Dining FeaturesFood & Wine

Hamptons Epicure: Starving in Southampton

I just found a sesame seed on my desk and ate it.

Right now it’s 2:34 p.m. in the Editorial department at Dan’s Papers in Southampton. Less than 2.5 hours to life on the open road. I skipped lunch because I had a doctor’s appointment that ran long. That is, the wait for my appointment ran long. As an overweight member of the American middle class, I’m not allowed to say that I’m “starving.”

Most of my writing is about food—restaurant reviews, cookbook reviews, chef interviews, original recipes. I’m not a picky eater but I am rather particular. My favorite restaurants are few. In fact, my favorite place to be is my kitchen when I have the stovetop, the oven, the mixer and the dishwasher all running full-steam-ahead. I grow my own veggies, make my own beer and pickles, and home-can everything that I can get my hands on in season. It’s a lot of work and it’s completely worth it.

I don’t want to overthink it but…my last everything bagel was consumed at my desk two weeks ago. I know that sesame seeds go bad but I figure that one can’t go too bad, right? It’s not exactly a vitamin pill but it is exactly the size of one of the smaller stones in my favorite diamond ring. Maybe a really, really bad sesame seed could kill a mouse, but I doubt it—I’ve seen some of the things mice eat—candles, mold. I also watched my father struggle to kill a mouse once back on our farm. I didn’t watch directly, I stood behind him as he “wrenched the little sucker’s guts out.” Rats were easier to kill because he could stab them with a pitchfork, but I digress.

I ate a normal breakfast—“normal” for me: a slice of buttered toast; and a slice of toast with butter, peanut butter and jelly on it; and drank a cup of hot mint tea. Yes, it was “gourmet” peanut butter, ground by southern hippies; homemade jelly and my own dried mint, plus local honey for the tea, with a coin of fresh-cut North Fork ginger thrown in for vim. But that’s quality, I’m thinkin’ quantity now. I could drink two milkshakes, I could wolf down half a crappy pizza in the blink of an eye, I could eat a chopped salad the size of a dumpster…

It’s hard to concentrate when you’re hungry. Studies now prove that the “bad kids” in  school are the hungry kids.

There were several meetings in our conference room today. Are there leftovers? Leftovers are deposited in our office’s kitchenette several times a week—plastic platters of halved sandwiches and wraps catered by a local market. We call these second-hand feasts “sandwich days” at Dan’s.

It’s almost 3 p.m. now. What would a roasted vegetable wrap leftover from an 11 a.m. sales meeting look like? It would look like heaven. It would look like the one thing that could stop my stomach from digesting itself. At this point I’d eat yesterday’s unrefrigerated guacamole.

Hopefully chewing this wad of gum will keep me alive long enough to grab a veggie burger at Burger King, on the road toward much better things.

Our Senior Editor Stacy Dermont has written over 500 restaurant reviews and articles for Dan’s Papers. In addition to her weekly column and reviews for Dan’s Papers, Stacy’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Fine Gardening and Avenue magazine. She is currently at work on a farm-to-table cookbook and is shopping her first novel, Merry Mary.

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