What would it matter just to order a box like this? a little voice echoed in my head.
The more I imagined the flavors, the more I wanted almond butter--so creamy and fresh when spread on an apple slice. But thoughts of cheating on my so-called food budget made me remember my sour disappointment in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver when I read that they kept "emergency rations of mac and cheese," and never gave up coffee in their so-called year of eating only from the local food basket.
Kingsolver had referred to the 100-Mile Diet couple as "purists." But I was also disappointed when I discovered the 100-Mile Diet couple ate processed food from the industrial food chain whenever they traveled. On their TV show on the Green Planet, they renamed this the Randy Rule. Go out of town and what you eat doesn't count. I wonder if most Americans (oh and Canadians, maybe the whole world) are just into denial.
"The first and worst fraud is to cheat oneself. All sin is easy after that," said Pearl Bailey, an American singer and actress from the 1950s. So if I cheat on a food budget, who really cares besides me and my savings account?
I finally decided if I wanted the almond butter, I'd have to use money from my "dream box" and buy less blueberries this summer. Almost as soon I'd resigned myself to counting change and doing with less in the future, I spotted a familiar jar on the back shelf of the refrigerator. The label was turned away from me, but as I reached for it, I realized it was a full jar of my favorite Massa Organics almond butter.
Happy days! No cheating or robbing the blueberry fund for me, not yet anyway, but I'll tell you this, if I go off the budget, I'm going to call it what it is--cheating the food budget. And I'm not keeping emergency rations of mac and cheese on hand any time soon. We're so lucky in this country to have a back-up food system and all the justification we want for our food preferences.
What about you? What's your weakness?