I’ve always been intrigued with this very important part of me. Based on science, it’s at the roof of my mouth. It’s made up of soft and hard tissues. I knew it from quite early that it has a mind of its own. But, somehow it has to consult with yours truly before indulging in a dish. You see, though it may be strong and assertive, it clearly knows that it cannot operate independently.

Guys, I’m talking about my dear palate. Everyone has it within the roof of the mouth. And, if not cognizant of its strength, I truly believe that it can control all our dietary needs. Over the years, I’ve learned to figure it out. It’s stubborn and hard-headed but with a little training from yours truly, we normally arrive at a united front.

My palate spits out demands based on the weather patterns. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an old year or a new year, once it’s cool and precipitous on the outskirts, nine times out of ten, it will require comforting and calorie laden foods. Bring on the carbs, the fried foods, the sweet and the salty. Did I mention the spirits? Oh, it likes to be a little over the moon and happy.

I diligently made plans to try my utmost best to be healthy for 2015, I should have known better, it’s the middle of winter. Moreover, there are still numerous left-overs in the freezer. Who I’m I kidding? For heaven’s sake, there’s still that ham bone in the freezer and a few serving of the rum/brandy glazed ham pieces. I hid them from my palate and stuck them at the back of the freezer.

Ahh, I know I have to compromise and make that Jamaican red bean (peas) soup with a few pieces of pickled pig’s tail. Already, I’ve got in the action and started to retrieve few pieces of the left-over ham. That’s what my palate does to me. It lures me. After all, for days, the weather has been dark, wet and gloomy. Once again, I had to give in and used up those Irish potatoes. I compromised a bit by baking instead of frying. I allowed my palate to have the melted parmesan cheese and the bits of ham.

Guys, don’t think I always give in to this palate of mine. Once in a while it ‘gangs’ up on me with another palate. Like the other day my girl friend’s palate summoned mine to have a Jamaican favorite, ‘stewed peas and rice’. Don’t get me wrong, I was a tad tempted but I stood my ground, I didn’t  surrender to this palate of mine.

This week-end, the forecast is a cold front over South Florida. Already, I can feel the familiar nudge. Somehow, I feel drawn to the rear of the freezer. My palate has me thinking of codfish fritters and other oh so delicious and comforting foods. You know something, I’m not going fight this. I’ll indulge in a few of all these succulent foods. But, in order to do so, I know for sure that I’ll have to hit the speed walking/jogging paths a little longer.

Guys, though my palate and I are separate ‘entities’ so to speak, I’ve to admit that we cannot operate solo. We depend on each other. Sometimes, there may be ‘cold wars’ between us, (like when I choose to have salads in the evenings), but, we both know we need each other to explore this culinary world of ours. At some point during a disagreement, we always arrive at a great medium where we’re both satisfied.  We call it a fine balance. We’re two peas in pod.

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