When my husband and I were first married and both pursuing
graduate studies, I adopted his eating style that he charmed me with during our
engagement: hamburger, cheese, instant
rice and Ramen noodles were the key ingredients. It was good food, but when we were invited to
dine at the home of a professor for whom I was a TA, I remember remarking that
the food at the gathering was “food with ingredients.” I think by that I meant food from “scratch”?
Somehow that was the real type of
food and while what we ate wasn’t.
Now we have children, and I suspect there is still something
less than “real” about our food, but at least now I am cooking with ingredients,
and as few as possible it seems. Though
the processes, pans and power tools angst me, and the mess and time and dreary
mechanical methods madden me, I would be even less happy in the paradigm of bagged
bread, cake mix, and condensed soup.
Oh yes, we do eat boxed macaroni and cheese, and saltines
make my 11-year- old son ecstatic. I guess for me those ingredients include more
nutrients than fine-print additives and chemicals (sodium
hexametaphosphate is my favorite
incantation), maybe love (although it’s a “Those Winter Sundays” type of love),
but certainly soul force.