Before I became a lady who stays home with her kids and cleans the toilets here far less often than I should, I used to be someone who pretty much did only what I wanted to do.
I spoiled myself that way.
Then, as so many of us who remember the bygone days say, "I had kids."
I was fussy and picky about so many things in my life back then, from too scratchy tags on my clothes to sheets that didn't feel just right. My bath towels had to be big and fluffy. My pants had to be the right length with the ankle break just atop the shoe.
As I said, that was all before kids.
Never was I more for me? no thank you, than in the area of food. Lima beans? No... because they look like they'd be icky. Pumpkin pie? Same thing... it looks too much like what mincemeat would be if I knew what mincemeat was. And seafood chowder? Won't it taste fishy? Sandy, at the very least.
And then I had three children in seven years, and had no time to make only what I wanted to eat, and no time to go out to restaurants to eat, and no time to selectively shop at high end grocery marts for the ingredients for white asparagus cream sauce. Now it's all warehouse shopping for 100 pound bags of rice and oil barrel sized cans of kidney beans.
From all this eat-what's-there-because-you've-got-time-so-grab-it mentality, a very interesting thing has happened. And it makes me wonder about all that I've missed.
Just a few years ago, I had my first slice of pumpkin pie ever -- all because I made it to the dessert table at someone's house much too late in the evening due to being busy feeding babies and changing diapers and then changing diapers some more, and all that was left on the white table clothed card table, was a skinny broken piece of pumpkin pie. I was hungry. It was food. I took it.
The whipped cream heavens opened, and dessert angels sang their chorus and I joined in with oh em gee and why didn't anyone ever tell me PUMPKIN PIE IS DELICIOUS. I loved it.
It's like I'm having food for the first time.
When baby #3 came along, I was at a relative's house when Cupid's food arrow struck me over a white bowl of lima beans. I was so starved from chasing after three boys that when I finally sat down to eat at 8 p.m., I had to stop myself from grabbing the pale green beans out of the ceramic bowl like a handful of popcorn. I composed myself and served them on a plate and again with the heavens in song; either I was starving or those were the best gd creamiest, butteriest green starchy vegetables I have ever tasted.
Since children, you can say the same thing about me and three bean salad. So sweet and tart at the same time! And lamb chops, with their downright sexy aftertaste. How could I never have known that I like jelly on meat?
Black bean burgers? Did I say they looked mushy? Mushy is my ass.
Portobello mushroom sandwiches? To think that I thought they looked like a sliced up giant slug.
Pea soup? I am sorry I ever helped spread that rumor about them being used in The Exorcist.
So many undiscovered delicacies, so little time. All coming to light from taste buds primed and ready after being in a state of famishment from food deprivation and days with no time to eat built in. Hunger is a powerful motivator and a close-food-minded opener.
Low blood sugar from living a life of no breakfast or lunch along with my gratefulness for having an invite out of my house, make me an especially appreciative party guest. I will ask you for your recipe for anything you set out, and I will thank you as you hand it to me scribbled on paper, saying "It's just cottage cheese on toast points. Maybe a little pepper sprinkled on top." Maybe for you, but for me? It's a mouth carnival.
So if you ever find me at your home for a get together of any kind, and you see me hovering over your kitchen island while stuffing my cheeks like a squirrel in October, please pull me away and break it to me gently when I choke out the words muffled by food, "What is this? It's awesome!"
And you answer, "Weeds. My husband pulled them from the garden earlier. We were in the middle of trying to identify them on google when you stopped over..."
On second thought, never mind, it won't bother me. They'll still taste delicious and I'll be singing Icona Pop to you, because I know what she's really talking about here.
Something I didn't have to cook or shop for and the time to eat it.
I don't care what it is, I love it.
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