Would Monsieur like fresh, ground pepper with his pasta & cheese sauce?
“To all those cash challenged young peeps – enjoy the KD and Hamburger Helper. One day your significant other will tell you that you can’t have that anymore and you will be sad.” ~ Peter Priestley Wright
Recently my friend Peter lamented that his darling spouse Diane, was restricting his diet (somewhat) by limiting his choices. Knowing Peter as I do, this will (no doubt) be an excuse to buy more expensive wine. We all have our way of coping with those things our significant others request of us… out of love.
But I couldn’t help wondering what is it that bring us back to that box? Thus this little journey of the soul — indulgence and redemption.
Some might call this using my Food Porn abilities for evil. Some may turn away in horror and some may cringe, but one thing is for certain, we all have those guilty food pleasures that are not adult, not good for us, and yet they feed us in a way nothing else can.
It is a connection to nostalgia, when we ate right from the pot (because we had little else) and we made what we had we turned into feasts of debauchery. We added things. It was probably a late night cooking frenzy, fueled by alcohol (or other substances) wherein your ultimate recipe for your particular ‘box-o-food’ evolved to ‘epic’ proportions.
In your mind at least.
And in that moment… with neon cheese sauce on your lips, you were happy. (And then you passed out…)
In North America, the contents of this box was likely one of the first things you cooked on your own. Back when you were first permitted to boil water, it was a right of passage. If you’re American it’s “Kraft Macaroni & Cheese” and if you’re Canadian it’s “Kraft Dinner” or “KD”.
In shooting this little ode to things-we-keep-at-the-back-of-the-cupboard/in-our-tool-box-so-the-spouse-wont-find-it, I was momentarily bored so I read the box. (We writers call this ‘research’.) Kraft, in its wisdom, now has two options for sauce on the box – ‘Sensible Solution Cheese Sauce’ (1 Tbsp margarine, 1/3 C skim milk) and ‘Classic Cheese Sauce’ (3 Tbsp butter, 1/4 C milk).
Call me crazy, but if I were being ‘sensible’ I might not be consuming foods that bear colours not found in nature.
What can I say, I went ‘classic’ on the ‘sauce’.
No matter how far we go in life, there are always those guilty pleasures that we only allow those closest to us to see. The tuna casserole made with a can of mushroom soup, the cup-o-noodles, the hot dogs with yellow mustard, the processed-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread, the (giant bag of) ripple chips, the chicken noodle soup from a box that is yellow… in an unearthly way.
Let us not forget the dips/spreads and other assorted goo straight from the jar… with a spoon… or a finger. Peanut butter. Cheese Whiz. Chili con queso sauce. Pickle chip dip. Nutella.
So for those whose budget confines their choices, I say…
“Eat well, live large, enjoy life and learn to cook ‘outside the box’.”
And for those, now comfortable in life, whose indulgences are now overseen by those who love us, I say…
“What happens at the cabin, STAYS at the cabin.”
Live. Love. Eat… well.