I’m drinking a V8 tomato juice for the first time in years while on a short flight. And a flood of food memories suddenly pour in.
When I was in college, I didn’t do a great job at feeding myself. I was living on my own for the first time in an apartment close to campus. I have never cooked for myself or knew anything about nutrition or healthy eating. I just ate whatever my parents put in front of me for the past 18 years.
So I ate shit.
My diet consisted mostly of Kraft mac n’ cheese, canned soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, V8 tomato juice and instant coffee.
I once tried to make some sort of chicken dish, probably from a recipe on the back of a box. I bought some chicken pieces from the store and must have not paid much attention to the expiration date. They looked a little off.
I called my parents and asked them if it was okay to eat chicken if it had a greenish color to it. They laughed and made fun of me for YEARS about that one.
Looking back on that time, I realize how cruel that was. How the fuck was I supposed to know how to cook anything? I had never been taught by them how to feed or care for myself, despite being curious and asking about cooking for many years. Not once had one of them invited me into the kitchen to show me how to make an egg, or cut a vegetable. And ignorance is no excuse: they were both trained medical professionals. They just never got around to showing me how.
It took decades for me to learn how to properly cook and feed myself the things my body needs. Luckily I’m now eating and living right, and am much happier for it. But feeling a little regret that it took so long.
Honestly, I feel like I could do a better job with a young person, if I were to have one. And feeling a tiny bit curious about what that would feel like. Hmmm, that’s new…