Atomic Bear (I just love that, Atomic Bear!) has put up his blog for Chain #5. It's entitled College Food and Beyond. If you're sitting around pondering what you're gonna have for dinner tonight, I suggest giving it a read. Yum!
I'm much like Atomic Bear and can eat just about anything. Instead of doing a post about my favorite foods, I think I'll do one about some of my most memorable culinary experiences. My life and my food eras.
My very first memory of food was when I was quite small--three or four years old, I believe. We lived in Alaska and my parents often went salmon fishing at a nearby river. The memory is very sketchy but the remnants that remain are quite vivid. The old station wagon with the back open. Mom and dad over there messing with their poles, equipment and what not. Me? I have found the stash of little baby shrimp that they are planning to use as bait and am furiously eating them all with my little fingers. Next, one of them finds me and calls the other over. They are a tad bit upset and amused that there will be no fishing due to their daughter eating all the bait.
When I was in elementary school, I must not have eaten a lot of dinner because for a few years there I woke up almost every night starving. I had a thing for cheese, so what I ended up doing (instead of eating more dinner, the obvious thing) was every night before I went to bed, I'd place a single plastic-covered slice of cheese into one of the books at the head of my bed. Later, when I woke up in the middle of the night, my stomach cramping in hunger pangs, I would flip through a couple of books until my treasure cheese eventually fell into my lap.
It was also near that time that we moved to South Carolina and I became friends with these two sisters who lived next door. We got along quite well and quickly formed this secret society. I don't know what the Rosicrucians or the Illuminati do, but our sole purpose was to take turns swiping a bag of Kool Aid from our mothers' cabinet and sneaking it to our secret fort. The only rule was that the Kool Aid had to be one of those big bags, the ones mixed with sugar already, not one of those wimpy (nasty tasting) add your own sugar kinds. In the safety of our hide out, we'd all take turns licking our fingers and dipping into the bag until it was gone. Those were the days. I actually have a picture my mom took of the three of us. We're sitting around a cardboard table. I don't think anyone but me notices that in the picture we all have index fingers dyed purple up to the knuckle.
Then came junior high. We were in Florida then, near a beach. I think my entire junior high school diet went something like this: wake up and eat a breakfast bar for breakfast. By lunch I was pretty hungry but despite the various menus we had for school lunch I had a plan. They sold milkshakes at our school. I still can't believe that. But anyways, the cafeteria lady and I had a deal, she'd place one chocolate milkshake in the freezer an hour before lunch, by the time I got there it was juuust right...sorta frozen but not too much. Later, I would try to eat a spoonful or less of whatever mom made for dinner. I was skinny then. I could go to the beach and not hide under layers of beach towels.
This was my school lunch for three years.
Through high school and most of college I was a vegetarian--because my boyfriend was. In retrospect, I was more of a pizza and Ricearoni-an with the occasional cream of broccoli soup thrown in.
It wasn't until I came to Japan and discovered all sorts of international delicacies (see Atomic Bear's post) that I really came to appreciate food. Heck, I thought spinach was grown in a can until I came here. I hadn't a clue how lovely it tasted in salads either.
Now, I fear I appreaciate food too much, if you know what I mean. I'm getting older and really need to eat better and healthier foods. One thing I try to drink everyday is aojiru. This is tree kale. I don't know if you've ever eaten kale but let me tell you the catch phrase of the most famous aojiru commercial. This dude below drinks an entire glass, makes an awful face, and then says, "Taste horrible! I wanna another!"
I can only drink it while plugging my nose. If the fingers slip or I have not completely rinsed my mouth out after I'm done, I tend to gag uncontrolably. It works though. I had a bleeding ulcer type thing in my stomach that no medicine the doctor gave me healed. A few days of this stuff and I was feeling right as rain. What we do for health! Now if I could just cut out all the chocolate, coffee, and beer. And start running or walking long distances, or get back into doing all that tai qi and ba gua I used to so religiously do. Habits...routines. Now, there is another post all together!
Hey, speaking of food, next up on the AW Chain is Tiffany's Smorgasbord. Mmmm...smorgasbord...