Thursday, February 23, 2012

"A Taste of Honey"

For many years when I was growing up, my dad managed a Howard Johnson's Restaurant.  Anybody remember them??   Well, if you do remember, you might recall, they had 28 Flavors of Ice Cream.  This was before the days of Baskin-Robbins, so 28 flavors was downright amazing.   I don't remember many of the flavors because the only kinds I ever had were vanilla or infrequently, butter pecan.  It used to drive my dad crazy! 

We only had one car (ever), so if my mom needed to do anything other than sit in the house all day, she would have to drive Daddy to work and then go and pick him up at the end of the day.  Dad was usually ready to come home somewhere around 9:00 pm, so I would usually stay at home with Lil' Sis, while Mom went off to get him.  Occasionally, however, we would all go off to the restaurant to pick him up.  On some of those times, we would go in and have a dish of ice cream while we waited for him to finish up.  Mom would get chocolate or butter pecan or sherbet or  black cherry or maybe even peppermint.  Lil' Sis (being only 3 or so at the time) would share whatever mom was having.  And I would have, you guessed it, vanilla.

"We have 28 different flavors!  How can you always get vanilla?  Don't you want to try the featured flavor??  Dad always made some remark to try to get me to branch out, but it never worked.  I would stick to plain vanilla almost all the time.  What I don't recall him asking me is "Why?" 

I'm rather glad he never asked me why I wouldn't try other flavors because it would have been hard for me to answer it honestly.  The truth of the matter is that I really didn't like ice cream all that much, even the vanilla!  I didn't want to hurt his feelings, after all this was supposed to be a treat!  Most of the kids I knew would have turned somersaults for having a dad who gave them ice cream!  But not me! 

You see, not only did I not  like ice cream, I didn't like any sweets!   Oh, I'd occasionally have a plain Hershey Bar or a skinny slice of peach pie, or a piece of birthday cake, but have something sweet every day?  No, no, no!  Dessert was never my thing.  I didn't even like anything candied (yams, carrots, onions, etc.)  No apricot glazes or raspberry dressings for me.   No thank you!   Many things were just too sweet for my tastes, so I would eat as little of it as I could get away with.  Now, Mom, being of the "you have to at least try some of everything being served" school of parenting, would be satisfied as long as I ate some of everything.  So I would, but I didn't like anything sweet!

I don't think either Mom or Dad realized how little I cared for sweet things until I was much older and not so hesitant to say I didn't like it!  There were only two things I could safely refuse to eat:  liver or fish.  Mom didn't like fish and Dad wasn't big on liver, so we rarely had either one at home and if we did have one or the other and I refused to eat it, they could understand.  But not eating sweets?  That was just outside the realm of their belief system!  lol!

When I had my tonsils out at age 6, I totally shocked the nurses when I refused ice cream and asked for cold milk instead!  It just wasn't what kids did!!

Once I was married, I was in charge of meals (sort of) so I could avoid whatever was too sweet for me.  The trouble was Mikey was exactly the opposite.  A day without dessert wasn't worth living in his world!  He accepted the fact that sweets were very low on my list of priorities.   That doesn't mean he understood it, but he did accept it.   But deep down he just didn't get it.  Still doesn't!

For example, I remember one time (not all that long ago either), Mikey made something (I think it was chili or spaghetti sauce) for dinner.  When I took the first bite, I made a face and said,  "Ick, it's sweet!!  It's not supposed to be sweet, it's chili (or spaghetti sauce)!  What did you do?"  He swore up and down he hadn't added anything sweet and it took us a little while to figure out it was the onions!   They were Vidalia onions which as you probably know,  are sweet.  They completely wrecked the flavor for me.  Mikey couldn't even taste the sweetness!  Like I said, I really don't like sweets, especially in things that aren't supposed to be sweet!

Now before you start thinking that I am completely and totally weird, let me assure you that I did get sweet in my diet very regularly. Growing up I would drink milk with my meals, but once I was married,  I discovered I loved sweet drinks....Pepsi became my beverage of choice for decades!  I liked sweet iced tea, I would put sugar in orange juice, lemonade had to have a ton of sugar in it before I would drink it.  It's a conundrum that I do not understand to this day!

I stayed fairly thin through most of my life and that I am sure is largely due to the lack of a lot of sweet stuff (except for the drink part).  I have a somewhat addictive personality (may I remind you that I am not allowed to go to a casino by myself!!).  So I am grateful that sweets were not my vice of choice!  I would have weighed a ton....maybe two!

So, all that being said, by all that's holy, would someone please explain to me why, after all these years, have I recently begun craving sweet things???    Pie, cookies, candy, cobblers, fudge, and absolutely worst of all, Hot Fudge sundaes???  I'm afraid to get on a scale!  My teeth are going to rot and fall right out of my head.  So far, it doesn't take much to satisfy that craving --  a piece or two of candy, 3  cookies, a spoonful of cobbler, a small sundae from Sonic without whipped cream...but still.  This is just flat out wrong.  Perhaps I have been invaded by an alien with a sweet tooth!

All I know is that it's got to STOP!  It used to be that I was happy with "A Taste of Honey."  Now I want the whole damn jar...all over everything!!   Arrggh!


  1. Interesting. A late blooming sweet tooth! You can be glad it's late blooming. When I was a teenager, I was victim of severe acne. I carried this from the time I was 13 on. My dermatologist said no chocolate, and to limit my sugar intake. (What the heck did that have to do with anything?) So, now, I blame my love of chocolate on him. He deprived me! BOO HOO!
    My son, when he was young, used to stay with a family friend while the rest of us were at choir practice. They would always have ice cream. Said friend would try different flavors, but my son would always say, "you can't go wrong with vanilla." It's still his favorite!

  2. Well, I have ALWAYS had a sweet tooth, so I definitely can't give you any advice on overcoming your new sweet tooth! The Howard Johnson ice cream flavors sound fantastic!


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