The Old Food White Elephant Party


Within the past year, my sister has become a vegetarian.  Over that time, I have become more familiar with lots of odd words, like quinoa (“keen-wah”, apparently), and combinations of things that she can’t or won’t eat.  This weekend, she “auctioned” off some of the food in her refrigerator and pantry because they no longer make the food cut in her house.  We all sat around salivating (not really) and entertained about what she’d display next.  It was like a White Elephant party gone terribly wrong. 

“I’ve got some ratatouille here.”

“What’s ratatouille?”

*”How old is it?”


“Well, I kind of thought ratatouille sounded good.  Go ahead and take the ratatouille and I’ll take the falafel.  Can I have that hummus back?”

One of the items that she took out of her magical ice chest was Nutella.  She knows I am a big fan of Nutella Cupcakes, so she brought me the jar of what she had left.  When I glanced over at the jar in her hand, I got excited. 

My arm muscles were flexed to hold the weight of a heavy jar of Nutella, but instead it was as lighter than a newborn sugar ant.  It was about a fifth full.

See?  One thing that my sister is not is wasteful.  She has always been that way.  Other things she gave away yesterday were some used pad thai sauce, a package of Ramen noodles, frozen mixed vegetables and MEATLESS CHICKEN.  My grandmother’s hand raised high every time there was a new food item introduced.  Going through the Depression apparently makes you want to scrape the sides of Pad Thai sauce jars until it yells for mercy and then spread it over fake chicken.

Seeing that meatless chicken made me realize that anything can be shaped into anything and eaten.  Big wig vegetarians dreamed of molding vegetable and wheat protein into a chicken nugget or a chicken cutlet and they made it happen.

Food can also be pureed for people with swallowing disorders and shaped into the food it is supposed to be and eaten.  Check out this delicious meal of pureed peas, turkey and mashed potatoes.  It looks like solid peas, but, really, is mushy and just molded like a piece of playdough to help fool the mind.

I just feel this ability to mold food into different shapes is just not reaching its potential.  I understand the point is to help people with eating difficulties “dine with dignity” or to help vegetarians feel they are able to eat a piece of dingdang meat, but why not make it more fun?  Why shape vegetable and wheat matter into chicken or shape pea mush into circles when you can shape it into things like some of the food items from my new company, “Fun & Fraudulent Foods”?

This one is perfect for people who have difficulty swallowing but want to chow
down on a hearty meal on Bingo night at the local VFW hall.

Everyone likes some money in their pocket, but the first people getting this hot number are the
denture-less elderly that are gambling their retirement away on all of the cruise ships.
This one will be sent out to all of the nursing homes in about 24 hours
 so they can get into the Halloween spirit while stuffing their faces this week.

Why I am not already a filthy millionaire, I will never know.


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