Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A memory triggered- Why i say NO to Boxed macaroni
My sweet friend Marla inspired my post today because she is all about the Kraft mac and cheese with the powdered bright orange cheese flavor. I on the other hand will only eat it if it’s the last possible thing to eat during the apocalypse. I will eat grass and mud though seriously before I am defeated and eat the macaroni. I have so many thoughts now literally FLOODING my memory. All this hate and strong opinion stems back from a time in my life when things were not so good and my family was struggling. Its funny how even food can remind you of such an intense memory it determines decisions later. This specific life event was a formative time that both scarred me and at the same time gave me some of the character I feel I have today. One summer my mom, my brother ( he was 3) and I were in Dallas visiting all the family for what we thought just 2 weeks. Long story short, my stepdad and Mom were going through a divorce and so we never made it back to California. It was literally 2 weeks before school started and all I had was shorts and flip-flops. I was enrolled and had been attending a Catholic school in San Diego and my uniforms had already been purchased and were ready to go in my closet there. My mom immediately set out and found a job and then we needed a place to stay of our own although I enjoyed every minute of living with my grandparents. Being a single mom with 2 kids all of a sudden was a hard pill to swallow. Mom did the best she could with what she could afford and at this time it was an apartment in a very bad part of town and it backed up to a grocery store. The grocery store turned out to be a Huge factor is my decorating the apartment. I was RE-Purposing items way before it was cool and good for the environment being Green. We had zero furniture like dressers to hold what clothing items we had so I began stealing the milk crates from the alley between us and the grocery store at nights and on weekends in between deliveries. I understand what stealing is and believe me I had a huge dose of the Catholic guilt going through me every day but I’m certain I’m forgiven to provide necessity to my family. Each of us had crates in the closet to put our underwear, t-shirts, socks, etc. Then I stacked them up as a vanity for mom and I put on our makeup for school and work. We had family giving us all their hand –me-downs dishes, knick knacks, etc and someone gave Mom a makeup mirror that we put on our crate vanity. We also found a mattress from the very rich part of town- we beat it with a broom and sprayed it with Lysol and added sheets to it. I’m telling you times were tough! I stole 9 milk crates and we put the mattress on top so that it wasn’t on the floor and once you make the bed with long bedspread, you never even saw the milk crates. We had family that lived somewhat close and I transferred to same school that my cousin went to so that I could ride the bus with her everyday to school. Mom would drop me off at her house every morning. When she came home with me , we would make a game out of picking out the colorful crates from my bedroom window and we would head out to get them once the truck left. They were always dirty and we would wash them down in the bathtub. To add to the tough times and nonexistent budget because it takes money to budget, we lived off pasta. And by pasta I mean a case of macaroni and cheese boxes. You could buy a case with like 12 boxes of mac and cheese for almost 4.00$. We had macaroni almost every night of the week with the exception of the Fridays mom got paid every other week. Paydays were laundry days and lucky for us there was also a Laundromat in same shopping center as the grocery store. I would have the laundry basket and soaps ready for when mom came home from work, we would load up the car and go. We were so excited because our treat to us was ONE small box of stouffer’s French bread pizza. It came with 2 small pieces and we would split it 3 ways. The macaroni was made with the packaged cheese some nights, then maybe just with butter on other nights, we would add the imitation bacon bits to it, sometimes take one thin slice of sandwich meat and tear it up in pieces and add that, every single frickin way you can change a box of macaroni it was done!! Burned out doesn’t even cover how I felt. I vowed to my 13yr old self one day that if we ever rose above this period of life, I would NEVER eat another box of Macaroni and cheese or Stouffer’s French bread pizza. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love everything macaroni and cheese as long as its home made and the noodles come from a bag and the cheese isn’t powder. In fact we had Gouda Mac n Cheese at our wedding. I know this was a long story to say why I don’t like something but there is history that went to my strong feelings. The good news is that we made it! There have been tough times here and there but by gosh boxes of pasta never appeared on my table. Have a great day! My apologies that this is one massive paragraph. Downside to blogging on lunch hour at work.