The Dawn of Cupcakes

Hostess Orange Cupcake

Hostess Orange Cupcake (Photo credit: Kodamakitty)

Sometimes when I am fast asleep, my husband says I say random thing out loud; one thing I said was : “I’m a frozen banana.” I figured it meant that I was cold in the winter,  but as it turns out, it was the summer. Today, I woke up from a nap with the words “The Dawn of Cupcakes” in my mind. Why you ask? I have no idea.

Often phrases pop into my head and only recently have I forced myself to write them down. When I was younger,  I wrote poems in my dreams, damn good poems and then forgot them immediately upon waking. Sometimes words or phrases just jump to mind and if I go to my computer right away the essay writes itself.

I have been thinking about Hostess cupcakes lately, which as you know, are leaving us (she said with some hostility). Hostess Orange cupcakes were a tradition for my family for Christmas every year, except for this one. I had a wonderful idea of a bartering system.” I’ve got Yodels, how much for Orange cupcakes?” But, in this day and age, I’m jaded. Internet swapping somehow sounds dirty to me and those super-sweet Orange cupcakes were anything but dirty.

I’ll be honest, I can live without another Twinkie; I’ve had many in my lifetime, for a short while in college my nickname, started by my sister, was “Twinkie.” People have made such a fuss about Twinkies that it’s likely another company will do some sort of similar product. However, no one has mentioned the Orange cupcake, the one with the white squiggle of frosting on top. Forgotten by everybody except old baby boomers and my family? No one even mentioned them in the many articles written. You and the Snowball, pretty much got screwed. So, I am here to stand up for you, to mourn YOUR passing, to try to describe to new people, younger people,  something they will never know. Orange cupcakes, I will remember you and your friend, the pink Snowballs too. Nothing will ever be the same. It’s just plain sad.

p.s. I was going to beg for orange cupcakes but I didn’t think it would sound professional…(PLEASE)

Mellow Yellow Monday – Twinkies

In honor of a product which is dying a rapid death, ladies and gentlemen, I show you the most beautiful yellow item of all,

THE HOSTESS TWINKIE.

Twinkies were an icon for generations, for baby boomers and more and now they are leaving us. Shame on you Hostess and Drake. I know they weren’t the healthiest of items, but still, seeing them on the shelf was reassuring. It’s a sad moment for many of us.

PS. I’m not at all happy about those orange cupcakes or the snowballs going away either! It was a

Christmas tradition. One you have destroyed. I hope you are happy.

Twinkies (Hostess Twinkies is a trademark of I...

Twinkies (Hostess Twinkies is a trademark of Interstate Bakeries Corporation). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Larry And Lola (A Comfort Food Blog)

The Gerber baby, who appears on the packaging ...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a weird relationship with food; in addition to just adoring it I name it.  Apparently, I started really young giving names to food based on the person I ate the food with or the person who introduced me to it. First, there was Larry. I was friends with a little boy named Larry when I was about 18 months. Larry consists of peach baby food (I have advanced to pears and fruit delight) and cottage cheese. Not mixed together. Ever. Eating Larry consists of a ritual dipping of a teaspoon into cottage cheese and then dipping it into Gerber and only Gerber peach baby food. (I honestly feel that I began to love babies because of the Gerber baby picture on all the jars.) Not only did I eat this when I was very young but still eat it on occasion. For freshness and sanitary sake, I now put the cottage cheese in a separate little bowl but eat the baby food right out of the cute, little, smiling baby jar. After all, nobody eats the baby food except for me. My children, when they were growing up did not have the same fondness for Larry as I did.

Lola. Lola is my mother’s best friend. She made a salad (of sorts) that I thought was absolutely delicious when I was a girl and now make it for myself (because no one else will eat it.) I don’t know why but when Lola served Lola everyone seemed to love it. Must have been her charm and charisma.  I made my mother ask for the “recipe” and then made it myself. First, buy a small jar of peas and carrots (go for the brand name, not the generic), drain the juice (or liquid as they say in America), and add mayonnaise (Hellman’s only) to the remaining peas and carrots. Stir. This is Lola and believe it or not Lola saved my life while I was on vacation in Spain because Lola, known as a Russian Salad in Spain, saved me from eating a lot of raw, wiggly fish that I couldn’t stand. In addition I attended a lovely Russian wedding last year and again, we were served a Russian salad that made me squeal with delight when I saw it;  it was, in fact, Lola with hard-boiled eggs. Imagine that. I don’t think Lola knows about Lola. I remember giving an old friend the recipe to make Lola and she burst out laughing uncontrollably when I got to the “drain the juice” part. Apparently she was guffawing because she said “as if anyone else would eat this.” I found that a little insensitive but we are all entitled to our own opinion. For someone whose comfort food was a plain hamburger, I say nothing.

