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Saving a piece for someone else: the ultimate chowhound sacrifice?

Was just reading this post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/730496 by a chowhound trying to save one delicious wing for his wife. Got me to thinking about just how hard that can be for some of us hounds, especially if the other person is not present.
I have to admit I have failed to share many times but when I manage it and the recipient of my generosity is a true hound and gets it that this is an act of love, the moment can be magical, watching his or her eyes light up in pleasure. And being the recipient of such generosity, oh my! Of course like anything else, this has a chance to go awry.
Anyone else get that warm glowy feeling when giving or getting that last scrumptious bite or sip?

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  1. Yesterday I ate one half of this delicious eggplant parm sandwich... The bread was perfect- chewy on the outside, not crumbly or too soft and the eggplant was thin and light, plenty of gorgeous mozzarella oozing out, it was all I could do not to eat the other half. I ate every bite, even all the bread because it was SO GOOD (she said the bread is flown in from NYC) and I don't normally EVER let myself eat all the bread. The flavors were amazing. It was a thing of love. I hugged the deli owner.

    So on the way home, my husband called-stuck at work and starving... I brought him the rest. I told him all about it, that it was magical, that it would taste so good he would want to smack himself. I kissed him goodbye, and gave one long last look at the EPP... When I called him later I asked about the sandwich first thing- and I get 'It was alright... bread was too chewy."

    I MOURNED the loss of that sandwich for the rest of yesterday and all of this morning. He knew I was in lust with it, that I gave it to him because I love him so much I could know no greater joy at that moment than sharing such perfect sandwich-ness with my amazing husband. Our relationship would be even stronger, once I was able to share this food with him...

    And he crapped all over it.

    But I'll still share, usually the results are much more fulfilling...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Boccone Dolce

      Ya know, there's a smidgen of truth to the stereotype of men as insensitive brutes:)

      1. re: Boccone Dolce

        You know your husband best. Do you think:
        1. he meant what he said, which means he was indifferent? Or
        2. he could not get in touch with his feelings: he felt touched but was embarrassed to say so?

        What I know is:
        1. sharers - like yourself - will always share;
        2. and if sharing is in your DNA, deep down in you, you don't even consider it a sacrifice.
        Am I wrong?

        1. re: Parigi

          Yes pika- I believe I called him a Brute!!
          My guess, Parigi, is that I'm 21 weeks pregnant, hardly anything tastes amazing anymore and I was hoping my sweety loved it as much as I did ... and as he was probably hoping for meat!

          Yes of course I'll always share-this is actually the first time I ever viewed it as a non-mutual happy ending!

          1. re: Boccone Dolce

            Aha! You're pregnant. Things taste different when you're pregnant.

            After one too many experiences of thinking something is the most delicious thing ever and having him shrug and say, "It's pretty good," I have cut down on sharing with my husband. I'll give him a bite if he's sitting across the table, or more if he wants, but I won't wrap up half of the joy-inspiring sandwich which he will think is just okay.

            But I always share treats with my 3-year old. Especially popsicles, which are currently his favorite food in the world. Once he asked me, "Mommy, why are you giving me the last bite of your popsicle?" I said, "Because I love you." Now he always saves the last bite of his popsicle for me. :)

            1. re: Pia

              ""Mommy, why are you giving me the last bite of your popsicle?" I said, "Because I love you." Now he always saves the last bite of his popsicle for me. :)"

              That must be how one is taught to share, and share with pleasure. Bravo for you.

              1. re: Parigi

                Of course, the "last bite" he saves for me is always the teeniest little nibble... but I know it takes a lot for him to give even that up!

        2. re: Boccone Dolce

          well, the damn bread was chewy cuz he was eating it HOURS later? tell me he understood that?>>>facepalm<<<

        3. Listen ladies, as one of the insensitive brutes, let me give you a piece of advice:
          If they (whoever) wanted to partake of the food where we went, then they shouldda come! Eat your good stuff till you can eat no more. If there happens to be some left (which, if you saw me, you would know there would not be a crumb), sure, you can bring it home or share it or whatever.

          I say, if you want the good stuff, then come along! LOL

          Just one brute's philosophy.

