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David looked contrite. “I’m sorry, I didn’t notice. All the cans looked the same.”

“No worries. It was nice of you to go out and get all this for me. It’s perfect,” I said. But in my head I was shrieking, All wrong...this is all wrong! I could never say anything, not after the trouble he went to, so I smiled, grabbed my bowl, and followed David to the couches. We sat down with our meals, the men with their steak and me with my bastardized version of nostalgia. David and Josue talked about how wrong it was to pour the sauce onto the ravioli straight from the can. “That’s how we always ate it,” I said.

A few hours later, after Josue had gone home and the plates (and bowl) had been loaded into the dishwasher, I confronted David about his weirdness over my craving. I asked him why it mattered to him whether or not I felt like eating sauce from a can.

“It bothers me to see you upset. I want your life to be all bluebirds and rainbows,” he said.

“But it seems like you’re more bothered by the kind of food I was craving than the reasons I was craving it,” I argued.

“Well, it’s just...” David looked frustrated for a moment, then put an arm around me and rested his chin on the top of my head. “When you get upset and the only thing that can comfort you is food from your childhood, it’s like you fell and skinned your knee and then ran to your mom or dad instead of me.”

“Oh,” I said, because that’s all I could think of to say. I squeezed him tighter and then took a step back so I could get a clear look at his face. I chuckled, unable to believe my luck in having someone who cares for me as much as David does. Before he could misinterpret my laughing, I said, “Don’t you know that you’re my rock? I mean, how the hell could I survive as such a spaz if I didn’t have you to lean on? Come here.” I pulled him close and embraced him with all my might, recognizing with both terror and relief that this anchor in my arms was the one thing keeping me on the pretty side of sanity.

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Comments

pete78 Sept. 25, 2008 @ 8:52 a.m.

Bluebirds and fing rainbows... Hahaha. I think bluebirds may actually be vectors for the avian influenza though so be careful. And they don't taste as good as chicken. One would think that they taste like a blueberry or perhaps even blue raspberry-flavored chicken but this is just not true :( But they do taste pretty fing good with a little bit of Hunt's Tomato Sauce (not the flavored s***) drizzled on top. Pretty pretty pretty good.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 26, 2008 @ 10:11 p.m.

Ms Grant, I knew I wasn't alone in my saucy compulsions. Sounds like our men share a similar "problem." ;) You enjoy that chunk-free sauce. I've got one more can of Hunt's squirreled away in the back of the pantry. Oh yeah, my day will come again.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 25, 2008 @ 11:01 a.m.

Pete, it appears as though you like the F-word almost as much as I do. Thanks for the colorful, foodie descriptions! Now I'm craving berries. ;)

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MsGrant Sept. 26, 2008 @ 12:36 p.m.

My comfort food is boxed macaroni and cheese - I used to have to have Kraft, but I now have graduated to Amy's Organic. On top of that (in a bowl, of course - a plate just will not do) I pour unheated tomato sauce from a jar. It can't be the chunky kind, just marinara (I COMPLETELY understand the sauce thing - I won't eat it if it has chunks). I eat this with a fork, stabbing at the marcaronis until I get a forkful. The ritual is almost as important as the food. My wonderful husband looks on, disgusted, as I eat this concoction, shaking his head. He always gets a little concerned when the box comes down, wants to know if everything is okay. "No threat honey, just a need you can't fill." Then he laughs and says "I can't believe you guys ate this growing up!" My sisters eat it this way, too.

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bohemianopus Sept. 26, 2008 @ 3:50 p.m.

Your article made me cry with nostalgia!

Growing up in South Philly, my family and I would go to Moncuso's on Ninth Street for lunch meat, olives, and the best Italian bread in the world.

My father and Mr. Moncuso would have a knock-down, drag-out argument every week over Mr. Moncuso's habit of stacking the tomato cans in front of the scale so we couldn't see the true weight of the food we were buying.

My mother felt it was her duty to stuff handfuls of loose chi chi beans in her purse to "make up" for any price discrepancies while the two men argued.

On the way home, my brother and I would "pick" the insides of the loaf of bread out, so that by the time we got home, all that was left was the crust. We would dip into the bitter Greek and Spanish olives and split the sharp provolone and mellow scamorse cheeses.

