Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When I was a kid, I LOOOVED Pop-Tarts and Ding-Dongs and Little Debbies. It's ridiculous, because my mom is an amazing baker and we had cookies and squares and things she made from scratch around all the time. I was spoiled with the good stuff, and I preferred the bad stuff because it was exotic. My friends whose family members didn't bake thought I was crazy. There was another aspect to it too, and it was that my grandmother, the baked goods nazi, always lived with us and to this day she swears she can always tell whether something's made from a boxed mix. I believe it. Because of this my mother and I shared an illicit love of boxed cake and canned frosting - when Gram went away we'd take the opportunity to get down with the Pillsbury like it was cigarettes or dirty magazines.

I bring this up because lately I've been craving Pop-Tarts or Ding-Dongs or Little Debbies or some chemical-y, preservative laden, mass-produced sweet thing. No, I'm not pregnant again. It's just one of those things. And it's just going to get stronger and stronger until I give in to it so I should probably go buy myself a box and be done with it. I know all I need is one and it'll take care of the jones, and I can put the rest in the freezer for future "emergencies." I'm lucky I don't have issues with food, food and I have a healthy relationship. I know what good food tastes like, and when I eat something crappy and inferior it turns out to hardly ever be worth it. It doesn't taste as good as I was thinking it would, and it reminds me that I could make myself a cake in an hour from fresh ingredients and it would be a hundred times more delicious. When I was younger, though, I'm not sure I had the palate to tell the difference and it seems such a waste in retrospect. But then again I also loved vegetables - I was the only one who liked brussels sprouts and a box of those was a treat.

I guess I'm thinking about all this because I hope that HR will grow up with an appreciation of good food, and we'll give him the best start we can and not encourage any picky tendencies. Some kids just aren't great eaters, though, I accept that. We'll deal with it when the time comes. I'm just happy to be living in a time where there's so much awareness of nutrition and locally produced and organic foods and less emphasis on technology and convenience. My parents did the best they could with us, nutrition-wise, but it was a different time, and we didn't exactly have the money to go all out for the best fresh items (it's still an issue for many families these days). Plus even with all the bounty we kids were still all, "A pox on your humble brownies! Get that sugary plastic-wrapped stuff we saw on TV in our bellies!"

I don't plan to make junk food a regular thing, but I won't hide its existence or deny a bit on occasion to my little guy because I know from experience that naughtiness is the ingredient that makes it more appealing than it actually is. And even though my strawberry-frosted loving self eventually grew up to appreciate the real quality stuff, I still get these cravings. The important thing is to strike the balance. Balance in all things, that's my ultimate goal. Maybe I should have called this blog Moderationberry Pie?

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