          7 Replies
          1. re: woodburner

            Okay, Brute, a question for you: If you encountered a sublime bite, would you consume the whole thing, or save some for your SO? (The fate of Western Civilization hangs upon your answer.)

            1. re: pikawicca

              The fate of Western Civilization hangs upon that kind of English?

              1. re: pikawicca

                Brute #2 shall attempt an answer.

                If I was served a sandwich that was most sublime, I would think immediately of sharing it with my SO. Perhaps if I were extremely hungry, I would take a second bite, but make sure that it was symmetrical and thus did not damage the balance of the sandwich.

                As I immediately phoned her to share my joy and let her know I'd be home quickly, and why, I would ask the waiter to bring me some heavy duty foil and a serrated knife. I'd slice the sandwich into perfect halves. To wrap, I'd crumple the foil to increase structural strength, and wrap each half closely and tightly to preserve the shape of the sandwich.

                Then I'd dash from the resto, thanking God that it was still daytime business hours so that the florist I was speed dialing would still be open. (I keep the florist in speed dial just for this very type of situation, though I occasionally must speed dial to seek their assistance in getting me out of the doghouse.)

                Driving quickly but carefully to pick up the red rose in a stemmed vase, I would observe caution not to brake too quickly lest I launch the sitting sandwich against the dashboard and dent its perfect shape.

                On arrival, she meets me, giggles in glee, and we share the sandwich happily as Clarence the guardian angel looks down from above with approval. Yes, it's a Wonderful Life.

                Years ago, as I worked toward overcoming my gender's propensity for being a brute, I took certain steps. Not only did I have laser hair removal of the forest of hair on my back, but also permanent laser depilation of that menacing unibrow just above my eyes. The surgery to reduce the Neanderthal jut of my jawbone was painful and expensive, but well worth it. Training sessions with a primate zoologist have fixed any possibility that I might inadvertently begin to grunt, even in my sleep.

                That work, along with sensitivity training and continuing attendance at a support group, has reshaped me into the kind man who could attract the caliber of woman who is now my SO. She is worthy and deserving of far more than just half of a wonderful sandwich.

                Along the way, I've had a few SO's who, after finishing their half, would gripe because I got two extra bites while I was at the restaurant. But, being by nature an insensitive brute in those pre-transformation days, the comment never disturbed me.

                Life is good these days, but I must be careful never to watch the original 1968 "Planet of the Apes", lest I relapse with grunts and surliness and refuse to share my sandwiches.

                1. re: FoodFuser

                  See, with a little effort, everyman can be a prince.

                  1. re: FoodFuser

                    WOW! What a great "what would the Brute do" discussion!!

                    First, FoodFuser, you are no brute. Might have been at one time, but that was a long time ago. Don't worry, its ok.

                    Second, fugeddaboudit!! The way I share is to get another one for anyone else. Mine is mine. I wanted it, I bought it, and I'm sure as heck gonna eat it. All of it. If it was that great, maybe I'll bring another one home. What can I say. And please do not eat off my plate at the restaurant. That is not a safe thing for someone to do.

                    1. re: woodburner

                      i do that. i buy another of what i had for the BF. most times, he's not as entranced as i was (for whatever reason - time, difference of taste, etc.) but then <<I>> get another crack at the delicious thing! like queencru, below, if it was something i just couldn't finish, then he gets the leftovers.

                      and i hate when people don't like eating off each other's plates! i always offer mine and BF doesn't usually take any, which makes me feel guity taking any of his. brute.

                2. re: woodburner

                  I am a lady and feel the same way you do. If it's so good I want to eat it all, then I eat it all. My idea of a sublime bite may not be the same as someone else's idea of a sublime bite. Similarly, a bite that is sublime at 6:00 when I received it may not be sublime at 7:30 when I bring it home. If there's some leftover naturally, then sure I'll bring it home. Otherwise I'm not going to go out of my way! There are other times when I'm eating with other people and just don't want to share the food because it's just that good!

                3. Funny!

                  For me, it's the opposite - true love is sharing the "point" of a piece of cake or pie, the best first bite. Only my husband has qualified for that honor.

