What we savor

May 4th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

Slurping blue slush in my brother’s truck

Advertisement for a blue raspberry Slurpee from 7-11. Photo: Lisa Spear

Advertisement for a blue raspberry Slurpee from 7-Eleven. Photo: Lisa Spear


I was never a morning person. I was also never a food person. I skipped breakfast, sometimes lunch, and dinner was a struggle. My pediatrician weighed me at my eight-year-old annual checkup and I had lost weight and gained height, which apparently was concerning. I attribute this to my mother’s lack of appreciation for butter and bacon grease. Other than the not particularly enjoying food aspect, my food life as a child was fairly routine. I was never hungry and I am fortunate for that.

I woke up to a bowl of Cheerios, floating like little life preservers in skim milk. I would push them around with my spoon until they were soggy and inedible. Lunch might have been peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or chicken sandwiches or cheese sandwiches, sealed in a Ziploc bags and carried to elementary school in a lunchbox. Dinner alternated between chicken breasts, overcooked and under-spiced, on a George Forman grill, and pasta with a jar of tomato sauce dumped on top, no garlic. My comfort food was a blue raspberry Slurpee in a big red cup. Whenever I was sad, my older brother would drive me to the 7-Eleven near my house in Kendall, a neighborhood in Miami-Dade County, and we would sit in his truck in the parking lot and talk about whatever problem I was having or what ever problem he was having. Sometimes we would just sit in silence and slurp.

In seventh grade I rediscovered my interest in food as something to enjoy rather than something just to keep me going. At friends’ houses I found out about the magic of cooking with butter and salt. At 18, in college, I discovered the power of garlic to make stir-fried veggies wonderful. I started adding chili peppers to everything. And I lost my appreciation for neon blue Slurpees. On bad days my brother would still take me to the 7-Eleven, only he would get the giant red cup, and I would just watch him slurp.

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