Monday, May 01, 2006

seeders, and proud of it

One of my nephews, who used to look robust in his teenage years, spent a year in Israel when he was twenty, came back almost 80 pounds lighter, and never looked back. A dismal school dorm diet jolted him into rethinking all his meals. Not only has he maintainted his featherweight ever since, but he assures me he is never on a diet. So, what gives? Beside becoming more conscious of what he ingests, he shared a ridiculously simple trick with me, and with whoever asks him: Eat things that take time to eat! And what might that be?

Well, to name a few, watermelon; popcorn; sandwiches prepared with whole grain dense bread; soup; salad; then comes my (and my husband’s) great favorite: sunflower seeds, in their shells of course. We simply couldn’t live without them. It’s the perfect eat-like-a-mensh-or -you-might-choke kind of food. Plus, it is delicious. Our favorite brand is Frito Lay; they come in 2 ¼ ounce vacuum-packed bags. We have done all the math: with all the painstaking shelling, it takes one and a half hours to finish a bag, a two hundred calorie treat. And so good for you, with the perfect oils and vitamins.

We hunker down to a bag (each, of course, there is a limit to sharing, even between a husband and a wife. Don’t touch my seeds!) just before watching a movie, or reading a book, or making our calls (if the other party mentions anything about a funny sound in the background, just answer innocently that you don’t notice anything) or even on short plane rides (yes, we dispose of our shells considerately!). You would think there was a famine, if you saw how doggedly we comb areas where we think a stray seed may have gone into hiding, no doubt trying to escape the onslaught: under a bed, a table, a blanket.

This week we ran out of them, and I frantically looked for them in every bodega, every supermarket, every pharmacy, with no luck. I was beginning to think that we had depleted, or maybe even drained, the national supply. I called Frito Lay in alarm, but they were very reassuring: they did notice they are flying off the shelves faster, so they are making them faster from now on, all the shelves were being filled as we spoke. You will never run out, from now on. Thank you Frito Lay! And thank G-d for small blessings!

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