                  1. When my bf and I go out for breakfast, I always get their big fruit salad because its just full of 10-12 different fruits. My favourite is the banana, and I always save them for last. Even though he KNOWS Im saving them (b/c I do this every day), sometimes he will come in with his fork for one. Time slows down for me.. I hear "Noooooooooo" in my head. Then I take a deep breath, avert my gaze and just let him have it. Now, THAT is true love.

                    1. It's a fine line between something being so good that you have to share it or being so good there is no way anyone is getting any and they can fight me for it.
                      When I was still with my son's dad we went out to the most exquisite Italian restaurant where the sorbet for that night was blood orange. I was living in a part of the world where such things were rarer (literally) than pink diamonds and I was so excited that I was going to be treated to my all time favourite sorbet. When it arrived I took my long spoon and savoured that first moment of ecstacy. While I had my eyes closed my ex made the fatal mistake of trying to steal some of my precious sorbet off my plate. The next bit happened so fast, but my instinctive reaction was to defend my sorbet. I should probably mention here that I enjoy fencing and my long handled sppon was akin to a sword, which would explain how I pulled off such an excellent parry that saved my blood orange sorbet from attack. There was no way I was going to share such a rare gem with someone who may have liked it, but not swoon with pleasure over it.
                      But I do enjoy sharing food at times. I love baking something special that I know is going to be fantastic and giving it away for someone else to enjoy. That gives me a warm glowy feeling.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TheHuntress

                        What wonderful responses! The gentleman who inspired me to start this thread said that he did manage to save one precious wing for his wife. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/730496
                        If it had been me and I was home alone with the wing I really don't think I could have done it. The wing would have kept calling my name, taunting me, seducing me...

                      2. Hi there... There is a very sweet scene from (Ms.) George Eliot's 1860 english novel 'The Mill On The Floss', wherein little Maggie Tulliver is trying to 'do the right thing' when her beloved older brother Tom is cutting up a jam cake for them to share in the nearby woods. Though she ardently wants the half of the pastry that is brimming with jam, she also wants her brother to have the best bit; when he obligatorily offers her the best bit in return, she immediately wolfs it down with childhood relish and abandon, only to find her brother calling her 'you little greedy" for her having given way to her chowhound-like instincts. Even with the jam cake still ensconced in her chubby little cheeks, she weeps bitter existential tears at the cognitively dissonant experience of having to choose between her love for her brother and her love of jam puffs. It is a sweet scene early on in the novel, that I have the pleasure to ruminate upon every time I save my wife the last Oreo in the box...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: silence9

                          That doesn't seem sweet. It seems like a shame that her jam cake was ruined because her brother yelled at her for accepting his offer. How many times must they go back and forth offering the best bit to each other? And I bet jam cake never tasted quite as good to her again.

                          I remember an episode from my own childhood when I took a while picking out the best cob of corn for myself, and my parents spent the next ten minutes telling me how selfish and greedy I was. I was little. It had just never occurred to me that if I took the best piece, no one else would have it. I learned my lesson, but it could have been taught in a much gentler way that made me feel good about sharing instead of making me feel ashamed.

                          Sorry, I guess your story struck a nerve!

                          1. re: Pia

                            Reminds me of a story: When my youngest daughter was about 4 or 5 (15 or 16 years ago), it was the holidays, and we had appetizing (lox, cream cheese, assorted bagels, etc). I was making her a plate, and I called out to her: "Laura, which bagel do you want?" And she answered: "The big one!"

                            That's my girl! She got a plain bagel...

                            1. re: woodburner

                              I have to laugh when my kid carefully eyes the two plates of scrambled eggs I make for us in the morning and picks the plate that has more. When I make them even, he keeps switching back and forth. I finally instituted a rule that he can't switch after either one of us takes the first bite.

