Notes on a Banana: An Excerpt

Alan and David, 1993

Today, Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression publishes. It’s taken nearly a quarter of a century for me to write this book. I first sat down to share my story with the world on the very first laptop Apple ever made. That was in 1992. I didn’t get beyond several paragraphs, which are in the book, because, frankly, I didn’t have the writing skills yet. Also, I was still living my story. I didn’t have the distance I needed. The following year, I met The One—Alan Dunkelberger—and, as many of you know, my life was forever changed. I was young, thin, and beautiful when we fell in love. Emphasis on thin. I had recently lost more than 70 pounds, and no one—no one—was going to make me gain it back. Ha! Was I wrong. In this excerpt, I share some of the differences between Alan and me when it comes to food. And how I learned something in those early and carefree months of our relationship. I learned to linger over a meal, something my family didn’t do. We, proudly, were eaters. Alan coaxed me into becoming a devotee of everything about sitting down to eat.—David Leite

Alan, I soon discovered, was a diner. He loved everything about the ceremony of the table. Whenever we were at his apartment on West Eighty-Fifth Street, he’d lay out placemats, those gold-rimmed plates from Macy’s, silverware, glasses. He slipped rolled napkins into shiny rings, like wedding bands, and lit candles and played music—Kenny G, of whom, for some reason, he was inordinately and unfortunately fond. Read more “Notes on a Banana: An Excerpt” »

Notes on a Banana: Chandelier

Notes on a Banana: Chandelier

[Editor’s Note: If, dear reader, you come to Leite’s Culinaria exclusively for our spectacularly foolproof recipes, we have a surprise for you. And it’s called Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression. See, at Leite’s Culinaria, we’re not just about recipes. We’re about all the countless and crazy ways food intersects our lives. As such, you’ll find a lot of thoughts and reflections and musings and even a rant or two on food on our pages. But Notes On A Banana is special. It’s the memoir penned by our publisher, David Leite, and it’s about to be published this spring. So kindly allow us to introduce ourselves to you a little more intimately. We think you’ll recognize some shared quirks and characteristics. Anyways, here’s what David has to say about it…] Read more “Notes on a Banana: Chandelier” »

Forever and Completely

This Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe is an old-fashioned classic that will never, ever disappoint.

Hershey's Chocolate Cake Recipe

A long-term relationship has a lot in common with cleaning out a closet. Over the years, you learn what’s worth keeping and what can be tossed. In my nearly two decades with The One, we’ve often cleared the emotional and interpersonal closets of our lives, each time reshaping the sum of us. For example, I’ve come to acknowledge his Hess truck collection, which he uses as Christmas decorations, and his infatuation with Kenny G. He, in turn, accepts my love of kitsch and my need to control most everything. And over the years we’ve watched as my fascination with Glee, his preoccupation with teddy bears, our adulation of Martha Stewart’s first TV show, and my hard-core adherence to Atkins were rim-shotted into life’s wastebasket.

Read more “Forever and Completely” »