Lately, as in the last couple of years or so, I've been really bad at eating lunch. If I don't take my lunch, most days I don't eat lunch.
But it's also really difficult for me to take my lunch since I'm not great at grocery shopping often enough to have lunch supplies on hand.
Today, I decided I really needed to take my lunch to work, so I was scavenging the kitchen for something...anything...to take with me.
I decided a can of soup would be fabulous. It's healthy. It's easy. It's relatively good. But it's also pretty much water, so I was sure I'd end up hungry a few minutes after eating it. Plus, it was something not too exciting, like Mexican Vegetarian Bean and Tomato. Seriously, how did I buy this?
So I did some hunting and gathering and found some mini saltine crackers. I figured adding some carbs to the soup would help a little in filling me up. I don't remember exactly when I bought them, but it had to have been about a year ago since it's been too hot for soup the last 6-ish months. And I really only eat saltines with soup.
I foraged a little more and found a string cheese (which Darrell tells me I eat incorrectly since I don't peel apart), a cherry-flavored Jell-O, and a vanilla-flavored pudding. Sounds pretty well-rounded to me. Plus, there's the girl at work who has a stockpile of chocolate that I can raid as needed (although that is seriously my lunch most days). (Don't judge...chocolate is a protein since it comes from the cacao plant which is a legume.)
As I was writing this, I found it pretty sad that most people could find better food in their desk at work than I could in my kitchen. At home.
So, around lunch-time (you know, 2:30-ish), I decided to eat my lunch.
I dumped most of the contents of my soup in the mug I took to work a couple of weeks ago...just in case I needed it. It was a little smaller than the soup can, so I decided to heat up what I could, eat some, and then pour the rest in the mug, heat it up, and eat it gone.
I then pulled out my baggie of saltines. For some reason, I really love saltines in my soup. I add them one at a time since soggy anything really grosses me out.
I was really excited to eat my soup and crackers since it's been awhile since I had this meal. I tasted the soup and it was sort of boring. It was, afterall, one of those "healthy" soups that has less sodium, which means I normally dump a tablespoon or so of salt into it so that it tastes like regular soup. I tried to find one of those little paper packets of salt in my desk and had no luck, but that's okay since the saltines are salty.
Hence the name saltines.
They tasted a little funky, but I figured the soup would help them taste normal.
They made the soup taste funky. But, although there are some lunches you can easily throw in your trashcan, soup isn't one of those. So I was stuck eating it. I tried it with some more crackers, but it started tasting bad.
I gave up on the saltines and ate the soup plain. I searched my desk drawers again for salt and for a moment, I contemplated dumping a couple of ketchup packets into the soup. But then I remembered the stew + ketchup fiasco of 1976 (which is an absolutely true story--for another day), and decided to go plain.
I finished my soup, ate my string cheese (the way I like to eat it), ate the Jell-O (which I'm always tempted to slurp up through a coffee stirrer), and ate the pudding.
Awhile later I raided the chocolate dish...isn't it amazing how much fresher the candy tastes the closer you get to Halloween?
When I got home from work and put away my lunch stuff, I saw the Saltine box on the counter. I decided to throw away the rest of the crackers and recycle the box (hey...I do my part to save the world!).
I glanced at the "Best By" date.
January 12, 2009.
Seriously? No wonder they were disgusting! They did taste a little like rancid oil.
But the worst part of all is that had they expired 10 years ago, they would have been made with trans-fats and tasted as fresh as the day I bought them.