                            2. re: Pia

                              That is a shame Pia. Adults sometimes expect way too much of very young children. I had some similar experiences when I was little.
                              Sometimes the sharing really goes awry as other hounds have testified. I was living for a short time with my cousin in Miami. The night before I had gone out to dinner with a group and I got a dish called crystal shrimp. I couldn't finish it and I was in the process of heating it up for myself for my lunch the next day. My cousin had missed the outing because she had to work. She saw me fixing something and came over to see what it was. In a spasm of generosity I told her and offered her my lunch. Being kind makes me feel all glowy. Well that didn't last long. She first asked "why, don't you want them?" suspiciously. I told her that I wanted her to try the shrimp, that it was very good. (of course I wanted it, I was being extra nice) She shrugged and said okay.
                              I didn't stand around and stare at her eating the shrimp, but as she was leaving for work I asked her how she liked them. She said they were good in this odd tone of voice, you had to be there. It was kind of smug, as if she thought I was stupid for giving my lunch away. I think she was genuinely puzzled by my act of generosity.
                              That was the first time I got the "don't you want it?" response, but it has happened quite a few times since. I'm thinking that for me it is best to save my generosity for loved ones who are also hounds. We hounds "get it".

                          2. last night on the porch our son and dil and hubby and I ate dinner.
                            I had exactly enough dough from the freezer to bake up 4 jumbo JT ultimate chocolate chip cookies. ds and his wife are sweet nuts. dinner done, I brought out 2, they each had one. today for her send off, she got her lunch and breakfast made for her long many hours drive, so she got the third one and dh got the other one in his lunch for work.

                            they are the best ever, but for the ones you love, you'd rather see their faces light up.......

                            besides I have a Mars dark chocolate caramel candy bar in the freezer for later that hubster and I will each half. those things are so good

                            1. For the first ten year of my marriage, my former husband and I had a tradition when there was a particularly delicious, yet limited bite of something on one of our plates. One of us would take the first bite of, say, half of the sublime hors d'oeuvre, and then hand it to the other without a word. He would take a bite of half of what was left and hand it back. At that point it became a game of fractions, with each of us taking half of what was left until there were only crumbs. Eventually one of us would give in to our greed and(or for comic effect) gobble the microscopic remains. It wasn't until then that we'd discuss what we'd shared, take a small sip of wine, and kiss.

                              Thanks to those who started and participated in this thread. It gave me back a memory I thought I'd lost, and I'm grateful to have back that snapshot of a happy time. Cheers!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chefbeth

                                That sharing is very sexy.

                                I say so with assurance because we have always done the same. The game of fractions gives a sense of foreplay. We modify it somewhat. As we near the end, we engage in consumptus interruptus, and quickly tote our doggy bag home. We agree that there are no last bites of food until the real conjugal bites have been bitten and consumed. At which point we open the doggy bag, apply leisurely chopsticks to those fractional remnants, and savor the pleasures of the denouement.

                                Fine, fine dining.

                              2. Yesterday there was but one sample of pesto and cheese ravioli at Costco. John and I stared at it for a moment but I happened to be closer. I snatched it up and then turned and beamed at John as I handed it to him. He looked shocked and murmured "are you sure?' So much fun! And later he gave me half of his fresh peppermint brownie from Sbuxz.

                                1. talked to our daughter this morning while her dad and I were having breakfast out at a diner.
                                  asked her about Thanksgiving and how it went.
                                  the food not good, the tension due to that, not much better.

                                  but the 2 year old nephew on her lap during dessert was priceless.
                                  she had bought the tiramisu and the pumpkin cheesecake from Costco.
                                  brought it to her brothers family's house with her kids for the big day.
                                  after slicing and portioning off so everyone could get a bit of each dessert, 5 kids 3 adults, holding the little guy on her lap she gazed at her plate delighting in what was about to happen, a great flavor in her mouth was what she was thinking.
                                  she had a small sliver of a slice of the pumpkin cheesecake and a smaller piece of the tiramisu.
                                  our little guys eyes she said were wide open.
                                  she grabbed a bit on her fork, a small portion [with the larger piece still on the plate].
                                  starting to bring it up to either of their mouths, he said, "auntie NahNah, that one is for you. and without skipping a beat [pointing at what was still on the plate] he said, "that part is for Landie < him".
                                  She relented and gave the baby both of the bigger portions, ah, true love for sure.........

                                  4 Replies
                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      yea, I got teary visualizing that moment. she is his favorite person on earth, and he is close to being hers...........adorable

                                    2. re: iL Divo

                                      My father was a former football player and is a large guy who likes to eat BIG portions, but when he has my 18 month on his lap, pointing at each bite, he gives up 2/3 of every one of his meals to make his grandson happy. It's always the most loving moment, I feel lucky to witness it.

