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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Green

The Art of Eating Slowly

Have you ever sat with someone who took their time eating, relishing every bite, savoring every forkful? It gave me pause in the rush of our hectic day to eat dinner with Mom.

Actually, I’m not sure that Mom enjoyed eating her dinner, but there we were, just the two of us, me gobbling down my food while she slowly and inexorably raised each morsel to her mouth.

Mom ate with an unthinking nature, separating lettuce from the carrots in her salad, eating the cut vegetables piece by piece, pushing the salmon around her plate. When I pointed out the very tasty salmon, she refused to eat it (“That’s not for me,” she said, “it’s for that other person.”).

Ok, I thought, I won’t say anything to her. I’ll just sit with her and watch her eat and hope she eats the salmon. She’ll probably forget I suggested she eat it anyway. Then she did eat it. Or most of it. The rest she carefully set aside, first tearing a napkin in two along its crease, then folding the fish into first one part of the napkin then the other.

I found myself being ignored again and again by Mom. I couldn’t convince her to take her pills. I couldn’t answer any question she had to her satisfaction. Only my father had sway over her behavior. At one point, we were sitting next to each other on the couch, my dad across the room on the other couch, and she patently ignored me.

“It looks like I’m irrelevant here,” I said to Daddy. We joked about my dad’s god-like status in Mom’s eyes.

“I am the center of everything,” he quipped, making light of his responsibilities.

“Do you know who this is?” he asked Mom.

“Who, this?” she asked, pointing to me. Remember, I was sitting right next to her, our legs sandwiched together. “This is the person who keeps talking to me.”

My heart fell. I’d been reduced to an anonymous chatterbox.

“Yes, but do you know who this is?” he asked again.

Mom swiveled her head to look at me. She hesitated. “It’s Miriam.”

“Hurray!” we exclaimed.

I snuggled against her, remembered, wanted, loved—at least for the moment.

I was definitely hungry when I sat down to dinner with Mom. At my request, Sahlee, Mom’s Philippine caregiver, made us salmon. Her recipe is simple, fast, and oh so luscious.

Sahlee’s Salmon

I don’t tend to use my microwave for cooking, but it is a fast alternative for weekday dinners. This salmon cooked to a tender, moist perfection.

2 to 4 salmon fillets

Fresh lemon juice

Soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste


Place salmon fillets into a glass dish or other microwave save container. Pour on as much fresh lemon juice and soy sauce as you like. Add salt and pepper. Cover in microwave and cook on hi for up to 9 minutes. Fish should be cooked through and flakey.

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