Oh, the things we ill-advisedly shove in our mouths and justify later.
And I’m not just referring to the calorey-laden goodies that can feel so comforting in the moment (particularly after the alcohol we drank tells us, “Go ahead. It’ll be fine”). I’m talking about flat-out weird choices. The odd combos. The items we try, knowing they’re likely a bad idea.
Years ago, I was single in New York. That alone is a combination that makes many bad choices seem like good ideas. At the time, I hit on something I thought was genius. And yes, the alcohol agreed with me completely. To me, the mark of a good snack combines something to spread with something to spread it on. After a fun night out, I came home, opened my fridge, and stared inside, searching for two such components. Something to spread…? Cheese! Now, something to spread it on…? Cheese! Yes, I spread cream cheese on Swiss cheese and felt like a genius. I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning and share my discovery with the world. (Here’s a surprise. When I woke up, I no longer felt that the world was waiting to hear about this.)
Flash forward. When lockdown began, I was grieving for my mother. Her decline over the last two years had led to some pretty bad eating habits, and my weight was far from happy-making. So, I was looking for snacks that would satisfy while I tried to take off some pounds. Where did I land? Remember, I require something to spread and something to spread it on. I hit on raw cauliflower with yellow mustard. Hang with me while I justify. Raw cauliflower has a lot of crunch, so that element is taken care of. And yellow mustard is a tangy flavor bomb. You know you’ve eaten something. And you could literally eat an entire head of cauliflower with mustard and not feel like you’ve gone too far. Well, not in the calorie department anyway. It’s also beyond filling, and I’ve never been able to eat more than three whole florets in one sitting.
How bizarre is this combo? When meeting with my doctor for a physical, I told her about it. She thought it was genius. And not the cheese-on-cheese variety of genius. Cauliflower is high in fiber. Low in calories. Low in sodium. She was so impressed with the idea that she was going to give it a go. Then, on a recent hike, we ran into a friend who had friend of his along. Let’s call him Jake. The conversation turned to food. And Jake said that he and his wife love cauliflower with different mustards. I felt like I was in with the in crowd.
So, what new taste sensation have you eaten during lockdown?
Cheers to all our quirky behavior.
Honey Parker has been writing, writing, writing for decades, decades, decades. In there, she has also been a standup comedian, a Hollywood screenwriter, a director, and a co-author of edgy business books. Careful-ish is her debut novel. It is the first in a trilogy. It is comedy-ish.