Last week I grabbed one of my favorite snacks of pita chips and hummus during my usual shopping trip. I love to snack on these while cooking dinner or relaxing in front of the TV, and my mouth was practically watering just thinking about munching on them when I got home. Plus, it’s one of the few snacks that my kids and husband don’t like, so I didn’t have to share!
Once I got home, I tore open the bag of pita chips and started dipping and chomping away while preparing dinner for the kids. Since this was technically my “first meal” of the day, I was expecting an explosion of savory goodness to overtake my taste buds, but instead, it tasted a bit bland. I ate a couple more dipped pita chips, figuring I just hadn’t taken the time to savor the complex textures and flavors, but those bites fell flat too. Maybe I was too distracted from cooking? I decided that I would try eating my beloved snack again once I could relax. Unfortunately, eating in the sanctuary of my bedroom while watching The Handmaid’s Tale didn’t make any difference. There was still something lacking for me, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Salt? Oil? A different kind of chip?
Suddenly, the thought of celery popped in my mind, immediately followed by an internal “bleh!” I’ve never been a fan of celery, despite knowing all the great health benefits. I remember it being touted as a “negative calorie” food back in my calorie counting days. It’s also great for detoxing and contains natural antioxidants, blah, blah, blah. But I’ve just never liked it…the texture, the flavor, nothing.
That being said, I couldn’t get the thought of celery out of my mind. My mouth actually watered just thinking about it, which was beyond weird. Oh God…was I pregnant?! Or had my tastes changed so much from intermittent fasting, that I genuinely had a craving for celery? Hmmm…What IF?
I rummaged through my fridge to see what I had, and found a few wilted stalks of celery hiding at the bottom of my vegetable drawer. They were left over from the last batch of bone broth I made, and looked very sad, but they were edible. So I tore off a wimpy little stalk, swirled it in the hummus, took a small bite, and…WHOA. There was that flavor explosion that I looking for! The peppery flavor, the crunch, the freshness of it was soooo much better than those dinky pita chips that I used to eat by the bag. And that’s because these were week-old wilted stalks of celery. I could only imagine how much better a fresh bunch would taste.
The next day, I dropped by the grocery store after work to pick up a new bunch of celery. I was ridiculously excited to get situated and open my eating window with my newfound treat. Needless to say, I polished off several stalks and half the container of hummus in one sitting, full of pure food joy! Never in a thousand years did I think I would be eating celery because I genuinely wanted to. It’s amazing what new discoveries I’ve made once I started asking myself “What IF?” and allowing myself to explore the possibilities.