Saturday, August 25, 2012

Food Philosophy 101 - The Optimist

Have you ever eaten a perfect peach?  Maybe it came right off the tree or fresh from a farm stand. The memory of that golden sweet, sun-ripened, Garden of Eden fruit will beckon to your optimistic taste-buds for decades. Sadly there is no supermarket fruit that can ever compare, but you will continue to buy store bought peaches all of your life, in hopes of locating even a distant relative of that fruit you tasted once. The same goes for watermelon. You know dang well those superstore watermelons are going to end up testing the strength of your kitchen garbage bag, or will they?  Will this one taste like that watermelon you had on the 4th of July that summer?  There’s only one way to find out.
How about fresh from the field corn-on-the cob with real butter and salt?  Consuming one single ear of corn from Upstate New York can be responsible for every corn purchase you make for the rest of your life. The big plastic bag of frozen corn-on-the-cob, the one with the picture on the outside and the freezer burned corn inside?  Canned corn?  These are not rational choices people, these are examples of wishful thinking.

Packaged cookies are a perfect example. They are sweet, and they are crunchy – but so are termites (or so says my BFF). Can that begin to compare with fresh-from-the-oven-I-use-real-butter oatmeal cookies?  I think not. But who has time to roll out sugar cookies?  For that matter who keeps real vanilla, fresh eggs and good chocolate chips in the house for every time the cookie monster emerges?  So we settle for the termite equivalent
Remember that time we met at Fridays after work?  We drank iced-tea and ate that killer spinach-artichoke dip?  Or how about the block party and that guy’s grilled chicken?  (The guy raised on a poultry farm, remember?)  Then there was the family reunion – Grandma’s potato salad. Stellar meals might offer a clue about grocery cart selections. What is in the cart?  Several boxes of frozen appetizers – do you think they taste as good as the picture on the box promises?  There are also ingredients for the six chicken recipes I googled, we’ll just combine them all into one…And since potato salad takes too much time, and I have a novel to edit, I got the stuff from the deli!  Just because I don’t have the time or inclination to make something, doesn’t mean the desire to eat it isn’t firmly in place. Are you with me?  Are you a Food Optimist? 

What foodie memory have you failed to replicate?  Garden tomatoes?  Bluesberries straight off the bush?  I know you’re out there. I looked in your cart at the supermarket.

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