Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Everyone in my family knows how much I love potatoes. For seventeen years I was a vegetarian and at major family gatherings, notably Thanksgiving, it was hard to miss the fact that at least a third of my plate was always covered in potatoes. I have to say my affection for potatoes has waned a bit, though I don't know exactly how to account for it. I suppose it mostly has to do with the fact that it takes much less food than it used to to make me feel totally stuffed. I am usually not able to finish a full plate of food when I go out to eat, which is why I like to go out to eat with someone who is really, really hungry. :-) Gone are the days when I could eat plate after plate of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. But, I suppose it also has to do with something else. I used to be motivated to eat primarily by the craving for what the food tastes like, but in the last 5 years or so I find that I think equally as much about what I know I will feel like after I eat the food. (One of the benefits of aging??) When I was younger I could easily polish off a pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting or a whole angel food cake or package of cookies or a couple of donuts, but that has definitely changed. I just can't do it anymore. And, I think it's a good thing. The sad thing is that food just isn't as much of a reward for me as it used to be. It used to be that if I was feeling crappy and wanted to do something to treat myself, I could always count on food to do the trick. But, that really isn't the case anymore (with the exception of hot chocolate and chocolate milk). It is sometimes, but definitely not to the degree it used to be. My eating habits are strange. I've never really been a "meal" person. If I'm not with someone else who reminds me to eat at a particular time, I will usually just eat when I'm hungry and, out of laziness, just eat whatever is around (usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). I never cook for myself (though I do like (very much) to cook for other people). The one time when this wasn't true was while I was living in Madison. I was so poor that I *had* to eat spaghetti for dinner and oatmeal for breakfast, as that seemed to be the best use of money. I'm glad those days are over. Nowadays I usually eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, a turkey sandwich and a chocolate milk for lunch, which one of my co-workers picks up from Concord center, and another peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. I guess that's kind of sad, isn't it? All of this talk about eating makes me think of my Grandmother, my Dad's mom, who lived a hard life during the Depression. While my Dad and his twin brother were growing up in Minneapolis in the 40s and 50s, she never made a plate of food for herself, but instead would just eat whatever was leftover. Talk about frugal... I bet they ate a lot of potatoes.