Food is the worst kind of compulsion to have. You can't escape it. You can live without good wine (but why?), you can live without caffeine and other drugs.
weird to think of a time, thousands of years ago, when food was just
fuel. There wasn't a choice. You ate what was there and that was it.
This is true throughout all of history, but for those ancestral monkeys
or whatever the latest Christian Ultra conservative is denying about
evolution, there was pretty much assorted berries, roots and whatever
speared animal they could find. Huh. Can you imagine? No steamed
broccoli, or pulled pork? Jeeze.
Food is something that
completely commandeers the majority of my thoughts. It's a fixation.
I'm always thinking about the next meal. If I'm just sitting down to
dinner, I'm mentally going over anything sweet for dessert, even if it's
just butterscotch chips. I don't diet, and we have plenty of food in
the house at all times. It goes beyond that. It's an obsession of love.
I'm barely three bites into dinner or finishing cooking
dinner when I'll ask Matt "What should we have for dinner tomorrow!?"
eager for his input on utilizing the freezer. I justify it to myself
that I like to plan ahead, and know what's coming next.
know what's in the freezer. I have a constant inventory in my head of
the assorted inexpensive cuts of meat. At the ready to be called into
duty of being slow cooked into chicken with cranberries over rice, or
beef stir fry.
I text Matt my dinner suggestion for the day. He
rarely responds. It's fine with me, it's more involving him in the
process of planning that I love. Like a real family. He's easy to
please. I enjoy the thought of planning, cooking a meal and watching him
genuinely happy to hear and smell it cooking, and then sit and eat it
Tonight I once again was reminded of something my
mother used to say when we were growing up or preparing meals "I don't
care if it's peanut butter and jelly, as long a I don't have to cook.".
Walking up the stairs I hear the click of the oven preheating and find
that dinner is in the oven. It's not what we planned on eating, and on
top of that it's the same thing I had for lunch. But I was hot, sticky
and tired. I was just so damn happy to be eating something I didn't care
what it was.
It's kinda strange. I was a picky eater
growing up. Food was always a constant, showing love or good intentions
or joy. Any emotion, really. Nothing made a day better than hearing the
chicken cutlets shallow frying. Some kids love the sound of a carnival. I
loved the popping of the oil.
I guess I'm still a little picky. I
love to eat, but I'm rather unadventurous. I like the things I like,
and it takes a lot to go outside my comfort zone. It took me years and a
few weeks at the C.I.A to discover the Wonderful World of Broccoli. And
damn, broccoli, where've you been all my life!? It took longer
for me to meet Matt and have him open up his tastes to me. Duck? Rabbit?
Sure......uh, once a year?
With our tight food budget,
it's all I can do. Dream about food. The pork tenderloin on a grill,
The produce. Oh, the produce! With summer, the displays are crammed with
assorted berries, letting off an intoxicating, almost indecent with its
sweet aromatics. I dream of strawberries with just a little bit of
sugar. Peaches churned into ice cream. It leaches into my dreams, making
the flavor of everything stronger and more torturing. Don't get me
wrong, I've pulled some seriously delicious meals. Thrift does me well,
and I almost always succeed in the flavor department. If we had a bit
more money to spend, I doubt I'd use it on food, since we do pretty well
on our own. I love a good deal and if you know where to look at the
grocery store, you can find some pretty great things.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, this obsession makes me crazy
sometimes. Like when your gym is next door to a Mcdonalds. And the smell
of McNuggets and french fries cooking makes you so insane you resist
the urge to RUN to your car and drive FAR AWAY until the craving gets
out of control. Even though I may be a poser with my chary eating
habits, I still obsess and long to cook the next meal, throw together
the next rice pudding, or make the next jam. I feel lucky to have
married someone who enjoys eating (most of) the things I make.