My parents would buy "extra" and keep it in the front seat so they would have enough for the "sangwitches" when we got home.

Every time I smell olives and cheese, I get all warm and fuzzy.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 26, 2008 @ 10:14 p.m.

Bohemianopus, what a tag name! I'm so happy I could help you relive such warm, fuzzy memories. My sisters and I also loved to eat the middle out of the baguettes, which would annoy our parents when they later when to take a "slice." Olives and cheese make me oh, so happy. Good times, good times. :)

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ParisL Sept. 26, 2008 @ 9:58 p.m.

Barbarella, On Oct 5 from 12 noon- 3:00 PM, VISION a Center for Spiritual Living is hosting an Animal Rights Festival in Tierrasanta. I would like to invite you and David to come...we will have several animal adoption agencies as well as animal rights groups participating. For directions/info visit www.visioncsl.com. I know that you would enjoy the experience..consider it "window shopping". You don't have to adopt.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 26, 2008 @ 10:19 p.m.

ParisL, thank you for the invitation, but David and I will be on a plane to Spain on October 5. We thought we'd wait until the economy crashed to travel abroad. ;) I'll be writing all about it.

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jim87vette Sept. 27, 2008 @ 2:17 p.m.

That made me very hungry.Its about time for me to get out my crock-pot and make a batch of sauce.I am going to try the honey trick -thanks.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 27, 2008 @ 5:04 p.m.

Wow, you cook the sauce in a crock pot? Talk about something I would NEVER have the patience for. Anything over 3 minutes is questionable. Enjoy that sauce, I hope the honey works for you. ;)

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Josh Board Sept. 29, 2008 @ 2:04 p.m.

Have fun in Spain.

Can someone, please, tell me why everyone loves mac & cheese so much? My girlfriend loves it. One of our close friends loved it.

Now...I can appreciate great cheese. I drooled all over the Reader when Barb wrote about that cheese party, sure. But, even fancy restaurants that have mac and cheese...my girlfriend gets it. I taste it, and am always disappointed.

Why does everyone like it so much?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!

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pete78 Sept. 30, 2008 @ 10:12 a.m.

I can't stand the crap Mr Board. Makes me nautious to even smell it - and most cheese for that matter as well. Cheese is basically just rotten sour milk.

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Josh Board Oct. 1, 2008 @ 12:18 a.m.

Twas a woman.

It's funny, because as much as I've never found cheese on mac and cheese I liked...I've never found nachos I didn't dislike.

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Joe Poutous Oct. 1, 2008 @ 7:15 a.m.

Wow, I think that I need to listen to my wife more.

  • Joe
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M. E. Sept. 30, 2008 @ 3:02 p.m.

Josh, is that friend male or female? I used know a chick who couldn't get enough mac & cheese. Maybe it's a girl thing.

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Fred Williams Oct. 1, 2008 @ 8:09 a.m.

Mac and Cheese from scratch

(serves two)

Ingredients: Half a small package of Macaroni 6 ounces Cheddar Cheese 1 teaspoon Corn Starch 1/4 cup Milk

Steps: Boil the macaroni and put it in the strainer. Mix 1/4 cup milk with a teaspoon of corn starch, stirring well. Put the mix along with your shredded cheese into the pot on very low heat.
Stir vigorously until it blends together and thickens. Turn off the heat. Put the macaroni into the pot and mix it all together. * Add salt and pepper to taste.

It's not only better tasting and far cheaper than the stuff from the box, it's probably healthier too.

Best,

Fred

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inactive Oct. 1, 2008 @ 9:28 a.m.

"It's funny, because as much as I've never found cheese on mac and cheese I liked...I've never found nachos I didn't dislike."

Well the try putting the nacho cheese on your macaroni.

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Barbarella Fokos Oct. 1, 2008 @ 10:32 a.m.

Nacho cheese on macaroni is brilliant. My man made an exceptional "mac n cheese" using jalapenos and hot sauce. Maybe all you boys need is for that stuff to be kicked up a few notches. You know, the mac n cheese that bites you back. ;)

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