Archive for March, 2007

Garnet and the Rise of Easy Cheese

Garnet places a high premium on good nutrition. (Please don’t get her started on the evils of hydrogenated fats.)

Me, I think that eatin’ doesn’t get any better than a hot dog with chili, mustard and slaw from the Dairy-O in King.

Recently, I went to a fund-raiser brunch for AIDS Care Service at Bill and Sylvia’s house. For fun, they decided to serve classic American food – with classic, in this instance, meaning corn dogs, sliced tomotoes, corn bread, chili, Jello, RC colas and Moon Pies.

At the end of the brunch, piles of food remained, and Bill and Sylvia sent me out the door carrying a box filled with corn dogs, corn muffins, RC’s, Moon Pies, Jello – for Sparkle Girl, I refuse to eat the stuff – and a can of Easy Cheese.

I seldom buy Easy Cheese. But I have been a fan ever since a friend introduced me to the wonders of Cheese Waffies topped with rosettes of Easy Cheese. Plus, like whipped cream in a can, it’s fun to dispense.

Now, if you have not read the label on a can of Easy Cheese, I can see how you might jump to the conclusion that cheese in a can that never needs refrigeration would have all sorts of troublesome ingredients. (See hydrogenated fats above.) But, as long as you stop reading soon enough to avoid getting bogged down in the food colorings and preservatives at the end of the list, you will discover that it’s really pretty straightforward.

It’s real cheese in a real can.

Nonetheless, I fully expected Garnet to leave the Easy Cheese to me. The only question in my mind was whether she would make any snide comments as I enjoyed my bonus.

As it turned out, the only question was whether she was going to pass the can when I would ask for it. The can did not last the afternoon.

The next day when I called to say that I was coming over and to ask whether I needed to pick up anything along the way – another gallon of milk for Mr. Doobins is a common request – she asked me to pick up a can of Easy Cheese.

A couple of days later, when we were making out a shopping list for supplies for a picnic for Sparkle Girl and Mr. Doobins, her eyes lit up when I asked whether she wanted me to pick up some more Easy Cheese and a box of cheese crackers.

As much as Garnet enjoys it, cheese in a can that does not need refrigeration doesn’t rest comfortably in her self-image.

As she was getting in her car to take the kids home while I went to the grocery store, I ran through the list of things I needed to pick up. When I got to Easy Cheese, she shushed me. When I asked what that was about, she said that she was afraid one of the neighbors might overhear her advocating the purchse of cheese in a can.

In the days since, she has taken to comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various brands and flavors – American, cheddar, sharp cheddar – as well as the best sizes and brands of cheese crackers to put it on.

Garnet told me that, if I took her secret public, she was going to tell everyone how funny I looked chasing that croquet ball down the street in hopes of getting to it before it disappeared down the storm drain at the corner. (Doobins had given it a mighty whack that sent it shooting out of the yard.)

If she had a camera phone, that threat might have given me pause. She doesn’t. So I’m going to take my chances.

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