Photographs by Meadow Linn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Five Ways to Chase a Man Away

Five Ways to Chase a Man Away

Whoever said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach needs to learn a thing or two about dating in the modern era. Whatever you do, do not cook, bake, knit, or make anything that could possibly be construed as a gift until you’ve been going out for a long time. Believe me. I know this from experience.

Why is it that when I make chocolates for a new guy, I’m immediately dropped by the wayside; yet, when a man brings me chocolates, I imagine sharing his last name and wonder what we’ll call our children?

Each new guy is an opportunity to show off what I do best and gain his undying affection by promising a life filled with homemade pasta, rustic breads, hand formed truffles, and meats roasted with intoxicating spices. Unfortunately, it seems, I’ve been brainwashed by the idea that food will win over a man.

Over the past four or so years, I have done a lot of dating. (Yay for the internet!) I stopped counting a few years ago, but at that time I was up to 56 different men. I know…It’s crazy. You must be thinking that there is something seriously wrong with a woman who can’t land a single guy after casting her net that many times. And perhaps you’re right. But I’m sensitive, so don’t tell me if you think I’m pathetic.

It’s a well-known fact that I’ve been very picky in my search for The One; however, I have been fairly indiscriminating when choosing who to go out with. A long time ago I decided I’d give nearly anyone at least one chance. I’m crazy to put myself out there that many times, but you never know whom you might find. There is a reason why the fairytale about kissing a frog and getting a prince is so popular. If you plant enough seeds, eventually you’ll get something tall and strong. Right? At least, that’s what my mom keeps telling me…

I would like to think that I’m a strong and independent woman. I don’t see myself as overly cloying or needy, like Kate Hudson’s character in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; however, it appears I have a tendency to give too early in a relationship. With the exception of a couple of serious boyfriends, anytime I have cooked for a man or given him anything I’ve made, it’s put an abrupt end to the relationship.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I went out with a French guy named Franck. For our fourth or fifth date, I invited him to my home for Sunday brunch on the lawn. I served him wild boar sausage (fitting for a Frenchman I thought), which he said he loved, but that was the last time I ever saw him.

Awhile later, I met a Persian Peter Gallagher look alike. One evening over dinner, we started talking about our favorite music. A few days after that, I made him a mix CD and included many of the songs we’d discussed. The day after I mailed it, I received an e-mail he’d sent from work that said he didn’t feel any chemistry and didn’t want to see me again. Hours later he would have found the CD waiting for him in the mailbox at his apartment.

Two years ago, I spent a good portion of the fall traipsing back and forth across Los Angeles and a few other cities to spend weekends hiking and adventuring with a Danish guy I met on the internet. Although we hadn’t been going out long, I decided to knit him a warm hat with a Scandinavian design for Christmas. He was living far from home and wouldn’t be spending the holidays with family, so I thought it would be nice for him to have something warm to wear in the mountains that reminded him of home. Halfway finished with the hat, I received an e-mail that said he didn’t want to go out anymore because he didn’t think about me when we weren’t together. What’s with guys ending things over e-mail? Hasn’t anyone ever heard of the telephone? It was, however, for the best. He found Christmas lights garish and disliked much about America and Americans, except for the warm Southern California climate that allowed him to drive his convertible with the top down.

The following August I met a hot surgical resident at a wedding who looked a lot like John Cusack and loved to fish. Apparently, I have a thing for fisherman. My first love was a fisherman, and since then, it seems nearly every man I go out with happens to have an overactive passion for hurtling fish from the sea. This new prospect lived across the country, but we corresponded throughout the fall and into the winter. After months of bi-coastal texts, e-mails, and phone calls, I decided to finish the cursed Scandinavian hat for him since he was always complaining about the cold in the Northeast. That January I went to Boston for a friend’s baby shower and managed to meet up with the surgeon. It was a frigid and snowy evening and as we ran down the street, he said, “I’m freezing. I wish I had a hat.” Although I hadn’t planned on giving him the hat right away (or perhaps at all), fate had intervened it seemed, so I dug into my purse and pulled out my beautiful blue and black, fleece-lined creation and gave it to him. After that night, I didn’t hear from him again for a very long time. Much later, I finally got the courage to contact him with the help of a hot bath, a few glasses of wine, and some muscle relaxants. It turned out he had commitment issues.

