I don’t know what it is about spaghetti that I have loved it so much for most of my adult life. Even before my cancer, I always said I wanted to be buried in spaghetti when I die.
I would still be saying that if I hadn’t changed my mind and decided I want to be cremated and delivered back home in a UPS box, and then my ashes spread through the forest. I think that’s a much more romantic place to spend the rest of eternity, don’t you?
But spaghetti! What is it about spaghetti that I love so much?
When I was going through cancer treatment and my taste buds were burnt off, I could only eat a handful of things things: spaghetti, Godiva (and ONLY Godiva) hot chocolate, and Italian Wedding soup. Crazy, isn’t it? My taste buds were highly selective, and more than once I found myself crying out in frustration because I couldn’t even get the pleasure of enjoying a nice meal. So spaghetti became my defacto meal for cancer.
My favorite TV shows were these medical reality shows. I’d found myself suddenly drawn to all things doctor-patient related, because it had become my world. So there I’d lie, on our fold-out bed in front of the TV, watching some doctor in the operating room sucking out the fat from the belly of some obese person or rearranging some lady’s boobs or hacking off the necrotic leg of someone, shovelling spaghetti into my mouth — a HUGE bowl of the stuff, with Four Cheeses Classico sauce and jalapeno peppers on top.
The fact that I could even taste it made it like a drug to me, even though afterwards I was a beached whale. But when you can’t eat many things, you have to enjoy whatever you can get down, so I enjoyed my spaghetti and gained 30 pounds. I had other things to worry about than my weight, so that part was totally irrelevant to me.
You’d think after my cancer I’d never want to see spaghetti again, but noooooo it’s still my favorite food. I’d like to think that spaghetti was a gift to humanity from the gods and not some dish jam packed with basically nothing but empty calories, but I know better. God would never gift us something that tastes good. God’s gift to humanity is probably kale.
Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?
Food for the Soul (and the Stomach)