This week I lost two and a half pounds. Not those easy water pounds that leak out, but entrenched, tenacious, no-surrender ounces that died struggling to the end, every single one of them pleading with me to let them stay just one more day and then they'd go peacefully. Liars.
Losing a couple pounds plus - 40 ounces - is usually not worth mentioning, but, the thing here is I lost that weight living with Nancy Silverton and Ruth Riechl.
I lost that weight living with Nancy, a woman who, as the midnight hour nears, urges me to go to the kitchen of PIzzeria Mozza and have staff pizza "so you won't complain there's nothing to eat when we get home."
I lost that weight living with Ruth. who buys me $11 pints of Portland's Salt & Straw ice cream in pairs, so when I open the freezer - as I do 20 times a day minimum - the first thing I sight is a red and white-topped container that tempts with the words "Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbon".
I lost those 40 ounces living with a woman who calls five days a week, 20 minutes past noon, telling me "staff meal today is chicken thighs" , which she knows is one of my 40 weaknesses.. I could be in the "Folsom Lot" at the Nickersons, but that call beckons me north.
I lost that kilo living with Ruth, a woman who has Churchill Orchard's Fed Ex 10 pounds of Kishu Mandarins (What I call "li'l tangerines") to the house. Tangerines, you say, aren't fattening. Even if you eat 15 a day? Ain't those things loaded up with sugar? Tastes like it.
I lost that deuce and a half with reminders of food scattered about the house like Fruit Town crack dealers saying "psssst" in a Cherry Street alley. An advance copy of Ruth's upcoming novel, "Delicious!", rests on the living room table surrounded by the latest issues of food magazines. A Zip Lock of almond toffee our friend Ellen made lays in wait by the kitchen sink. Three gold-wrapped packages of Rudolphe Le Meunier's butter - sent UPS to the house by Josiah Citrin - are on display in a see-through compartment of the frig door.
I lost those 40 ounces trying out flour and corn tortillas across East Los and Boyle Heights for a party Sunday where the star guests were four nine-hour low-temped pork shoulders and a barrel of beans with bacon.
Yeah, I lost that weight. But, how? Man, I don't even know. But, thanks to Nancy and Ruth. I'm pretty sure I'll find them real soon.