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To prove my assertion that my mother’s visits are like a tornado, I have made a list of all the food items found in and out of the fridge that she deposited here last weekend.  Keep in mind, there are plenty of non-food items (“Projects,” clothing, magazines, newspaper clippings, etc.), but these are easier to catalog.

To wit: The food found in the fridge post-Mom:

  • ½ garden burger, fries, from her lunch on the way down.
  • 1 bite of pumpkin cheese cake in a Ziploc baggie.
  • ¼ Austrian tea cake from a bakery in Plattsburgh, NY, where we used to live.
  • Leftover yellow curry, from our Thai dinner before going to see Mr. Apron’s play.
  • A blob of sugar cookie dough, neglected from when she made turkey sugar cookies within minutes of setting foot in the house.
  • A small Greek salad from Panera, neglected by my sister, who didn’t like the dressing.
  • Bulgarian cheese, because in my 5th grade gifted program (“Odyssey”) I researched Bulgaria and made an authentic dish which called for Bulgarian cheese.  Back then, we made do with farmer’s cheese.  What am I going to do with Bulgarian cheese?
  • Turkey sugar cookies.

And lest the cupboards become jealous, here is what she left them:

  • 1 pkg Cadbury chocolate eggs.
  • Pumpkin seed brittle
  • 1 bag chips from Panera
  • 6 bags of Trader Joe’s low-fat kettle corn
  • 1 tin “pretzel poppers”, chocolate covered pretzel balls, which resemble goat turds.
  • 1 opened package of “Spongebob Graham Snackers”

My task is to consume or redistribute as much as I can before the expiration date.  We have so far eaten the garden burger + fries (Mr. Apron’s lunch), the Thai curry (my lunch), most of the turkey cookies, the Greek salad (appetizer for Mr. Apron), the chips (another lunch accoutrement) and 2 bags of kettle corn.  We are working on the pretzel poppers, graham “snackers” and Cadbury chocolate eggs.  We have given away several turkey cookies to my in-laws.  I have pitched the bite of pumpkin cheesecake (and Ziploc baggie). 

Will the guilt expire before the pumpkin seed brittle does?  Will I ever find a recipe for Bulgarian cheese?  How many kernels of popcorn will I find in my teeth?  Stay tuned for these, and other questions, in another installment of “Food = Love”, brought to you by the number 17, the letter Q, and mothers everywhere!

I finally had my Cadbury creme egg yesterday.  Yes, I know it’s the middle of May.  And though I’m not sure,  I believe Easter was in March or April this year.  I save mine.  I savor mine.  I only have one a year.  This is not some diet fad, nor a protest against the Hershey’s distribution of Cadbury’s in this country, nor a wartime ration.  I just have one a year, as I have had since I was a kid.  Growing up, we had certain rules on Junk Food, which we differentiated from Grow Food, which was of course different from Mommie’s Go Juice, but I digress.  Soda could not be consumed before 11am, nor after 5pm, due to sugar and caffeine.  Junk Food could only be consumed after an appropriate amount of Grow Food.  And we were alloted one Cadbury Creme Egg a year.   Of course, there was plenty of othe junk throughout the year: home-baked goodies constantly emerging from the oven; Sunday morning trips to Dunkin’ Donuts before religious school; and Hallowe’en candy I hoarded into January.  Somehow, though, only one Cadbury Creme Egg. 

From the wikipedia entry, from the Cadbury site:  Cadbury Creme Egg is manufactured by making a chocolate shell in a half-egg shaped mold, which is then filled with white fondant and a dab of yellow fondant to simulate the yolk.

To me, it’s a chocolate egg with straight-up frosting in the middle.  I would eat it over the course of 45 minutes, if I could, biting enough shell off to access the fondant, then slowly licking the fondant in miniscule amount until at last the shell was clean.  Then I would lick, bite, taste, and nibble at the shell until I had nothing left but chocolately fingerprints and chocolate gluing my mouth closed.  I don’t think it still takes me 45 minutes, but you’d better believe I savor my egg.  Same thing with the fudge my mother would make.  I would steal away from the kitchen with a cold cube grasped between my thumb and index finger.  I made it last as long as humanly possible, licking, smooshing, until it was nothing but a chocolately pincer grasp. 

Mr. Apron, on the other hand, is a sensory-seeker.  He thinks Reese’s peanut butter cups (big ones) are one-bite foods.  He thinks Oreos are one-bite foods.  I take my Oreo/Newman-O/Twist-n-Shout/Hydrox and carefully dip it in tea until it’s all but falling into my mug.  Then I delicately eat all the soggy bits, and dip again.  Sure, he’s finished all his cookies by the time I move onto my second, but I’m savoring.  He’s stuffing.  I think he burns his calories during consumption; how else can you explain his metabolism?  I think his sensory seeking behaviors are sub-clinical; I’m not going to go all occupational therapist on his ass.  It just highlights a difference between us.

He’ll eat all the good pieces of frosted mini-wheats first, and leave the crumbs of the lousy ones last, for the dog.  I eat all the half-frosted ones first, and keep the sugar-binging pieces last, for a treat.  Maybe this is reflective of our approaches to life.  Maybe he’s an eat-dessert-first, life-is-uncertain kind of guy, and I’m the save-the-best-for-last kind of gal.  That’s why we have separate bowls of frosted mini-wheats, or he’d eat all the good ones before I had a chance. 

One thing he does do, is save a rye chip for last in the Chex Mix Bold bag.  They’re the best pieces.  The pretzels are okay, the sourdough breadsticks are flavorless and just suck, and the chex pieces are nice.  But the rye chips just rock.  They’re so good, we even incorporated them into our wedding vows.  On our wedding day, we each took turns reading,

“I will save the last rye chip for you.”

And we do.