Cooking With Myra: No longer bikini material

By Myra Starkey
April 24, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 23, 2012 at 11:24 p.m.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Beurre Blanc Sauce

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Beurre Blanc Sauce

In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sang the verses of "These are a few of my favorite things," which included items such as raindrops on roses and blue satin sashes.

I think those are real nice, but they are not my favorite things. For me it includes going to the beach, looking for shells and making sandcastles, particularly if the skies are blue and the weather is not too hot.

Last Saturday was pretty close to perfect, except I was not the one building the sandcastles. Taylor and I drove over to the annual SandFest on the beach in Port Aransas.

There were amazing sand sculptors from all over the United States and even foreign countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and California. There were some incredibly talented artists creating works of art from nothing but sand.

These sculptures were of things such as dragons, a guy who looked like Bob Marley sitting on a buffalo, a large and very detailed elephant, a mermaid and even a few sandcastles. These projects each took at least two days to make and were up to 10 feet tall.

It was a little hard to imagine that these masterpieces would be gone in a few short days, falling prey to the wind or waves or perhaps just local bullies who find joy in kicking over sandcastles.

As I walked along the beach seeing bikini-clad women of all shapes and sizes, I asked Taylor if he thought I could ever wear a bikini again. His eyes slightly widened, but he did not change his facial expression or even speak. I don't consider myself overweight but I am 51. Perhaps the years have taken a slight toll on my physique.

Taylor did not seem able or willing to answer my question, but simply gazed out across the vast expanse of ocean as if he had not heard me due to the sound of the crashing waves, despite the fact that it was a fairly calm day.

There are a few things that would need to happen if I were to wear a bikini. First, and most importantly, I would want to be somewhere far away, so I could be certain that I would not see anyone I knew.

My friend, Janet, could not be there because she is like a fashion police who says that women our age should not even wear sleeveless blouses because our upper arms are no longer the most flattering parts of our bodies.

I know she would be horrified if I stepped out in a bikini. In order to slim down to bikini size, I would have to stay out of the kitchen and restaurants for a long period of time and would have to start a serious exercise program. Perhaps I'll just stick with my one-piece suit and a wrap.

I am not too old to be a little daring at times. Last week, I got a tattoo. It is a Moroccan leaf motif and it is on my right ankle. Actually, it is not a real tattoo. It is only a henna ink dye tattoo, which wears off in a couple of weeks.

I was having great fun at my good friend Kathleen's 40th Moroccan-themed birthday party and there was a lady there doing henna tattoos.

This was not a rational decision, only that two of my close friends had just done it, including that same friend who does not think it proper for middle-aged women to wear sleeveless shirts.

The band at the party was great, and we stayed up way too late dancing. At times like that, I feel like I am young again, and it is a feeling I enjoy, even if it is only for the night.

I had forgotten my quest for a bikini body when I asked Taylor to stop by a particular food truck on the Port Lavaca highway.

My friend, Mark, had mentioned how delicious the beef tacos were there, and I could not stop thinking of them. Mark has a great palate and if he says something is delicious, it usually is. The older Hispanic guy running it was named Victor. He was dressed in a chef's coat of white starched fabric.

When we arrived he was expertly carving pork, but I stayed with my original recommendation and ordered the beef. It was a powerful combo of tender morsels on homemade flour tortillas, a squeeze of lime and pico de gallo full of cilantro and lots of onions.

I had one more request of Taylor for the weekend. I wanted to visit a restaurant in Aransas Pass called Rockin' B Steakhouse. I knew it was on our way home from SandFest.

A friend had mentioned that the grilled mahi mahi with pineapple beurre blanc sauce was divine. The restaurant is located on the main street and has a hobbit-sized front entrance. I ordered the fish and was not disappointed. Although I could not secure a recipe, I am using one of my own.

Taylor had a chicken-fried rib eye covered in jalapeno white gravy. He tried to pretend he was eating healthy by adding a side of green beans, but he was not fooling me.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901, or email



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