My Dad always had a garden growing in our backyard. When I was a kid in pigtails and overalls, I watched my Pop till the land, dig, seed and water. I found it a miracle of nature when the vegetables started to grow. I would pop a cherry tomato in my mouth, and just by knowing it came from my own backyard, made it taste better.
I had an epiphany around this time. I did not know what the word epiphany meant, but I remember staring at our garden and visualizing the growth process of a potato. I remember thinking, “A potato is a root! We can eat roots! Roots supply water to the plant and that’s why potato’s have juice inside them.”
Normal kids would be playing on the slip and slide or doing other little kid things. While there I sat, stupidly staring at a garden. I couldn’t explain to anyone about my enlightenment over vegetables. How could I with my first grade vocab?
My parents were all smiles and applauded me for eating my vegetables at dinner. I would ravage the garden and eat cucumbers and tomato’s raw – untouched by salt or salad dressing. I liked the idea of eating something fresh and untainted. Instead of gulping down soda, I would request unsweetened ice tea. I liked the taste of pure unadulterated tea. Yes, I was a strange kid.
I lost my taste for sweets. I didn’t care much for cake, chocolate or ice cream. Halloween was only a big event because I loved to dress in costumes. I pretended to care about the candy only to fit in. I was weird enough as it was. I didn’t want to be the strange little girl who says, “Trick or treat! Do you have anything fresh from your garden? A potato perhaps? They’re roots, you know.”
Then, not too much later, I found out that roses were edible.
“You can eat flowers, too? No way!”
My Dad, unfortunate for him and his rose-bush, found me eating all his rose pedals one day. I can’t remember what happened. Perhaps I ingested too much pesticide.
I would eat a bunch of crab apples and get a tummy ache. I would shovel raspberries and blackberries into my mouth until the one time I looked inside one of them and saw a tiny worm squirming about.
I would sneak into my neighbor’s garden and snatch up their strawberries. They had a real strawberry patch, so I knew it wasn’t possible for them to eat all the strawberries on their own. It was my job to help them.
This love for natural food stuck with me. I became scrawny and underweight while all my italian family member’s were heavy. My Mother would make elaborate meals for us to eat at the dinner table and would get upset to see my plate still full of meats or pasta. She would make me sit there until I finished my plate, but that rarely happened. She couldn’t threaten me by withholding desert because I never cared for it anyway.
My poor little chubby mamma……When she sat down to watch her Wheel of fortune and Jeopardy, I was able to sneak away from the table.
As the years progressed, my natural diet stuck. Don’t get me wrong, these days I eat just about anything you put in front of me (excluding sweets and fast food). I eat only when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m full.
When you’re hungry, everything looks appetizing. You can eat anything. It’s when everything on the menu sounds delicious. This is my favorite time to eat because I’m always satisfied with my meal.
When you’re not hungry, this is when the cravings kick in. You only want to eat one thing in particular to satisfy you. You don’t satisfy your hunger, you satisfy your craving. I’m pretty sure these cravings come from dehydration. When you don’t drink enough water, your body is fooled into thinking it’s hungry again. Or maybe from not eating a balanced diet; not enough salt, not enough fruit, that sort of thing.
Another interesting little quirk about my food habit is that I like to know the history of what I’m eating or drinking. It has an effect on the taste. I don’t just mean where it was grown or made, I mean Its history, history. Like; ‘when did people first start eating eggs?’ kind of history.
Oranges for example where only grown in India, some parts of China and maybe on the little island, Caylon. The Romans, with their insatiable thirst for exotic foods, taken the long and arduous ocean voyage to trade with these foreign lands and brought back an orange tree. The oranges were scarce in Rome, so only royalty could afford such a luxurious fruit. Think about that. Think about being a peasant in those days – possibly starving to death and watching from afar of a big ol’ king biting into a juicy, beautifully bright, delectable orb. Your mouth starts to water, you curse the unfair cruelty of the world. Then think about being the King. Of being one of the fortunate few who are sacred enough to enjoy such a godly treat.
Now whenever I bite into an orange, I pretend that I’m royalty. And the fruit tastes better. To me it does anyway.
Everything has a history. I looked up when humans first started drinking milk from another species and found out that it may have started in Egypt. My memory is a little hazy, and I can’t find the article on it, but it said that the earliest drinkers of milk were pharaoh’s who drank it for healing purposes and also used it in religious ceremony’s. Milk wasn’t just a drink, or a beverage. It was an elixir!
Now when I drink an ice-cold glass of milk, I think of it as an ancient cure-all. An old black-magic-voodoo organic life fluid. A biblical food that Jesus once drank. Okay, I’m getting carried away. And who know’s how much of that is true. I’m sure with all the pasteurization and homogenizing that goes on, it’s barely considered milk anymore anyway. I also read that during the pasteurization process, the milk loses all its natural enzymes. The healing property of milk came from its enzymes. Wow, I’m rambling. Is any of this interesting?
I’m craving milk. I’m going to have some milk and go to bed. It doesn’t taste like a plain ol’ fashioned glass of milk anymore.
If I knew the history of going to bed, would it make it more restful?