We gravitate toward certain foods. My husband, for example, consumes candy like a seven-year-old. If someone were to tell you that they’d seen Willie sitting on a park bench somewhere, clutching handfuls of Pixie Stix*, you could believe them.
I happen to know that he hides candy in his underwear drawer.
Have you ever?
Personally, while I will never turn down the good chocolate, particularly of the dark persuasion, I am not interested in candy corn, Hershey bars, SweeTarts, or any of the other sugar bombs we give to children who don’t know any better.
I do not hide candy in my underwear drawer.
No. Spare me your sugar.
And hand over all your salt and fat.
What, you think I’m kidding? I said hand over your salt and fat!
And if you have any crispy chicken skin on ya, I’ll take that, too.
I’m not alone in this. My father is the same way, and the brutal free-for-alls we had over the fat that my sister trimmed from whatever she was eating bordered on the comical.
“Ya see that?” he’d whisper. “She’s gonna trim all the flavor from it.” And then, aloud, he’d proclaim, “I knew that was too good for you kids. Pass that over here. I claim Karen’s fat in the name of the United States.”
And then we would battle for her fatty leftovers.
OK. So we didn’t really pass around plates of salted fat, unless you count the “cracklin”: bits of pork fat and meat my father fried up hard, coated with salt, and cooled on brown paper bags.
So I guess we did pass around plates of salted fat.
So you know where I’m going with this, right? That’s right, I’m about to blame one of my parents for my fat habit.
I primarily blame my father. He grew up poor enough that sometimes dinner was a matter of reheating the pan that meat had been cooked in earlier, spreading a bit of the heated grease across a slice of bread, then adding a slice of onion and salt and pepper.
“It was a Wish sandwich,” he said. “Because you wished there was some meat in it.”
Have you ever had a Wish sandwich? You know, if you’re hungry enough, it’s not a bad thing.
I'm making myself peckish over here.
You know, this has been helpful. We should talk more often. I started out thinking about my craving for fat and salt and went on to discover that it is both my father's fault and a comfort food.
Mmmm. Comforting, comforting fat.
* Basically flavored sugar in a straw.
17 hours ago