Essay: Add Sugar

Sep 18, 2020

When my mother cooked sweet potatoes, she put them in a casserole dish with miniature marshmallows on top.  When she baked acorn squash, she scraped out the seeds and put in butter and brown sugar.  She added white sugar to fresh strawberries and fresh peaches and lots of other fresh fruit. 

And because I was a kid, I thought this was the way to eat.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I ate fruits and vegetables by themselves—and of course, I discovered that they taste pretty great without any additional anything. 

I don’t fault my mother; she was doing what her mother did and passing it along to me.  Nobody seemed to worry much about sugar when I was growing up or about butter either or about salt.

Today, we worry about everything and while we might be healthier, it’s taken some of the fun out of eating.  Because I find myself thinking more about additives and preservatives and calories and nutrition than flavor. 

And I find myself wishing I could sit at my mother’s table one more time and eat strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream.  I can hear her voice from the kitchen, asking, “Would anyone like another helping?”