On Tuesday, I poisoned myself with my own cooking. I woke up in the middle of the night all shivery and clammy with a knot in my stomach, and set up camp on the notoriously cold and impossibly hard tile of the bathroom floor.
I reviewed my lunch and dinner choices to try and find the culprit, and in doing so, realized it could have been any one of about a dozen different dishes.
I'm not a great cook, but I don't usually make myself vomit. When I did an inventory of my refrigerator, I found a smorgasbord of leftovers--salmon from Friday, black beans and sausage from Thursday, chicken stir fry from Wednesday, and a pork tenderloin from a date I could no longer remember. The lunchmeat was two weeks old, and on the counter was its sandwich companion, a loaf of moldy bread.
This is new territory for me. With my two big boys and their friends, food never hung around for long. But no more. With one boy at college, and the other in his own apartment, my big eaters have abandoned me and left me with leftovers.
Last week when I got on the scale I had to admit that the only one eating the potato chips was me. Same with the fudge stripe cookies. I can no longer use the boys as an excuse. There are no boys.
This is terrible news.
I've come face to face with my demons. I used to bake a banana bread knowing that I could eat one piece, and within forty-eight hours it would no longer tempt me. No more. Now it remains on my counter, day after day, calling my name, threatening to go to waste when children are starving somewhere in the world.
I know this is a common problem when the kids leave home--mothers need to figure out how to shop and cook for a reduced audience. For Jewish mothers long accustomed to equating lots of food with lots of love, it's the final insult.
I'm just sick about it.