DON’T RUN AWAY, there is no math in this post! There is psychology, however 🙂
When I responded to the Daily Prompt a few days ago on odd combinations of food, I completely ignored the fact that apples have included strange and not-so-strange combinations for me, and so I wanted to post about that since it actually fits in well with my situation from the last month or so.
Before I hit the “Read More” tag, I should say that the subtitle of this post is “Apples: The Good, The Ugly, the Bad.”
So, you probably notice that the order of those three words are out of the expected order: it is more often seen as “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Well, I think that “ugly” second makes my argument flow better. So let me get started with The Good.
When I eat apples as is (i.e. not mashed up or at worst sliced), I often eat them with honey, even when it is not during the Jewish high holidays, perhaps because that time has conditioned me to enjoy apples with honey year round. Yes, it does remove some of the special feel of the holidays, but I have never been much for seasonal food–when I crave something, I don’t care what season we are in! Chili tastes great to me in the summer, and ice cream I will often desire in the winter!
Sometimes, I’ll have apples “plain” if on a bike ride, when they are offered at rest stops, since I don’t carry honey in my jersey pocket–too messy! Or, I’ll have unadorned apples as part of a fruit salad. These usually taste just as good, although I much prefer varieties such as Gala or Fuji to Red Delicious.
Keeping in The Good, I shift from regular apples to applesauce, and coincidentally this is also with relation to a Jewish holiday–חנוכה (Hanukkah). I always associate latkes (potato pancakes) with this holiday, and latkes are traditionally served with sour cream and/or applesauce. When I was younger, I always ate them straight with no toppings. As of a few years ago, I have added applesauce while eating them, but still no sour cream. But, when I eat Mom’s latkes, I don’t need any additives on top, because they are excellent as is!
The mention of applesauce allows a transition to The Ugly. Throughout my life, I have held a complex toward swallowing pills, and so on the rare occasions when I have been suffering from acute pain due to injuries or headaches, I have gotten liquid acetaminophen or ibuprofen (even the children’s version on the latter, since I can’t find liquid adult medicines in easy reach!) and it gets quite expensive.
So, last year, my parents got me a mortar & pestle so that I could crush up pills and then mask them in something while taking the medicine. That mask started out as applesauce, and the first time that I used it was when I took a spill on the ice at the beginning of the year. Of course, it was then used extensively at the beginning of July. Thus, the strongest association of applesauce to me right now is acute injuries. Thankfully, the spiking of the applesauce has not triggered my gag reflex or caused significant GI problems.
But, another form of apples ARE associated with GI problems for me, and thus constitute The Bad. When we used to live in Fort Dodge, we frequently took summer trips to Nebraska to spend time with grandparents and aunts and uncles. One of these times (it was either when I was 6 or 7), we went to Omaha, and ALL of my family came down with a nasty stomach bug (much worse than what I suffered last week, since diarrhea was my only symptom last week).
During the worst of it, anything that I attempted to down quickly boomeranged back. The strongest association for that was apple juice that I attempted to drink, and so ever since then, a Garcia effect has dissuaded me from drinking apple juice. I KNOW that the apple juice did not cause the illness, but that sort of complex is very difficult to overcome. It is okay, since apple juice is not a necessary nutrient.
At least regular apples and smoothies with apples have not caused any health problems or classical conditioning responses.
I find it weird that I therefore associate apples with celebrations, injury, AND illness. The best of times, the worst of times!
Might as well throw a figure that is worth the fewer-than-thousand words that I used in this post.
Today is the two-hundred and eighteenth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes thirty-one weeks and one day.
Today is the twenty-third day of the Character Building Trial. That makes three weeks and two days.