Friday, December 10, 2010

Hankering

Food is more than its flavor or caloric value. It can be, perhaps most powerfully, a time machine. (Here's where I'd talk about Proust for a bit, but I've not read any.)

For some reason I've found myself getting a few items that I haven't purchased and eaten in who knows how long. For that matter, I shouldn't be buying and eating them, but that's not the point of this piece.

What did I buy? Pringles. Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. Andes Creme de Menthe Thins. (See, I told you it was junk.)

Pringles don't even come close to being the ideal potato chip--they're classified as potato crisps--yet there's something tempting about them. (Probably it's all the sodium.) I remember that we had them around when I was a kid. I want to say that I associate them with my maternal grandmother, but that could be memory playing tricks on me. Crazy as it sounds, the can itself may be part of the appeal. I can recall them being reused for craft projects and possibly other purposes.

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes--the vanilla kind--are seasonal treats that I also remember from my childhood. They're also ridiculously good, at least if one doesn't have them in a year's time.

Andes Creme de Menthe Thins were among my mom's favorites when I was growing up. Around this time of year they were usually around the house, and it wasn't out of the ordinary for us each to get a box of them at Christmas.

I'll know that I'm indulging some junk food nostalgia if I go out and buy Zingers (if they're still available). I associate the Snoopy-promoted snack cakes with my maternal grandmother, perhaps because her house is where I remember having them. If I get myself a Life Savers Sweet Story Book, an annual stocking stuffer, then there's no doubt this time of year and the available sweets are stirring up the past.

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