Spenser, the barrel-shaped private investigator in Robert B. Parker's series of crime novels, believes that a man, to be a man, has to live by certain rules. He should be able to lift more than his own body weight. He should be chivalrous to the laydees. He should be able to build a house from scratch with his own hands. And he should be able to rustle up a fine repast with the minimum of fuss.
At this point, I'd like to interject that none of these qualities apply to me.
Double Deuce provides an example of Spenser's gung-ho attitude towards epicureanism.
"How boring," Susan said. "Well, get your supper and we can talk."
I took my gun off my belt and put it on the night-table next to my side of the bed. I took a shower. Then I went downstairs to the kitchen and found supper, a large bowl of cold pasta and chicken. I tasted it. There was raw broccoli in it, and raw carrots, and some sort of fat-free salad dressing that tasted like an analgesic balm. Susan admitted it tasted like an analgesic balm, but she said that with a little fat-free yogurt and some lemon juice and a dash of celery seed mixed in, it was good. I had never agreed with this. I put it back in the refrigerator. When I'd moved in I had brought with me a six-pack of Catamount Beer. I opened one.
In Susan's refrigerator was a half-used cellophane bag of shredded cabbage, some carrots, some broccoli, half a red pepper, half a yellow pepper, and half a green pepper, some skimmed ilk, most of a loaf of seven-grain bread, and a package containing two boneless skinless chicken breasts. I sliced up both the chicken breasts on an angle, cut up the peppers, sprinkled everything with some fine herbes that I found in the back of Susan's cupboard, and put it in a fry pan on high. It was a pretty fry pan, a mauve color with a design on it, that went perfectly with the pillows on the love seat in the kitchen. As an instrument for sauteeing it was nearly useless. I splashed a little beer in with the chicken and peppers and when it was cooked away, I took the pan off the stove and made up a couple of sandwiches on the seven-grain bread. I put the sandwiches on a plate, got another beer, and took my supper upstairs.
"Oh, I left some pasta salad for you," Susan said.
"I sort of felt like a sandwich," I said.