And this brings us to the present. Over the past five or six weeks, I’ve been seeing a tall, wholesome looking Midwestern scientist doing research for the navy in Monterey. He has an unnatural love for eggnog and recounted its virtues on numerous occasions. Yesterday was date number four. (We live two hours apart and have only been able to get together on weekends). Four dates seems to be my magic number. At that point, I feel like I can safely give a man something homemade. How wrong I was! While flipping through The Christmas Candy Book by Lou Seibert Pappas, I came across a recipe for eggnog truffles that I couldn’t resist. Before making the trek up the coast to see him, I spent the day tempering chocolate over a double boiler, grating nutmeg, and stirring rum to make decadent and beautiful truffles. Guess what? Things are over between us. While my feelings are still a bit raw about this one, since it only happened yesterday. I know it’s for the best. How can you trust a man who hates mushrooms and who says that kissing on the fourth date is moving too fast?

The Frenchman not calling after the boar sausage could have been an anomaly, but after a mix CD, two hats, and numerous other attempts to woo with the culinary arts, I should have learned my lesson. Perhaps next time I’ll know better…

The following recipe is Lou Seibert Pappas’ recipe for eggnog truffles. I am not usually a fan of white chocolate, but these truffles gave me a new outlook on the sweet substance (if not on men). While this confection may not bring you the love of your life and it could possibly even bring a budding romance to an abrupt end, it is extremely delicious and worth making. Eat the truffles while crying over a breakup, share them with a good friend while watching a sappy movie, or give them as holiday gifts to those whose love you’re sure of.

Unfortunately, I took every truffle to Monterey and do not have any photographs of the little masterpieces. Nor can I stuff my face with them while I start the process of yet again looking for a man to try not to cook for. Nevertheless, I encourage you to try them because they are so delicious and festive! They are a perfect addition to any holiday celebration.  

Eggnog Truffles to End a Budding Romance
(Adapted from Lou Seibert Pappas)

6 ounces (about 1 cup) white chocolate chips
*I used Ghiradelli Sublime White Vanilla Dream mini bars, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespooons light or dark rum
            *I used dark rum. It has a stronger flavor.
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 ounces (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped,
            or 6 ounces (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
            *I recommend using the darkest chocolate you can find. This will counteract the excessive   
              sweetness of the white chocolate.
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ounce white chocolate

Melt the white chocolate chips with the cream in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum and nutmeg. Turn into a small container, cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a 1-inch scoop or melon baler, form the chocolate mixture into balls and drop onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen, 1 or 2 hours. (I couldn’t get them very frozen, but after two hours they were solid enough to use.)

Melt the bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips with the oil in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove the chocolate balls from the freezer, and line a second baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a fork, turn each frozen chocolate ball in the melted chocolate to coat evenly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. If the chocolate cools too much, reheat it and continue coating the balls.

Melt the 1 ounce white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water. Dip a small flexible metal spatula in the white chocolate and drizzle zigzag lines on top of each truffle.

Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes, before serving. To keep, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Makes 16 to 18 candies

This recipe is from:
Pappas, Lou Seibert, The Christmas Candy Book, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California 2002.

If you like these truffles, please buy Pappas’ book or any of her many other delightful cookbooks.


  1. Meadow, this is truly priceless ;) happy home-made holidays!! Xxmish

  2. Hey Meadow! I still remember your wonderful and inventive cooking up at Shambhala (July 2000).
    Maybe you should give up on the guys and open a cafe'. You'd dwell in all the cooking your heart delights in and be so busy that you won't have time to worry about guys! Also, you'd be feeding all the men you like and they will be happy and pay you for it! LOL!

    BTW: you're a really good writer, too. I read ALL of the above as I enjoyed the flow and was intrigued to continue reading. Yet another talent in you! :-)

  3. You are absolutely adorable and very funny. Of course you know by writing this in your blog, you have just attracted more men who you will want to cook and care for, who will take it wrong. What you think about you bring about:)))
    Now start manifesting that man that would love to have a domestic goddess like you as his life partner. He will be very lucky indeed.
    I don't know you, but I get a wonderful, positive feeling from you. You have marvelous energy. Direct it in the right place. Peace and Happy Holidays to you.

  4. They sound absolutely scrummy!!
    As for the men...I think you should start asking the universe to make THEM give you gifts & wonderful food on the 4th date hehe...hell, make that the 1st date! :)

  5. Hi Meadow - thank you for your honesty! I'm sure many of us who read this can relate to your tales on some level--ouch!!! But the recipe for the Eggnog Truffles is the piece de resistance!
    Sweet blessings and joy to you~~~

  6. Trust me on this. Wait for the man who is anxious to cook for YOU!! The one who makes something for you. Then you will know you have found one that appreciates what it takes to make something, cook something for someone else !!

