Food Can Be Fun

September 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm 2 comments

You’re not hungry.  But there you are, on the couch, reading a book with a sleeve of Fig Newtons® by your side.  When you finally close the cover you look over and are shocked to see there’s nothing left but a cellophane wrapper and trace evidence of the crime.  Or maybe you’re at the county fair.  Long after the cotton candy, deep-fried Snickers® bars, funnel cakes, churros and God knows what else, your ears still perk up when the barker yells, “Get yer Kettle corn right here!” 

No, it’s not snacking, nor the classic cry for love, nor a carpet party, but what I like to call ‘recreational eating’:  ritualistic, often wholesale consumption simply to romance the palate. 

FYI, I’m all in when it comes to this sort of thing.  I love county fairs.  And I can consume a cavalcade of crap, hop on a roller coaster, shake vigorously and still be swayed to suck down a Sloppy Joe.  Along with gawking at the bearded lady, profligate eating is all part of the fun.

My mother, Peg Bracken, on the other hand, never bought into this business.  Nevertheless, she did have a serious sweet tooth, most often sated with cookies and milk, doughnut holes (see my earlier post), or what she deemed the ultimate thrill ride, Sees Candy.

Unlike her daughter, she never “pigged out,” but treated Sees Candy much like precious jewels, hiding them from thieves (including yours truly), and bringing them out to savor one, maybe two at a time.  (Her favorites were dark chocolates with almonds.)

Far from quirky, Mom’s approach may well have been generational, I think.  Back in her day, stores offered one tenth the variety they do now, eating was centered around the classic “three squares,” and treats were just that, not part of one’s daily calorie count.

Obesity rates aside, we seem to have an adversarial, love-hate relationship with food.  Yet it’s one of the pleasures of life, isn’t it?  So unless you’re facing serious health problems, or having trouble buckling your seat belt, I say go ahead, stroll down the midway and enjoy the carnival.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kelly  |  September 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    oh my goodness, how dare you write a post about me! I even have the sleeve of fig newtons by my side! arrrrgh.

    • 2. johannabracken  |  September 8, 2010 at 7:15 am

      Isn’t the “sleeve” the basic unit of measure for Fig Newtons anyway?


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