There’s a book out there, called My Last Supper, which compiles what some of the top chefs out there would like to have as their last meal, and with whom they would like to share it. I haven’t read it, so can’t comment as to its worth. On the whole, however, I find the concept disingenuous. Oh, sure, if we assume we’ll find ourselves on our last night fit and hale, then yeah, I can see the point. You want to eat something you love, something to have made it all worthwhile. And, truthfully?
- Croque madame, with a side order of spring greens, topped with pomegranates and champagne vinegar.
- Onion soup on the side. White onions slowly confit’ed in butter, at low temperature, to bring out the sweetness. A broth of home-made chicken broth. Sourdough croutons. A (heavy) mixture of Gruyère and Emmenthal almost blackened on top.
- Tarte tatin for dessert. Maybe topped with homemade ice cream. Egg yolks and cream. Hello, I’m dying, why not?
But the thing is most folks don’t get the chance to prepare for their last meal. I remember back in 1994, while he was touring in Europe, that Kurt Cobain had overdosed and, upon coming to, requested a milk shake. “Fucking poser,” thought I back then, “couldn’t it have rather been ‘a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat’?”
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my words and thoughts came back to bite me in the ass. It’s true, I have the scars to prove it. Almost two years later or, to be exact, twelve years ago yesterday, I awoke from a biopsy that had gone horribly wrong, certain that I would never see the morning. I hadn’t be able to eat properly in weeks, but that night I was starving. It was the one thought in my mind: I want this meal.
And what was that meal?
The #4 trio from McDonald’s. In other words, the quarter pounder with cheese, fries, and a root beer (I’m not a big Coke drinker).
I begged and pleaded. I never did get the meal, but my brother (I believe) went down to the cafeteria and got me the equivalent. It took the rest of my energy to eat it, and took about two hours. It just wasn’t the same thing.
I thought of going to get the trio last night, as an anniversary gift, but I could just couldn’t stomach (pun intended) the idea.
Burgers and fries. Who knew?