Sunday, March 15, 2009

Opening the lunchbox....

It was always marginally exciting, that moment when you opened your lunchbox. If you were in good standing with the lunch gods, you'd find something Hostess. My preference was a HoHo, probably because my palate understood at an early age to enjoy things that had a confluence of tastes and textures. Cake, creamy filling, fudgy glaze in every bite. It was instinctive. 

I had a Partridge Family lunchbox with that Mondrian-like primary color grid and some fine illustrations of the family itself. I'm pretty sure it was dented. And it certainly didn't keep anything even remotely within the range of safe temperatures. But who needed safe temperatures back then? Was anything we ate real? I consumed more preservatives than I did food itself and will no doubt spend an entire future post discussing snack foods of the 70's. And then a post after that discussing gene mutations and cancer deaths from hot dogs.    

I am constantly aware of food. I use food to frame my experiences. I use it to plan trips. Food smells are a deep trigger for me. I can still smell the chicken frying in the mess hall at camp. It was mixed with the faint smell of chlorine from the pool next door, and of grass and pine trees and to a city kid, it was the smell of magic. Every morning, as I got off the bus, that's what I smelled. It set the day.  

So, in this first post, I open the Lunchbox and look inside.  Thankfully, no egg salad. Sometimes, that's all you can ask for.                                     

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