Sunday, June 04, 2006

Puppy Chow

Yesterday afternoon I took The Girl shopping for summer things. We shopped so long that we sailed right over the lunch hour and around 1:30 we both realized we were hungry. The Girl, having been born with a Golden Arches tracking device in her head, immediately let me know that there was a McDonald's not far away. I am not a lover of anything remotely related to two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun. So I decided I would grab a protein bar of some sort in the department store that I was currently shopping in.

I usually stick with the same bar but for some reason I was ready for a change and decided to live a little and try something new. I decided that I would try a Zone Perfect Bar: Chocolate Mint. Afterall, Jennifer Aniston does the Zone and she is skinny. So it goes without saying if I eat this wonderfully tasty, high protein bar for lunch, that is supposed to taste like a York Peppermint Patty, I will instantly be a super skinny California movie star shopping in a high end boutique, (instead of an average mother enjoying a day with her daughter...Shopping Walmart). Oh Yeah, I also won't be hungry for three days because of all that good protein.

This was the most vile thing (well maybe not most vile...I have had a raw Dim Sum thing once) I have put in my mouth. It tasted exactly like Puppy Chow.

It's at this time that you are asking yourself: How does she know what Puppy Chow tastes like?

The answer: I've tasted it.

And there's a story there.

When I was about 6 or 7 years old I was one of the privileged "Kim O'K" Kids. Kim O'K (KO'K) was lady who ran a daycare out of her home. I really liked KO'K. She was highly organized and she ran a tight ship, but she was kind.

Looking back, and knowing what I now know of homemaking, I would bet my chocolate collection that she was probably a professional couponer...Something I admire and respect but (like gardening) have tried and am not cut out for...It's a lot of work. Anyway, she would make homemade lunches for all the children she kept in her home. I am not talking homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches here, I am talking homemade Mac N cheese, and for the interest of this story, homemade spaghetti.

I remember getting in line to get my bowl of spaghetti. The kitchen smelled really yummy and I collected my portion in a blue Tupperware bowl. I took it ouside to the covered patio where she had picnic tables set up. I placed my fork into the squishy noodle dish and what did I find...A leaf! A large green leaf!!!!

I took my bowl to her and explained that I needed something else, because on general principle, I didn't eat leaves. But she told me that that was what we had for lunch...There would be nothing else.

So I chose not to eat.

But soon I was exceedingly hungry.

The back yard was sort of divided into two parts. One half was the patio and an area covered with fake grass turf (the kind that you can roll out like a carpet) that had all sorts of toys and things to crawl and climb on. The other side of the yard was lanscaped and although we weren't banned from that area we didn't often venture over there because frankly, it wasn't all that fun.

I was sulking from the injustice of being served spaghetti with leaves in it so I wandered over to the "boring" section of the yard. On that side of the yard there was a sliding glass door that led to the master bedroom. On the little concrete slab that was just outside that sliding glass door lay a dog dish. Filled with Puppy Chow. As I was sitting there pondering the severe hunger pains (I mean I hadn't eaten anything in probably two whole hours!) another boy about my age walked up. I told him my plight and he dared me to eat some dog food.

So I did.

Only a few bites though. It wasn't too bad, especially for dog food. You know, it tasted just like a Zone Perfect Chocolate Mint Bar.

So that is the story.

Here's the funny part. I now make homemade spaghetti sauce as well. Not because I am anywhere near the homemaking caliber of KO'K, but because I prefer the taste over the jarred varieties. And guess what, I use leaves as well...It's called oregano.

So if you are a Zone-y out there and you think that those chocolate mint bars taste like anything tasty, I have some bad news for you:

It's been a long time since you had sugar. You're hungry...Go buy a candy bar.