I never took food seriously before, other than to make sure there was some around when I needed it, but since moving to LA from the Deep South, its now up there with vital decisions that move my life from one day to the next. For one thing, it seems that the circle of new friends I joined in LA have decided that they will go to their graves before their lips touch sugar again. The first time we met for breakfast at a restaurant, there was a collective gasp at the table when I reached for the sugar bowl to add some to my coffee. Later, at a birthday party, the cake was actually a bowl of sliced fruit with a dollop of sugarless whipped cream on top. There was no place to put a candle. And so it went—months of sugarless this or that until I began to experience withdrawal symptoms so severe I was forced into sugar therapy.
In the rehab group, our progress was monitored by a counselor, who kept tab on the number of brownies and twinkie bars in our diet, and we were ordered to confess in public any sweet sins we committed at each session. I seemed to be holding my own okay until I went on vacation to visit my son in Charleston. My first taste of an Apple Pan Downy his wife baked in honor of my return blew the lid off my good intentions. I closed my eyes and savored the warm sweetness of cinnamon and pecan sauce and fresh baked apples in a crusty batter and knew I was back home.