Friday, May 30, 2008
Top Ramen flashback
Since we were on the subject...I don't eat the stuff. Top Ramen, I mean. It's plain nasty. Not only is it nutritionally bereft...it smells like an unholy ascension. Ugh. I mean, it really disgusts me. And ya'll know me and my relationship with food...that's big.
What makes it worse is when people try to add stuff to it to make it appear more appetizing. How can you dress up a plastic package of noodles and a packet filled with sodium and msg? I'll tell you how.
When I was a little girl, around four or five, something bad happened to me that has forever altered my perception on that little package of soup that is beloved by all poor people and college students.
So one day while we were living in a tiny apartment in San Diego, my mom was sick and unable to feed and care for my little brother and I. I have this distinct memory of Eric and I huddling over her bed, trying to wake her up, moaning, "Mama! Mama, wake up. We're hungry!" So my dad, who I don't ever recall preparing food for us, had to step up to the plate. If you look at Top Ramen packages now, it looks deceptively yummy with some slices of medium rare london broil slices on it. The beef flavor package does, anyway. Well, I guess in the 70's, the Top Ramen packages had the noodles decorated with some hard boiled egg slices. So that's what Dad did, he hooked it up with some hard-boiled egg and sliced it all creatively.
Hook it up, Pops.
Me and Eric must have been starving, because I remember scarfing that stuff down. Here is where it gets fuzzy in my memory. I got really sick but I don't remember if I just got what my mom had or it was from gorging on that nasty Top Ramen with hard-boiled eggs.
Either way, it sufficiently trained my mind and my palette to despise the soup in a square package. I cringe inside when I see that Michael has bought some at the store and spent an entire $1 for like, a hundred packages. Then he either puts Tapatio or Buffalo Wing Sauce on it. Oh dear gawd. And if that wasn't bad enough, he has the chil'rens hooked on it. Not that I ever buy the stuff. But Michael will occasionally try to buck the system and has his private stash and then the chil'rens will want some of it.
It just makes me sad....and sort of like a second-rate mother.
I understand every family has their poor people food when money is tight. For Michael it was Top Ramen. For me, it was potato cheese soup. I guess my mom just disguised our poor people food pretty well. So well that I never thought it was poor people food, I just thought it was some grub. And you can best believe we knew when she tried to slip in some of the gov'ment cheese in that mug. If I make the potato cheese soup, the chil'rens will eat it up. Michael, on the other hand, will turn his nose up at it.