It’s a signal moment when you are asked to a son or daughter’s house for a meal for the first time. In the past we always met at restaurants or at his hotels when he came to London.
Mikey has a gated house with a high hedge on Colgate Avenue in the area known as Beverly Grove, very simply furnished. I noticed one of Malise’s abstract paintings on a wall.
I guess having me to stay was a step too far. I wonder if that will ever happen. I do not even know how long Jared has been living there.
The dinner was Ginger Beef with a Mango Salsa followed by Chocolate Custard. To start we had a cucumber dip with mayonnaise. Mikey and Jared are following the paleo diet.
I was surprised to see that Mikey was cooking — at least he was this time. He introduced the dishes in the Swedish fashion.
“Our main course is inside skirt steaks marinated in coconut amino, Thai fish sauce, ginger and pepper, topped with a Salsa of diced green mango, avocado, red onions and cilantro leaves and served on a bed of lettuce.
The dessert is dark chocolate melted in coconut milk, flavoured with cinnamon and rum and topped with whipped cream.”
I asked about the mayonnaise. Mikey said the mayonnaise was made by blending eggs with cider vinegar and mustard, drizzling in olive oil while blending, then adding salt and pepper. The dip was flavoured with curry powder. He said commercial mayonnaise is usually made with soya bean oil, which is why it is not Paleo.
We did not talk too much about the Paleo diet though. They said it was “soft Paleo” anyway, what with the whipped cream and a very, very good wine, the 2002 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow, a Napa Valley Cabernet from the legendary Al Brounstein.
They were clearly having a lot of fun with their new diet, making new dishes and trying them out. However, I expect they thought I could be awkward about yet another Californian dietary craze, so they didn’t let it become a topic of discussion.
The Paleo diet is actually an attempt to eat as hunter gatherers ate, before the arrival of agriculture and pastoralism, so it rules out pulses and grains, beans, dairy products, sugar, even alcohol. The argument is that in only 10,000 years we have not had time to adapt to the products of agriculture. It’s controversial, of course, and contestable on the grounds that we actually evolved lactose tolerance in that period, showing that we are more adaptable than the theory supposes.
It was a fun evening, with lots of stories about the other caste members of the sitcom. They clearly like each other a lot, which must be one key to their success.
Mikey and Jared are passionate about their one abiding preoccupation, gay rights, and Mikey has put himself totally behind that cause. Right now they are both heavily involved in a campaign against New York State senators who are against same-sex marriage. Other celebrities like Cynthia Nixon and Ellen de Generes have joined the campaign.
I return to the apartment and watch Fox News play a long interview with Mitt Romney, the Mormon who is contending for the Republican nomination.