                                    3. The last piece is for your loved one.

                                      Share good food and affection...

                                      I would rather give a good bite than get one.

                                      1. No, I get that feeling when I give my wife that first bite, sip or taste. She is not interested in getting leftovers hours later.

                                        In out home, the final taste (called the VIG) is given to Diesel, our oldest and largest dog.

                                        1. This reminds me of a moment when I was a freshmen in high school. A girl I knew had brought in a frosted brownie for lunch. When she opened it, the frosting all came off on wrapping. She looked at it with wild-eyed excitement, eager to go crazy licking it off when she suddenly stopped and held it out to me to have if I wanted. That was the moment we became best friends.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                            I hate frosting and so it is probably one of few foods that I will give away. I've made many a friend via frosting-sharing.

                                            1. normally,
                                              when i know i'm going to be sharing a dish,
                                              i find it MUCH easier to give the other person their share PLUS some more (just to be generous), FIRST, before i ever set fork to the food.
                                              dunno why,
                                              i like to be the one to clean the plate.

                                              (i.e. if i'm splitting a pizza with one other person, i'll put 3/4 of the pizza on their plate before eating any of mine. . .)
                                              idiosyncratic, i know.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                That sounds great but in my case that in and of itself would likely lead to trouble. I have a real problem disinguishing "being generous" from "being a martyr" and "being selfless" from "being self destuctive" If placed in the situation of the pizza above, I could very easily give the other person 3/4 and then refuse to eat any of the remainder on the grounds that the 3/4th might not be enough, and there possible desire to have a 7th or 8th peice was more important than my desire to have a first. This often reached a head with regards to me and my sister growing up with regards to treats like brownies. and awful lot of cookies and pastries I really wanted ended up being thrown away becuse I didn't want to take my share for fear my sister would claim I had taken the bigger one, and I didn't dare ask her, since in my book, asking is putting pressure on the person, and since I was super sensitive to it, I assumed everyone else was as well. There was also trouble over the concept of what "mine" was as applied to food; whether food priorities expired after a time (i.e. if you didn't eat your share withing a reasonable time frame, it became up for grabs) or if "mine" meant "mine to eat or mine to let spoil and be thrown away' my choice." (yes I know, our family had SERIOUS food issues.)

                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                  i know the feeling you are talking about;

                                                  that is why i would not agree to split a pint of my favorite brand and flavor of ice cream with anyone else.
                                                  if i can't have my own pint, i will feel less deprived, if i don't taste it at all.

                                                  fortunately for me, this dynamic only applies to a few, specific, food items. the other stuff, i can share if i do my "dance" of giving the other person their (generous) portion before i ever put fork to mouth.

                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                    I have had that happen with Ice cream as well, or more accurately, with gelato. One gelato to be specific, Capogiro's Chicollato Scuro (basically imagine the inside of a dark chocolate truffle packed into a plastuic ice cream pint container and frozen. The stuff is so thick that you can literally let it thaw all the way through, re freeze it and you never know it thawed (i.e. it's too thick to seperate) I used to buy the pints for myself and they were mine and mine alone. Then my sister happened to taste the stuff in college, Capogiro has some ice cream parlors in Philadelpia , and she was a U-Penner) and fell in love with it as well, which mean that, once she came back the was a constant stuggle for the stuff (there was never enough in the stores to keep us both satisfied. It actually took a deus ex machina to solve the issue (i.e. capogiro withrowing thier retail line from the area around us, thereby drying up the supply.) Now peace reigns again (though my sister has standing orders that whenever she goes back to Philly to see any of her old colledge chums (most of whom are still there) she is to try and check if 1. the parlors are still there and 2. if they will pack takeout pints.

                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                      the only thing that keeps peace in my house is
                                                      1) my daughter and i like different flavors
                                                      2) the closest grocery store to me, a Bristol Farms, will order it by the case for us (and, will give us a "case discount" to boot).
                                                      i get a lot of funny looks at the checkout stand when my entire cart is made up of cases of ice cream.. . . .

                                                      i've decided it would be too self destructive to get a monster dedicated freezer to put in the garage.