left the city and drove through the Irish countryside I did my best to concentrate on the scenery we passed and not recreate the scenes of failure that played in my head. OK, I thought, at least I’ve got to travel to Ireland, and I’m getting the most glorious tour of the beautiful West. So what if my host is disappointed with me, I’ll stay for the weekend and then go back home. Worse things have happened. I can get a job in a restaurant in Bristol. Some of the best chefs in the world are in England. And Greg might actually break down and fuck me proper. Who needs some cranky, middle-aged square? So the voice in my head soothed me into a calm enough state by which I could actually take in the beauty before me. It was just about as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen. I think it’s the sky I remember most. The bloody, scarlet hues as the sun settled behind the Connemara hills was a joy to see. It was of so many different shades and moods, it was almost too beautiful. But then it goes dark and the stars come out, and wow!

In my prayers I often remember Anna and thank her for her many kindnesses. In a way, she is responsible for helping me create the life I now live and savour with such joy. When Simon and I arrived at the farm and Anna, the wife of the man who managed the house and grounds, came to greet me, she found me in tears and Simon sternly lecturing me about not having time to look after me and not to bother with the luggage as he’d be taking me back to the airport in the morning. Anna grabbed his finger as it pointed at me and shook it. She then let loose with a stream of Irish that I couldn’t begin to understand. But when she ended with a word I could translate, “idiot,” and put her arm around me, I caught the gist and knew that for at least one night, someone was on my side. Anna led me upstairs to one of the guest bedrooms and magically, as I was trying very hard not cry any more, my luggage appeared and Anna had found my pyjamas and toothbrush. She beckoned me into the bathroom adjoining the bedroom where she helped me wash away the grime of the journey, all the while murmuring odd bits and pieces of Irish mixed with English.

I felt mothered in a way I had never felt with my own mother. When she insisted on helping me out of my clothes, my wrist permitting only limited movement and obviously causing me pain when I tried to use it, I protested and tried to push her away. But she would have none of it. She laughed. She pointed at my breasts and hip region and then to her own and shrugged, as if to say, “Yes, we both have female bodies, now get into your pyjamas.” Somehow, I understood that I was in need of help and Anna was going to help me, that she meant me no harm. And when I was standing naked before her, she looked at me with approval, pointing to my large breasts and whistled cheekily. Dear Anna, with her deep understanding of life and sex and love and appetite, she helped me into my pyjamas and then into the lavender-scented sheets and into a summer of magic that would echo in me for years to come.

It was Anna who found a place for me in her kitchen and taught me the intricacies of country cooking. She shouted down Uncle Simon and canlı kaçak bahis simply pushed him out the kitchen door and then placed a potato peeler in my left hand and I was on my way. Somehow, with Anna, I found a grace of movement I never knew I had. I learned to use my left hand for millions of tasks and by the second day, I was picking basil and berries in the morning and kneading bread in the afternoon. By the end of my first week I began helping out in the herb garden, packing the fragrant mix of dried basil, lavender, rosemary and thyme and summer savoury, that Uncle Simon exported in small clay pots. I was frequently exhausted but had never felt so included in any venture. Because Anna accepted me, the workers, all of them female and all big, sturdy farm women like her, accepted me also. Though I still could only use my left hand, I managed to do at least enough to cover my room and board and I also managed to stay out of Uncle Simons way, and he returned the favour, only appearing for meals at which he remained polite but distant.

We saw each other at dinner every evening. Simon was always unfailingly polite and frequently commented on the food. Anna accepted his praise with her usual shrug as if to say, of course, and what did you expect? I usually blushed and smiled. I was still shy in his presence, but little by little I was learning to adapt to our distant sort of relationship. If I noticed how his fingers stroked his wineglass or how his mouth looked so succulent and kissable, I tried not to let my gaze linger. I tried to keep my inner emotions to myself. Or at least till I was alone in my bedroom and could give myself the pleasure I longed to feel from his fingers and his mouth. I had grown very adept at left-handed self-pleasure.

Once, Uncle Simon and I had bumped into each other in the moonlit upstairs hallway, long after everyone was asleep. I was tip-toeing my way down to the kitchen to make myself some warm milk and lavender honey, a sure-fire cure for insomnia, according to Anna. Simon was just coming to bed, it seemed, and it was obvious he’d been drinking more than his usual glass of wine with dinner. He swayed gently on his feet in front of me, a slow smile spreading across his face and he stared at me as if he didn’t recognize me. And then he seemed to see that it was me, and made an abrupt turn around. Without a word, he headed back down the stairs and went out the front door, slamming it shut behind him with a bang. I just couldn’t understand why he disliked me so much. But as he was civil at every other occasion and Anna and everyone else seemed to like having me around, I just figured it was something I’d have to live with for the summer. If Uncle Simon was to be just a fantasy, well, it was still a pretty damn hot fantasy.

My summer might have passed quite happily that way, working with the women in the garden and helping Anna with the cooking, if Anna’s daughter hadn’t had her baby six weeks early. The morning I came down and saw Anna and her husband driving off I almost cried, again. Uncle Simon reluctantly translated Anna’s parting flurry of Irish. I still was slow in learning to actually communicate in her native language, my only language skills being those of the kitchen. I found that I was in charge of the cooking and the kitchen garden for the next few weeks. Uncle Simon looked positively morose and I’m sure I looked pretty much the same. Still, I felt fairly confident that I could handle the responsibilities. I would only be cooking for Simon and a few of the vineyard crew, and I still longed to show Uncle Simon that I was worth the trouble of my visit. And I’ll be honest; I thought maybe he might warm up a bit toward me if I could coax him into it with his favorite foods. It was a great plan, but it turned out much differently than I had ever imagined.

Breakfast had been easy. That first morning after Anna had left, I served the usual croissant with lavender honey that Uncle Simon ate every morning. I made several pots of coffee and a spinach quiche as well. I packed a lavish lunch and dinner for the four remaining farm workers and Uncle Simon, as they would be staying out in the fields all day. I was heartened somewhat when I learned that it would only be Uncle Simon returning for dinner, as his farm hands would be out late hoping to bag the foxes that had been causing havoc amongst the fowl sheds. There was also some wine-making venture that they wished to partake in, and this, I must say, cheered me no end, for the wine they produced was really wonderful. I had grown quite partial to red wine during my stay, and found it a constant companion at dinner. So I went about my day in relative calm and happy industry, till just before dinner, I reached for the bottle of cordial and promptly spilled the sweet, sticky, deep purple liquid all over myself. I had planned to serve perfectly ripe blackberries and custard, topped with the cordial, for dessert. But somehow, I had managed not only to cover myself with the entire bottle of cordial, but I also knocked over the bowl of blackberries and stomped all over them while trying to locate a towel for my cordial-coated face. My temper lost, cursing at the top of my lungs in utter fury, I must have looked quite a sight when Uncle Simon came in from the vineyard, ready for wine and dinner.

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