I've talked before about how much I love candy, but I didn't give you, loyal readers, the full story about my particular love of Swedish Fish. (I did give pretty close to the whole story last September, but I have a few more followers now than I did then, so if you've been with me for a while, I apologize for the repeat topic.) Oddly, my attachment to this wonderful treat has less to do with its flavor or texture than with its humor and associations.
"Humor of candy?" you ask. Yes, here's the story, most of which I've told before.
In April of 2016, I nearly died from a random tumor that had been eating away, unbeknownst to me, at my stomach and esophagus for many years. When the GIST poked a hole, I was bleeding internally. My husband got me to the local hospital, where they figured out what was going on and transported me to Yale's Smilow Cancer Center. (That place is amazing, so maybe I'll write a post about their awesomeness some other time.) The night before my surgery, I had two dreams that I shared, via group chat, with my family. In the first dream, I was trying to buy a new pair of jeans while still wearing my hospital gown. In the second dream, I was eating Swedish Fish. (I hadn't worn real clothes or eating any food through my mouth in a few days. The deep hidden desires of these two dreams aren't really hard to figure out.)
Hours later, I woke up after the surgery and checked my phone. I had over a hundred texts in the group chat. While I was under the knife (Does laparoscopic surgery use knives? I don't know), my family had been coming up with so many fish puns. So many puns, too many to read all of, really, but I felt loved and thought about.
So even though Swedish Fish get stuck on my teeth, even though all the colors end up tasting the same, and even though too many give me a tummy ache, they taste like the love and support of my family. They taste like waking up alive. They taste like the road to recovery.
After the surgery, my dad and step-mom sent me a five-pound bag of Swedish Fish. I couldn't eat them for the first month after surgery, but boy did I enjoy them after that. (Thanks again, R and P!) I shared some, but ate most of the bag myself because every one reminded me that I am loved.
What foods make you feel loved? Feel free to share any food-related story in the comments. Then, go out and eat a few bites of your food.