Monday, March 14, 2011
The Cheese Factor and Neuroticism
Be it chips, crackers, vegetables, dried fruit, beef jerky, bread heels, shredded cheese, candy... well, no, not candy. I'm not sure when this strange tendency started, but recent memory recollects the time I was eating a bag of Munchies and, after about five minutes of happily crunching away, found an ant on the cheeto I was about to put in my mouth.
Somewhere in my mind, there lives a five-year-old who believes that if I eat those last few crumbs or whathaveyou, I will become infected with a horrible case of herpes and get cold sores all over my face. Either that or leprosy.
I pretty much have to eat the entire bag of ____________ (fill in the blank) in one sitting to feel satisfied that I will not die terribly disfigured. Of course, eating a whole bag of anything usually ends up badly in other ways; typically involving stomach-ache, indigestion and bizarre dreams.
We had tacos for dinner yesterday. I am grateful a million times over every time I pull out that bag of pre-shredded cheese and put some into a bowl. I lived in a household of nine people growing up and we could easily go through two or three pounds of cheese on a taco night. I remember being excited to get the job of grating the cheese. It was so simple and rewarding. That is, until I realized that it was a really crappy job and if you managed to go through the entire block of cheese without injuring yourself on the grater, it was a major miracle.
When I went about the task of filling the bowls with cheese, I was faced with the problem of one bag being nearly full and the other having just about a bowl-full left in it. One bowl would have nice, fresh, wonderful cheese which I would be more than happy to sprinkle on my tacos. The other bowl would have herpes-riddled leper cheese. What's a poor girl to do???
I filled both bowls, carefully noting the appearance of the diseased bowl and put them on the table. I smugly made sure to put the infected bowl on the farther end of the table and the lovely, fresh bowl on the side where I would be sitting.
Are you wondering why I would allow the rest of my family to eat from the leper bowl? Well, the answer, dear reader(s?) is that I am more than aware of the fact that the cheese was almost positively fine. However, I also know that I will allow my brain to tell me that certain things will almost certainly kill me if I don't let my neuroticism take over.
I shuddered fractionally every time I saw anyone take cheese from the bowl. I consoled myself with the knowledge that in the extremely unlikely event that my brain was right after all, I could go to the store and buy Abreva for everyone.
I just do my best through all of this to not think about the fact that the food I'm being so picky about is actually curdled, fermented and moldy milk.