If someone told you tomorrow that, for the rest of your life, you had to choose just eight things to eat, what would you choose? I think about things like this a lot, because while I enjoy keeping a home, keeping the mammals who live in that home fed is one of my least favorite tasks. I’m pretty sure I could survive on a diet of toast, grapefruit juice, guacamole, peaches, shrimp, pickle potato chips, Milky Way Dark candy bars and French Onion soup (not the onions..just the cheese and croutons, thank you very much.)
If you think I’m joking and had to limit my list for the sake of this column, you’re wrong. I actually had to spend about five minutes thinking really hard to come up with the last one.
My family members don’t get this. They want to know what dinner will be at breakfast time. They have opinions about food. They add things to the grocery list on the counter and get all excited when I tell them I’m going to buy groceries. This is because unlike me, they CRAVE foods. Specific foods. Me? I just want to hurry up and fill the cart so that I will have several days of people not bugging me about what isn’t in the pantry. In the summer, my son asks daily if he can grill. And I let him, gratefully. One of my daughter’s favorite pastimes is watching the Food Channel. Yes. An entire cable channel dedicated to food. Maybe she’s hoping that if I watch it with her, I will suddenly become interested in cooking. So far, it hasn’t happened.
They love food. I love puppies, and if puppies wore diapers and didn’t leave fur everywhere, I’d probably be a puppy hoarder and get my own show on TLC after Honey Boo Boo. I love sunshine, too. Without sunshine, I become a troll. Not one of the cute ones with pink fuzzy hair and outie belly buttons..nope..one of the menacing, angry Bride of Chuckie ones. I love my younger brother’s sense of humor and the feeling I get when I laugh so hard that all that goofy, familial weirdness we share makes tears squirt out of my eyes. I love the smell of my daughter’s hair when she bends down to kiss me goodnight. And my son’s bear hugs. But “love” food? Nope. Food is that thing that keeps me from becoming really, really skinny. Or really dead.
I know a man who eats the same thing for lunch almost every day. A sandwich. I am pretty sure that most days, it’s peanut butter on white bread. Every day. Every. Day. He’s been married for over fifty years. Why is this important to my story, you may be asking yourselves? Because that would mean that in their half a century as a married couple, his wife has made well over 20,000 peanut butter sandwiches. That’s a lot of Jif. I’m trying to visualize what 20,000 sandwiches would look like placed crust to crust. How far would the line reach? Fargo? California?
I might be wrong, but I think he probably likes puppies better than food, too. Except peanut butter, that is.