My all time comfort food are soft-boiled eggs (peeled very carefully-this is critcal) in a dish with a teaspoon or more of butter and two slices of toast torn apart and mixed in. All you need to add is a little salt and there it is: ultimate comfort, it really doesn’t get better than that. My back up comfort food is always an American cheese sandwich on bread with butter. Scrambled eggs with Welch’s grape jelly or grape jam (depending on what consistency I want) and another comfort item called banana mush- mush, a dessert item, which is mashed up bananas (use a fork) with sour cream ( now plain fat-free yogurt) with sugar or sugar substitute.

I’ve taken a little survey and some responses to my question “what is your favorite comfort food?” are as follows: a black and white milkshake, brown sugar on bread with butter (rolled like a jelly roll,) buttered Saltine crackers with slices of kosher dill pickles on top, (the originality winner in my book), oatmeal with sugar and cinnamon, Swanson’s chicken à la king (on toast), Campbell’s tomato soup with (Kraft) American cheese and crumbled up Saltines, Yodels (peeled or unpeeled) AND… french fries dipped into an ice cream sundae. The last dish, definitely gets props in terms of combining sweet and salt.  Thanks guys for your help. I’m off to the grocery store now to see if there are new products to buy or to perhaps buy a new comfort food, borrowed from a friend.

Emotional Eating With Ben and Jerry

eat it!

Image by Darwin Bell via Flickr

After a very small dinner tonight I ate Ben and Jerry’s half-baked ice cream, with whipped cream. After that I had one purple bunny peep, cheddar Sun chips, a piece of raisin bread and I’m still on the hunt. If  the stores would be open now I would grab my license and run out the door to search for the new M & M’s with coconut that I saw in the stores a week and a half ago. That was my mistake. I should have bought them then, eaten them and have gotten them out of my system. Instead, during a time of stress and emotional eating, I’m raiding the fridge and searching in the cupboards.

When it’s this kind of emotional hunger, I don’t get full. I eat and eat and look for comfort and in the act of eating mindlessly, I, for a few moments push my stress and anxiety and worries away. But, it doesn’t last. I’m full but I’m not; I’m sure there is another victim out there that I can kidnap. If I had jelly belliesI would be happy. That is what I want to eat now, one after the other, slowly, not biting them completely because I do not want to disturb my TMJ, that nasty, sharp-pained nuisance. I’m not supposed to eat the Jelly Bellies but I truly don’t care, I want them anyway preferably now.

I’m not hungry, I tell myself, and physically that’s perfectly true. I am hungry emotionally having had  two days of pure, unadulterated anxiety and sadness and heartbreak and stress, illness and loved ones and more stress.  I hold my hand over my bulging stomach and know I shouldn’t eat more and know that I will. The only decision is what to eat and when to stop.

After searching my son’s room, with his help, he only had empty Starbursts wrappers. No good. His girlfriend offered to do a “jelly belly run” for me which further endeared her to my heart. After tearing the kitchen apart I found a great substitute, cut up pineapple chunks: fruity, juicy, chewy, not jelly beans but the same idea. I ate those thinking I was in the clear. Until I found the Yodels……

I’m not ashamed to write this, this is no hidden blog post, this is for people like me, that once in a while binge eat, grin, and regret it the next day. No matter what a Psychologist would say, I think it’s okay as long as I go back to eating healthfully tomorrow. So there. Yes gain, no shame.

Eat that Weight Watchers.

How I Stay Healthy??????

Considered a father of Western medicine, Hippo...

Image via Wikipedia

Give Us A Break……

There’s a fundamental mistake here: you are assuming I am healthy and I’m not. Along with thousands upon thousands of other patients I have a chronic pain disease and an auto-immune disease (not to mention others: IBS, narrow angled glaucoma, interstitial cystitis, painful and swollen joints, flare ups and….oh, is that too much? Because I could continue and I could also go blind instantly but that’s another post altogether.

First off, I am really not complaining just commenting and venting. “It is what it is” and it could be a lot worse: pain is not life threatening so I am grateful for that. TRULY. However, Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders ARE extremely painful (and no it is NOT in our minds.) That is totally insulting. Also, there is little to relieve the pain, at best, and certainly no cure. Live with it? Not comforting. If this affected more men than women you bet there would be more research and no tiptoeing around about pain medication. The latest information frenzy that has all chronic pain patients up in arms (and my mother who saw a show on TV!) is that doctors and the media now are becoming increasingly hysterical about dispensing pain medication to THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN PAIN.

To me, it’s idiotic. I have a Doctor who writes prescriptions for Vicodin like they are gummy bears, lots of gummy bears, but when I tell him I have taken one and it doesn’t seem to help the pain, he insists it’s the only pain reliever he can dispense. Does that make any sense to you? Because, Vicodin itself is highly addictive and he writes prescriptions for them all the time YET he won’t write a prescription for half the amount for something different, like, I don’t know, Tylenol with Codeine? What am I missing here? A different class of pain killers? I am not swallowing pain killers for a high, I have tried Vicodin (one pill) on two separate occasions when I was in dire pain. It. Did. Not. Work.

