After all that virtuous talk of vegetables, it’s only right that I ownup to a few guilty pleasures.
This morning I dished out a praiseworthy portion of low-fat cottage cheese for my breakfast and then cancelled out all that righteousness with a generous allotment of maraschino cherries.
In high school, one of the hidden benefits of babysitting was a new refrigerator to explore once the kids were in bed. The trick was to graze lightly, focusing on items that came either in multiples unlikely to be counted – cheese slices, pickles - or in a mass difficult to gauge – whipped cream in a can.
My father was more a gin and tonic kind of guy, so maraschino cherries never made it to our fridge. One of the families I sat for must have been big on Singapore Slings or Whisky Sours, because I could always depend on finding a jar at their house that was none the worse for 3 or 4 (or more) missing cherries.
Last week I was in the grocery store, working my way down the aisles - No, we don’t need cereal, yes, we’re out of ketchup – when I went past the canned meat section, an area I always ignore since we’re not much of a Spam or chipped beef on toast family. As I went by, a small can on the shelf called to me as loudly as any chocolate bar ever has. It was a can of Vienna sausages, basically bologna, something else I never buy, in tube form.
But after church on hot summer Sundays (which in Oklahoma is basically a given), my grandmother would sometimes serve a cold meat platter and it always featured a cluster of Vienna sausages. I could have eaten my portion and everyone else’s besides. I don’t recall having had any since I was twelve.
That day I walked past the canned meat and began to round the corner to the next aisle. I found my feet moving backward as though some unseen hand had put my legs into reverse. I picked up the can and never looked back.
The content information claims that a can contains twoportions of sausages, but at lunch that day I proved them wrong.