As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness - just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
Over dinner a while back, the conversation turned to guilty pleasures, of the food variety. Seeing as I was sitting with other food writers, it was a little dicey...do I tell them the truth? Do I tell them what has, on occasion, brought me great joy and comfort? Do I spill the beans about my fondness for....Cheez Whiz? I did and no one shunned me for the rest of the night, as everyone else listed something sinfully similar. But it's true. A jar of the orange stuff has been known to find its way into my fridge every couple of years, if I see it's on sale. (I like a good bargain.) But before you lose all respect for me, be assured I don't spread it on celery or toss it on hot macaroni. No, the only way I eat it is on hot, heavily buttered toast, as a bedtime snack while I'm in my pajamas and slippers and something trashy is on the television and maybe I have PMS. Something about this cheezy toast makes me happy - it was a favourite when I was a kid and my mom would even pack it in my brown-bagged lunch, where it was devoured in the noisy lunchroom at noon. Maybe I like that it takes me back to simpler days, when my glasses were big and I had a crush on Scott Baio; when I would rush home from school and watch Little House on the Prairie, then afterwards join my siblings around the dinner table, where we'd dish the details of our day and my mom would dish out hot, delicious food. Those days are so long ago, but somehow a little processed cheese takes me back there.