Monday, November 23, 2009

Well, Isn't That Sweet?!

During our last supper group we found ourselves on the topic of candy.  I mentioned that I was an anal-retentive candy eater.  I explained how I have a very systematic approach to how I devour my confections.  Here's a short run down on the OCD nature of my candy popping habits:

SKITTLES:  I open the bag and divide each piece into groups based on their color, then eat them in color order from least favorite flavor to my favorite, which is: green, purple, yellow, orange, red.  I actually will suffer through the green and purple ones just be able to make it to my favorites. 

MnM's:  Since these little chocolate morsels coated in a colored candy shell do not have different flavors based on their color, I don't separate them like I do the skittles.  But I will take 1-3 at a time and just let them hang out in the warm jacuzzi environment of my mouth.  And just when they've steamed long enough I crack the tender shell with my tooth and let the warm chocolate ooze out. 

REESE'S CUPS:  I'm talkin' about the regular cups that come 2 to a pack.  I take one out at a time and eat around the entire cup, just nibbling off the ridged edge, then pop the remaining chocolate and peanut butter patty into my mouth for delicious consumption.

OREO'S:  If I have access to a cup of milk, then the oreo gets dunked until it's just about to fall apart, then I suck all of the milk out of the cookie and pop the whole thing in my mouth.  If I don't have any milk, then I tend to separate the cookie.  Now if I'm alone and feeling crazy I'll eat the chocolate wafers, scoop out the middle and pile it up for one mouth watering ball of creamy center at the very end.  If there are actually other people around and I feel the need to act half way civilized I'll twist off one chocolate wafer, lick off the creamy center and eat the wafers last. 

Basically anything with a chocolate coating gets sucked on until it has melted to a nice creamy consistency.  Any type of hard candy just gets sucked on.  Nothing really ever goes in for immediate chomping.  I take my time, savor the flavors and enjoy my candies. 

So as I was explaining my anal, systematic nature with sweet treats to my supper group one guy pipes up and says he does the exact same thing!  Wow!  Maybe I don't need therapy after all!  Maybe I AM normal!!  And the more I think about it, the more I realize what other strange food habits I have.  I used to eat everything on my plate one group at a time; green beans, then the potatoes, then the meat (or whatever I decided was the best part of the meal). I always save the best for last.  I never mixed and matched, bouncing around from a bite of green beans, then a bite of potatoes, then back to the green beans, next to a bit of ham, then back to the pototoes.  I didn't function like this.  And I actually noticed at our last supper group I did the same thing!  I ate each food group all gone before moving to the next thing on my plate.  I have to cognitively think about what I'm doing in order to implement the "mix and match" style of eating.

Anytime I have corn and mashed potatoes I can't help but put my corn right inside of the "gravy hole" in the mashed potatoes.  I know!  That's where the gravy is SUPPOSED to go, but not with me.  That's where the corn goes.  Then they get mixed together.  I know this is just CRAZY to some people who have a thing about their food touching.  Really, I wouldn't even have to eat on a plate...I could just layer everything up in a bowl and mix it all together.  It drives me NUTS when at the end of the meal little pieces of meat and veggies are left lonely on my husband's plate just sitting there hanging out with the meat drippings.  I always tell him, "That's the BEST part of the whole meal...just scoop it all together or get some bread and lather that good stuff up!"  I know he thinks I'm crazy.

But really, this all comes with how we were raised.  My family loves food.  It's entertainment to us.  Vacations and holidays are planned around the days' meals.  I eat at noon because that's lunch time, whether I'm hungry or not!  Sean used to come home starving because he forgot to eat.  WHAT?!  You forgot?  Like, it just slipped your mind???  That's nuts.  While cleaning up from one meal I'm already thinking about what I'm going to have at the next one!  Food is not only delicious, it's fun.  Sorry Dr. Phil but those mashed potatoes DO love me back!  And this is why I go to my 2 hour workout classes.  If food is going to be entertainment so does working it off!

Sean grew up totally different.  He had 3 other brothers to battle for food.  I swear the man can down a Big Mac faster than I can get my meal out of the bag.  I've accused him of throwing it out the window before because I'm amazed at how quickly it's gone.  He doesn't think about it.  He doesn't savor it.  He inhales it  It's not entertainment it's survival!  Must eat Big Mac fast so man not steal it from me.  (to be read in a caveman voice) 

I think I was in college when I realized I used to never set my fork down when I ate.  It was at the Highberger family meals that they would set down their fork, pick up their glass of wine to drink and they'd talk and listen and enjoy each other's company, then pick up their forks again and have another bite.  Meals were long and enjoyable and always filled with stories and laughter (and slowing down long enough to actually set your fork down).

Anyway, so I guess I am normal. People have weird food habits, whether it's systematically eating your candy, filling your mashed potatoes' hole with corn, or not allowing your food to touch.  I guess the bigger picture is that we should all just be thankful that we have a hot meal to eat and candy to treat ourselves with.  Feel free to comment and share some of your strange food habits with me. I'd love to hear them.

Until next time.  Mwah!

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