I was very fortunate to grow up in a home filled with plenty of food. We never went without, and, to the best of my recollection, we always had a nice sit-down dinner every night (with everyone attending) often had hot breakfasts on the weekends. We wanted for nothing. It’s possible that my parents struggled to pull this off, but that’s how it felt.
There was always salsa and chips or carrots and ranch for snacks. Often there was fresh fruit and vegetables that could be munched on. Mom pulled that off with (seeming) ease.
It’s funny how one’s upbringing around food can change their attitude about it. While there was always plenty of fo0d at home, I’d get in trouble constantly for “sneaking” food. I don’t know why I did it. If I had asked, it would likely have been given to me. But there was a lot of sneaking around.
The Big Dawg had perhaps the worst habits when it came to food. You didn’t eat anything out of the fridge or pantry that you thought he might possibly want. He grew up hungry, and lived hungry for years, fighting with his brothers over food. He seemed to have this almost paranoid idea that you were stealing food from him when something would go missing. To this day, I still think he gets a little bent out of shape when Mom offers me leftovers.
I don’t fault him for this. It’s how I grew up. I grew up learning that everything in the kitchen was not to just be had. We had to ask. Maybe lots of kids grew up that way. Maybe it kept me from blowing up into a little porker, I don’t know. Even now, my mom (and occasionally the Big Dawg) will criticize the amount of food I put on my plate when I come over. I know it’s “about health,” but it’s a bad, bad feeling to have your parent police your food intake like that when you are a grown-ass woman.
Sometimes it’s easier just to have Mom dish it up, put it on a plate, and put it in front of me. The way I grew up with food has significantly affected DSB and mine’s relationship. Where he grew up, there was also nothing lacking, but there was a more open relationship with food. If you were hungry, take it, even if it’s the last one.
This has led to issues sometimes with us when say, for example, there’s not much milk left but I really want a glass. In my mind, that’s DSB’s milk, because he’s the one that drinks the most of it and it’s “his thing.” DSB wants me to just drink the friggin’ milk if I want a glass. Drink the milk, eat the last piece of cake, just go for it.
I spend so much time trying to make sure everything is “fair” between us, that sometimes I go a little crazy. I worry when I’m putting our plates together that I got a slightly bigger piece of chicken, so I will give him slightly more mac and cheese and so on and so forth. DSB could really care less, as long as he has a plate of food in front of him at suppertime.
The way I grew up with food influences my shopping habits today. At home, there was (and still is!) a full stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. When we’re running low on supplies, I start freaking out. DSB has to walk me through the fact that there are at least eight meals left in the house that could be had. I just don’t see it like that. If there’s not gobs of stuff to cook, I think we have nothing. You would have thought I grew up in the Depression.
I’m not saying all this to make anyone feel bad, and certainly no one should. But more to highlight how growing up around food affects how we view food as adults. To me, food is comfort and home and something to be cherished. To DSB, it’s fuel. And that’s it. Maybe that’s why I’m so big, I don’t know. There are a lot of answers to that question, I think, and it can’t all fall back on my childhood, other than some wicked stepmothers who warped my mind against my body and my appetite long, long ago.
To sum up, childhood experience plays a huge role in how you view food, grocery shopping, the division of food between family members, and so on. I wish I could get it a little more scientific, but I know that my mom and stepdad didn’t create my eating disorders. I KNOW where that came from — evil stepmothers. And hey, my own doing, too. I can own up to that. I hope at some point I can be at a healthier weight, but it has to be on my own time, at my own choosing.
Sam has made these before. Divine. No butter or syrup needed!
Banana Pancakes — great recipe!