12 May 2009
Treat of the Week
When Sara and I were kids my Mom instituted something that even then I thought was really smart and admire more as an adult: The Treat of the Week.
We would go to the grocery store with Mom every Saturday and would each be allowed to pick out one treat. One. It could be anything we wanted - and thank goodness we weren't required to share - but it could only be one. One box of sugary cereal? Sure, fine. Two? No. One box of Pop-Tarts filled with chocolate frosting? Sure, fine. Two? No. One entire baked ham? Sure, fine.
Mom didn't put restrictions on what the treat could be,* nor did she parcel it out during the week. We could ration it for the week or eat the whole thing on Saturday when we got home. They were our treats. But once it was gone, it was gone. No more treats until the next Saturday.
Sara and I had a nice sense of empowerment about being allowed to chose our own treats and Mom was the spared an entire grocery store of of us whining for more stuff.
For what was probably several months straight, Sara and I each chose a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough. We'd keep it in the freezer and snack on it, usually making it last until the next week.
Instead of baking the cookies, we'd eat the dough raw**, sometimes cutting off lady-like pieces, sometimes just gnawing on it straight from the tube, which prett' near grossed Mom out of existence but as the rule about not micromanaging our Weekly Treats was hers, she'd just arrange to be out of the kitchen whenever we went looking for a snack. She was probably grateful during that period that she worked a sixty-hour week because if I was awake, I was probably looking around for a snack.***
As an adult I was delighted when Ben and Jerry's introduced Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and considered it an homage to the Treat of the Week whenever I had some. Then I got that stupid auto-immune disorder and can no longer eat CCCD ice cream.
But thanks to Whole Foods I can at least go back to having random bits of raw cookie dough. Until they realize how much I like it and discontinue carrying it, they have gluten-free cookie dough made by a company called French Meadow that tastes remarkably like anybody else's cookie dough.**** It comes already sliced, which while reducing the level of just-like-when-I-was-a-kid inheirant in consuming raw "food," it does make it more office-friendly.
I buy a couple of boxes, put one in the freezer and one in the fridge, and most days after lunch I wander down to the "coffee mess" and collect one to nibble on back at my desk. Corporate at our company (I work for Corporate) is pretty much a junior UN so no one questions any one's possibly odd-looking food.
It's from Whole Foods and it's gluten-free so it costs enough to enforce a one-per day rationing.
And there are nine per box, so it's more like Treat of the Every Other Week.
* Which is an impressive example of self-control as most of our choices probably made her gag.
** See what I mean?
** This is still true. I am constantly hungry.
**** In the gluten-free world, tasting like the ordinary product is a very good thing.