Sunday, October 18, 2015

Timeless Wonders



“Hey, Mark…can I have these?”  It’s my stepson running down the bread and breakfast aisle at the grocery store.

If you are a parent you’re used to hearing this question in a grocery store or toy store.  In my family this question takes on a different dimension.  My stepson has a number of food allergies, most importantly an allergy to peanuts.  We have to check the ingredients on every processed food; we read labels obsessively.

He’s holding a package of Hostess Cupcakes.  I read the label.  No nuts.  Not processed in a factory with nuts.

“Sure, do you like those?”

“I don’t know…never had ‘em.”

“What!!!!  You’ve never had a Hostess Cupcake!!??  Yes…grab two!  I have to show you how to eat them”

“There’s a special way to eat them?”

Because he has been slowly outgrowing some of his allergies and his tastes are expanding we are often finding new foods to try.  But some foods are simply childhood staples and some of those things just taste best when eaten a certain way (see Oreos).  I am always game for taking up those parental responsibilities of demonstrating proper consumption of guilty pleasures.

“Of course, there’s a best way to eat everything…you know that.  Let’s hurry home and eat these!”

Once home he is too eager to even let me unload groceries.  We head to the kitchen sink.  It’s really the best place to eat a guilty pleasure, right?

We open the twin pack.  I pull out the plastic holder, tip it upside down and the two cupcakes softly land in my hand.  I hand one to him.

“Now hold it right-side up in your left hand and with your right hand peel a little of the top off and twist a little like this.”

I show him.  My top needs a little finessing but in seconds I have the top, the lid if you will, off in the right hand in one piece.  He copies perfectly and looks up at me expectantly, huge grin covering his face.

“Now take a bite.”  

He watches me as I take a bite and the whole things starts to fold in my hand so I stuff it all in my mouth.  He does the same into his much smaller mouth and grins, squeezing waxy frosting through his teeth.  

“Now the surprise.”  

I take a bite of the remaining headless cupcake and expose the creamy white frosting inside.  He takes a bite, starts to giggle and stuffs the rest in his mouth whole.

“How was it?”

“Awesome!!!!!”

10 years old or 45 years old, never lose sight of the simple joys of being a kid eating something yummy for the first time.  Make an old experience new all over again.  We all have such busy lives, full calendars and a heap of demands. Food offers us a unique opportunity, a moment in time if we choose to take it, to pause and escape into some delicious moments of multi-sensory pleasures. Eat on my friends and enjoy.
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