  7. This is the first time for me, reading your blog. I love it! I liken dating these days to a horse auction; check the teeth, the foot pads, consider the sale. Love your love of cooking and creating in the kitchen as an expression of care and love (have done the same things myself, with varying degrees of success. Keep on going...somewhere, some place, someone will say "thank you God/Goddess for Meadow"!

  8. You are hiliarious and so right. i too have learned that when you do something "nice" for a guy he bolts. have come to realize that these men are not the one for me and i know that when i meet "the one" he will appreciate my efforts as will your "one." good luck on the search.

  9. Meadow you are a phenomenal writer (with guts to put this out there), cook and generous friend... what the rest of us are striving to be!! These scumbags just don't know who they're dealing with and should be confined to a diet of McDonalds for eternity. There is a saucy Italian out there who will savor every last bite....:)

    love your big open spirit. keep writing.

  10. Oh Meadow! I love your honesty and your humour. i was wondering to myself when I met you this year why you hadn't been snavelled up yet ... and found that quite perplexing given the gastronomic delights you are capable of. I think the way to a man's heart is still through his stomach ... just has to be the right guy... he will show up when you least expect it (says the o-so-single one!!) ... har har.

  11. Hi, thanks for sharing your story. It is amazing how you keep on going although..
    I stopped dating well over a year ago and now I have been wondering how to have the gourage to get back into "the game"..
    Good luck to you, I hope you`ll find someone more suitable for you the next time.

  12. Hi Meadow! I will never forget your berry tarts and am quite certain that these men have nooo idea what they're missing for you are even sweeter than they were. Thank you so much for sharing as your story gives much comfort to the rest of us that lack your beauty, wit, and charm and go through similarly challenging situations. I just know there is a happy resolution that will present itself with divine timing.

  13. Meadow,
    I remember with joy, the amazing dishes you created for us at "The Ranch" from Soul Coaches 13. Loved you writing and obviously,the Universe is helping you to weed out the ones who don't appreciate your talents. Better sooner than later, I would say. Keep the faith "the one" is out there! Love to you - Sumi

  14. Hi Meadow,

    be fearless in your pursuit and don't settle!!
    Love will find you how could it not??!

    Much love~


  15. Hello, my dear Meadow! I am looooving the blog. God, you're as hilarious and soulful on paper (screen) as in person. I reiterate: WRITE A BOOK! The muscle relaxant line was the best.

    Sorry to hear about Monterey. Clearly, he's a douche. Now I am seriously regretting not seeing those truffles when I was at your house that day. The first time we met you were cooking (Thanksgiving, too!) and I've been a devoted Meadow-follower since then. Heck! I'm even moving to your town!

    Keep casting your seeds, my little Johnny AppleSeed of Paso, you are touching many hearts along the way.

  16. Oh Meadow you are hilarious. I can relate quite a bit actually. I once made lentil soup for somebody (lentil soup for goodness sake!) and he later said it freaked him out because he thought I wanted to marry him. Nothing of the sort! I'm surprised that so many European men in your experience got freaked out too... I can't figure it out! If you get to the bottom of it, let us know. I love to cook as well and sharing a meal is so sacred and sensual to me.

    I LOVE your blog, it's very unique, though there are many cooking blogs out there. Yours is infused with so much wisdom and sensuality and I LOVE the stories behind the recipes. I'm thrilled that there's so much for me to read! You are a generous blogger! Actually you are generous in everything... My goodness what these guys are missing!!!

  17. The midwesterner hated mushrooms?!? Well, good riddance to that! Meadow, you are simply marvelous. Loved this post, and love you!

  18. Meadow,
    Love how candid you are. That is brave. It look a little encouragement from Maurica to for me to post my own. Still a little freaked.

    Your post is proof that people usually do not know a good thing when they see it. A little advice from a Man? Let yourself be a bit mysterious around new guys and reveal yourself slowly. Almost like a strip tease, but waaaay better. Anticipation is sweet.
    Wild4Stars said it best as far as knowing which suitors are best for you.
    Enjoy that you provide great recipes too. I like to cook for myself and friends when I can make time.

  19. Dear Meadow,

    I LOVE your blog! It's every bit as delicious as your cooking. I can hardly wait to try your recipes. Thank you for writing this particular post. But, rather than think of it as chasing men away with your cooking, think of it more as a natural selection process. The perfect meal must start with the best ingedients, no? Only the best will do -- no scrimping for you! I see just the right person coming for you. Someone who lets you shine, but challenges you in just the right way. Someone secure enough in themselves to appreciate and revel in your power, talent and beauty.

    Here's to more of your wonderous, brilliant self!