I’m beginning to feel like the chronic pain community should an old-fashioned revolution. All the patients talk about it but I don’t think all of us have spoken directly to the doctors about it. I have but it does no good. Do you know why other patients are reluctant to be honest and I don’t blame them? Because we have to deal with the raised eyebrow, and the ‘are you a junkie quizzical smirk.’ I want to find a Doctor that HAS Fibromyalgia and see what they say!!

Do you think if we have addictive personalities we will misuse codeine and not Vicodin? I KNOW I don’t have an addictive personality, believe me I would have had plenty of opportunities to have one but it’s just not something I would do, want to do or will ever do. Shouldn’t doctors be able to differentiate patients from junkies?

Think about the Hippocratic (Hypocritical?) Oath that says: “First, Do No Harm.” You are causing harm refusing to treat illnesses that are incredibly painful. How about a different warning label? USE ONLY WHEN IN DIRE PAIN. That works! I don’t know anyone personally who would abuse it but I am sure there is a percentage of people who would abuse anything. Don’t punish us, for them. I certainly wouldn’t want to take anything every day if I didn’t need it. My doctor had me on two different medications to prevent pain that didn’t work and I ASKED if I could stop them, he hesitated and I then convinced him and stopped. I WANTED to use as little medication as possible. Frustrating.

In terms of exercise I walk slowly to try to get exercise and if I had the extra thousands of dollars I would probably buy a membership for a gym that has an indoor pool so I could swim but that’s money a lot of us don’t have lying around. My special diet? I usually eat healthy meals, chicken,veggies, salad, pasta, red meat a couple of times every month or two. However, my special chronic pain diet, for comfort since there is no pain relief usually involves Cadbury Creme Eggs, Yodels and Egg Salad Sandwiches. Sometimes comfort, even though it is not a pain reliever, might just make you feel a little bit better emotionally since no one is trying to help us physically.

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Buying Yodels For My Family Is A Big Fat Lie

Yodels

Image via Wikipedia

The year of tension and excitement and dread is upon us. We have a Junior in High School and  Senior in High School at the same time. I get mixed up when I write a check, is it for the PSAT? Senior dues?  Homecoming? Does my daughter have driver’s ed the same time she is babysitting twice a week or will that work out? Will my son and husband’s EMT class conflict with my son’s attention to applying for college? How will he get all his homework done? How will my daughter do all these things at the same time?

Our guidance counselor is on medical leave and I do feel bad for anyone who is sick. But, to my own chagrin when we heard the announcement my husband and I both thought: “What about our kids?” They are in their Junior and Senior year and they have no guidance counselor. It was totally selfish and somewhat unkind but it is reality.  I’m sure they will figure out things at the High School but becoming one of  “those parents” was totally disheartening and disturbing.  It wasn’t right, it wasn’t nice but it I admit it, it crossed our minds.

Tonight, we thought we had our son’s Senior essay all set (and since when do the parents have to do the work and write an essay?).  We wrote a beautiful, succinct paragraph that truly summed up his character and learning style. All was fine until I heard people wrote pages. Not one page but two or three, one parent wrote five. Granted, this is a bit much but I had the horrible feeling that we had done too little. So, after calling friends, taking polls and freaking out, I tried to expand his essay and elaborate so we will have at least another paragraph, two if they are small.

This added news sent me into a frenzy. I panicked, I stressed out and of course, I ate. I went straight to the kitchen where a lone pack of Yodels sat in their pretty white box with blue and orange trim. They were basically begging for me to eat them. What could I do?  I ripped that cellophane pack into shreds within two seconds, and ate them as I was climbing, with pain and soreness, upstairs to the bedroom. I literally stuffed them into my mouth. Sure, I ate them one at a time but I did not linger, I did not sit down leisurely and peel the chocolate, I just ate them.  I didn’t even ENJOY them. That, my friends is stressful eating. Next time I go grocery shopping, I cannot kid myself that buying the Yodels was an altruistic act for my children.

I can tell I am overwhelmed because my jaw has stiffened and my TMJ hurts. I am trying to relax but I can’t. There is so much going on now that I can’t even “breathe” myself down. If Yodels didn’t help, nothing will.  This is not good for my auto-immune disease or my fibromyalgia because I think the stress makes the symptoms worse. I am in pain and I am very tense and my body hurts in places it shouldn’t hurt. Even if I slow my body down, my mind (probably still from the aforementioned Prednisone) will not. I just can’t stay up much longer, I’m tired and need to sleep. For a person who never procrastinates I am thankful for one extra day. One last day to finish all the things left to do, retype the essay, clean the house, do laundry, go to pick up a prescription and most importantly, not eat Yodels.