Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sneaky Treats

We didn't have a lot of junk food in our house growing up. I don't remember if this was an actual rule or if my parents had some reason behind it or they didn't want us to grow up fat or if I'm just remembering the whole thing 100 percent wrong.

Our next door neighbors always had tons of junk food. Always. Man, did we love hanging out over there. Not only could we watch "Love Boat" and "Three's Company" reruns during the day which was forbidden at home, but we could eat Pringles and Twinkies while doing it. And their parents didn't mind at all!

Not to say that our parents didn't ever have treats, you just had to know where and when to look. Usually around payday you could find candy bars hidden under the vegetables in the refrigerator. If you got up on a chair and looked way, way in the back of the highest cabinet, you might find a bag of Tootsie Rolls. Sort of a last resort, candy-wise, but hey, it was chocolate.

This is how my sister and I learned how to bake. We started with Rice Krispie Treats, which were pretty easy. This brought up a new problem. We knew that if our dad found them, he'd eat most of our hard work (hey, maybe that's why there wasn't a lot of junk food in the house). So we'd clean everything up and hide the pan in my closet. For the next couple days we'd eat like kings. We'd also store pizza in there once we got older. It's a wonder we never caught salmonella.

We graduated into actual cakes soon after. We'd be up early on a Saturday waiting for cartoons to come on and end up baking a cake. Since we couldn't actually hide that in my closet, we had to begrudgingly share it with the parents who provided us with shelter, clothes, and the stuff to make the cake in the first place.

But sometimes we were either too lazy or didn't have the necessary ingredients to bake.

This led to my sister and I becoming very resourceful. On teacher work days when we were bored and hungry, we'd ransack the house looking for anything sweet. Cough drops would work in a pinch. We ate chocolate chips, boring old vanilla wafers, anything with sugar in it was fair game.

Then we stumbled upon a delicacy. Frozen chocolate frosting. My mom would buy containers of frosting and store them in the freezer until she needed them, unless we got to them first. We'd eat it straight from the freezer with a spoon - bending many spoons this way. After being frozen the frosting was chewy - sort of a cross between ice cream and candy. It was so awesome. We would finish up a frosting container in about a half hour (you'd have to eat it quickly because you didn't want it to unfreeze), watching TV and putting off our chore list until minutes before our parents would pull into the driveway.

Years later I heard a rumor that Prince was rushed to the hospital because he only ate containers of frosting for like six months. I do not know if this was true, but if so, Prince has quite a refined palate.

Looking back, I'm astonished that we didn't get up to 500 pounds in our reaction to our parent's no TV and no junk food rules. I mean, the second our parents left the house we were busting out the frozen frosting and turning on the TV. Maybe we had good genes or something.

No comments: