Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I am occasionally possessed by dire yearnings for various foodstuffs, that seem to have no rhyme or reason whatsoever. They come out of nowhere, hijack my life for a few days or weeks, and then sink into obscurity with nary a scar to remind one of it’s existence. Sort of like “American Idol”.

Currently, I am mad about pistachios. I innocently picked up a bag of roasted, salted pistachios at the grocery store a few days ago, to supplement Thing 1’s lunch. (Hallellujah, they allow nuts in high school.) Without thought to the frenzy I was launching, I had a couple, and that has been it for the past week. I can’t get enough of those stupid nuts, and not only are they having a detrimental effect on my waistline, I’m going to have to consider another mortgage if this keeps up much longer. Plus, my kidneys are going to go on strike because of all the salt.

My friend Sue The Librarian said that when she was pregnant, she had a wicked pistachio craving, and put herself through the exquisite torture of shelling them all and then eating them one by one. She said she would be all delirious with want by the time she had shelled any significant amount, and could barely see straight by the time she actually consumed them.

When I was pregnant with Thing 1, the Mister put me on a “Fruit Budget”, because I was eating fresh fruit like a mad woman, and thought nothing of scarfing a couple of mangos in the middle of winter at 4 bucks a pop, or sitting down to twelve dollars worth of grapes.

And let me assure you, cravings are not at all limited to pregnant or otherwise hormonally challenged women, far from it. I know plenty of men who find themselves slaves to their appetites, too. The Mister occasionally gets a calling for chips and dill pickle dip that cannot be ignored, and I once had a male friend who admitted to eating hot chocolate powder straight from the can in a particularly desperate search for chocolate.

I give up chocolate for Lent every year, and oddly enough, that isn’t that difficult and doesn’t seem to increase my desire for chocolate one bit. Maybe because I expect the chocolate famine every year, or maybe because there is a specific date when it will end, but I happily nix chocolate for the 40 days without a problem. I do, however, demolish a Lindt bunny in a rather unseemly fashion on Easter Sunday, but I can wait until then.

My cravings aren’t limited to merely snack food, either. Not too long ago, I was watching Top Chef, and one of the contestants made a pan-fried chicken cutlet with a lemony arugula salad on top, and I was beside myself with longing for that dish. Guess what we had for dinner the next night, and it was fabulous. I should never watch cooking shows or read cookbooks, I’m far too easily tempted.

In fact, I’m going to make dinner right now….pistachio crusted chicken with arugula salad. Lucky for my family, I’ve never craved turnips.

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