EDITOR’S NOTE — Jody and Dan Spark takes turns each week writing about life on their McLure acreage. This week it’s Jody’s turn.
COLUMN — I hate to confess this, but we have a little problem with sweeteners in our house.
Whether it be brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, sweeteners just don’t seem to last very long around here thanks to one person — and it’s not the one who’s pregnant. When it comes to these sweets, Dan doesn’t have any will power. He will consume them in great quantities during his “toast parties” until they’re completely gone.
If it’s honey, it’s honey on toast. If it’s maple syrup, he calls it pancakes, except no pancakes. If it’s brown sugar, he calls it cinnamon toast, except no cinnamon.
The fact he expends a lot of physical energy may contribute to his high caloric need, so the problem isn’t an expanding waist line. One problem is that I never have the ingredients I need for baking or the children’s oatmeal.
But the bigger problem is that he feels guilty for binging, and blames ME because of it.
Let me relay the typical conversation:
I come home with groceries, bought according to the meals and baking planned for that week. Dan helps me put them away.
“WHAT is THIS?!?” he says, holding up honey and glaring at me.
“It’s honey,” I reply, “I have this recipe that calls for…”
“Why are you DOING THIS TO ME? Don’t you know that I will eat it all?!!”
“Dear, I was just…”
“NO! You must hide it until you use it, OK?!”
So, I began to hide the sweeteners. First, I would just put them in cupboards where they didn’t belong like above the fridge, above the stove, or behind the tea towels.
But that wasn’t good enough. I’d wake up at night after Dan would come home and the house would reek of toast and I would know he had a toast party. The next morning I always expected a good ragging:
“I found your hiding spot,” he says, eyes shooting daggers.
“Jody, you’re going to HAVE to do better than that. Don’t you KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN!”
He’s dead serious.
So, I found better hiding spots in the kitchen. The best one was in the wheat grinder. It took him a week to find that one. I then decided I must move them out of the kitchen, but it only took him a few days to find the syrup between the towels in the linen closet.
It was starting to get really stressful, but you know it’s a really big problem when your four-year-old gets paranoid about it. I would bring out the honey in the morning to put a little dollop in the kid’s oatmeal and Wee Sparkling’s eyes would be as wide as saucers.
“Mommy! You left the honey out! Hide it! Hide it! Daddy’s coming!”
Now the sweeteners are in a very obscure place, hidden for almost two weeks. I’d love to tell you where, but Dan reads what I write. And around here, honey is classified.
Dan and Jody Spark are in their fourth year of living their back-to-the-land dream on their small acreage at McLure and they are having the time of their life.