Dinner with a fat valve

Our table conversation is not always politically correct

Especially when there’re younger volunteers around, the nonsense will fly over the table. All good and well, because one can’t always talk about serious business, right?

“This is de-li-ci-ous ….” a newly arrived guest sighs, while she leans back. “You are truly a master cook!” she says to Aline, the newly-arrived cook who is going to feed us during the coming month.

Aline wanted to start her own catering company, and liked to come here to practice. She is a connaisseur: “I can talk about food for hours on end ….”

My first gut reaction was to duck, because I can not talk about food for hours. I fancy cooking, but I’m not a fanatic.

Hence the idea of guest cooks in summer

There are lots of people who can cook well because they like it. I really have to bring myself to it. The true lover has it naturally. Aline is definitely one of them.

“Aline!” I call her when she’s already preparing things in the kitchen, “I know it’s late, but the people of the ElephantHouse would also be happy to eat. Is that still possible, four people more?”

“Eh …. we are …. 35 …. plus volunteers …. yes, fine, there’s enough! I make some parpadelle com fungi extra.”

That summer often the whole village sat at the table

Very nice, such a table h’hôte. And Very Very Tasty Food. The most amazing thing was, according to me, that Aline was even able to sit at the table and chat. Completely relaxed.

We got a croque-monsieur at lunch. A poached egg for breakfast. Or suddenly I was surprised with a self-made eggnog.

I had said the night before that I thought that was so yummie, and that you can’t get it here. “Here, try this, you will find this delicious.”

“Soon, I’ll be size XXL!” sighs volunteer Marian. “Yes, this is a real problem” Irene backs her up, “Aline, will you please stop that delicious cooking?! Fortunately Ellen has no scale …”

“Tomorrow morning,” says Bart, “you all just go with me. A good round of running, it’s only 9 kilometers.” He grins diabolically – he has no problem with his metabolism.

We already scream at the thought

There must be something else.

“You should be able to eat it, but not digest” suggests Lian, but everyone protested: “Are you crazy, bulimia, vomit after such a nice meal? That’s horrible!”


“If you could attach a little bag to your gullet, a crop bag, you can eat it all, but it simply goes in the bag. That would be the best!” I laugh, and so will this nonsense go for a while further. “Yeah, that’s it! No vomiting – that’s crap!”  “A tube with a little plastic bag – great idea!” “Could be a big bag for me!”   “A crop bag!”    “It’s like a pre-stoma”    “A fat valve, to get rid of the surplus!”    “You can apply for a patent!”


A while ago I got a stack of scientific magazines, and when I started to read the first one, I saw a heading “Fat valve”.

My jaw dropped – you can’t imagine my surprise.

Our crop bag becomes reality ….