I remember one fine day last year: I was scheduled to have dental surgery that afternoon… (Maybe you remember it too, I wrote about it here.) Right around noon, I realized that my lunch that day would probably be my last “full” meal for the few days – knowing that I will be restricted to a diet of soft, mushy, gum-friendly food.
I wanted to prepare a fabulous feast, but it was already noon and I was running out of time. Plus, I was nervous. Very nervous. I have low tolerance for pain, I’m scared of needles and I have a fear of not waking up from the anesthesia. So I was really dreading having my wisdom teeth removed. I didn’t have much time to think about and prepare for this pre-surgery meal.
So I opened my cupboard and reached far in the back, in the deep dark corner hidden from plain view, behind all the organic snacks and healthy treats. I reached for my secret guilty pleasure: Spam.
Yes, I like Spam.
I was craving for comfort food – something that would calm my panicking nerves, something that would remind me of simple and happy times – and I reached for something that reminded me of home. I was craving for something sinful – a rich food splurge that would be rationalized by a puritan diet afterwards – and I reached for one of the most unhealthy and preservative-filled junk food. I was craving for a “last meal” type of food, and I reached for Spam.
I fried the Spam, then made fried rice with garlic and a fried egg. It was sinful. It was easy. It was a plate of fried yumminess.
After the surgery, I was cranky and my gums were sore and bleeding, but I was looking forward to going home to my doctor-prescribed diet of soft food: ice cream, popsicles, cold milk, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, boiled eggs, and cheesecake (at that moment, I loved my dentist). It took me a week to recover, but I had a blast spoiling myself with all those soft, mushy, gum-friendly food diet sabotagers. I bragged to my friends that dental surgery wasn’t so bad after all, especially because I could eat all these things. I joked, “I am turning dental surgery into a food binge.” And they laughed. I told them about all the foods I ate.
But I didn’t tell them about Spam.