I was 16, and I was stoned.
I was stoned, and I wanted to eat cheese.
My best friend and I had no money, and we were both too stoned to go home and face the eyes of our parents staring into our souls as we would make our way into the kitchen to find some cheddar.
In reality, our parents would likely take a quick glance at us as we walked through the door, wondering why we were walking so slowly, but it would feel like they were staring directly into our stoned souls.
Getting stoned wasn’t something that I did often because there was a 50 / 50 chance that I would start hallucinating and have an intense out of body experience as soon as I took my first hit.
You might think that this would be enough to never smoke pot, but for me, it was just enough to avoid being a stoner. It was also enough to steer me clear of LSD.
If I was Alice, going down her rabbit hole on weed, I didn’t want to imagine my brain on acid. I took a major loss in cool points for the number of times I just said no to acid in high school.
So we were stoned and we wanted cheese. We had no money and we weren’t about to go home. So we came up with a plan. We thought it was a really good plan, but then again, we were stoned.
Here’s what we did. We drove my friend’s 1973 yellow VW bug to The Food Basket, the local discount grocery store (known as “The Trash Basket” by locals).
Filled with paranoia and adrenaline, we made our way to the cheese aisle. We walked right past the Mozzarella and the Feta. We didn’t stop at the Jack or the Swiss. Instead, we made a stoned beeline for the Kraft Singles.
I nonchalantly picked up the singles, placed them in our basket, and we proceeded to the bathroom.
Our thinking was this…
If we walked out of the store without paying for the cheese it would definitely be stealing. And who wants to get caught stealing cheese at 16? The thought of the nicknames that would ensue was enough to come up with an alternative plan.
We would take the cheese to the bathroom, eat it all while we were technically still in the store, and then walk out the front door. With this plan, there would be zero chance of getting caught since all the cheese would be in our bellies.
We had our plan, we had our cheese and we were headed for the bathroom. We made our way through the back of the warehouse and up the dark stairs.
For some reason, the Trash Basket’s restrooms were really scary and grungy. It would be the textbook setting to commit our crime.
We opened the door and were immediately disappointed that it was the type of bathroom that had separate stalls, and not just one room with a toilet. We would have to make do with squeezing into one stall, chowing down and hoping that no one else came and heard the unwrapping of the Singles.
We were headed for our chosen stall, when all of a sudden, the door flung open, and a Trash Basket worker made her appearance.
The woman looked at our shopping basket with the lone pack of Kraft Singles and then looked at us. I was a deer in headlights. My friend was much breezier about the whole situation.
She opened one of the stalls and pretended like we were just in there so she could pee. Who the hell would eat anything in a grungy bathroom stall? Was this woman actually going to imply that we had intentions to eat the cheese?
The woman stood there staring at me while my friend tried to pee. Trash Basket lady clearly didn’t have to go to the bathroom because she didn’t make a move in the direction of the two other empty stalls. She was in fact, there to bust us.
My friend still thought we had hope, if only we could get the worker to leave. So she called out “Lady, you’re giving me piss angst. Can you come back when I’m done peeing?.”
To this she replied “I will leave right after you ladies leave the restroom and pay for your item”.
Shit. Now we were really screwed. Not only was she going to follow us out of the bathroom, she was going to follow us to the checkout line and see to it that we paid. This was bad news for us because we had exactly zero money.
To the workers announcement, my friend replied “We’re not going to buy anything if you don’t give me some privacy. I can’t pee with you standing outside my stall.”
Rightfully so, the woman didn’t budge, but I saw where my friend was going with this. We were going to turn this around, make it the worker’s fault, while we positioned ourselves as innocent shoppers who just had to take a pee.
My friend came out of the stall, made it a point that she was not going to wash her hands since she had not gone to the bathroom, and we both huffed and puffed back down the stairs, shopping basket in tow.
The worker followed us every step of the way. We went right back to the cheese aisle, and the worker watched us as we angrily put the Singles back on the shelf, telling her that we were going to go home to tell our moms about the rude woman who wouldn’t let us pee in peace.
The worker was unfazed and followed us all the way out the front door.
Our plan had been foiled and we were cheeseless once again. But that was okay because we were less stoned than when we started, so going home to face parents and dig in the fridge seemed like an acceptable plan.
I stopped eating cheese in 2008 when I went vegan.
I haven’t had a bite of it until last week on Christmas eve, when I had a small run in with Swiss Gruyère. I loved every single cheesy second of it.
The holidays are well and good, especially when it’s December, there’s family around and I’ve been swimming in the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea in the British Virgin Islands. But I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine after the new year.
The first thing I’m doing when I get back from holiday is my One Week Reboot. I do it a couple times a year to clean out my indulgence.
Also, I made a private Facebook group for people interested in eating healthy and don’t want the preachy, holier than thou attitude. Let’s create the most bomb healthy eating community on Facebook!
Today’s recipe is probably my favorite that I’ve come up with all year.
It’s a pure delight to eat and I found myself craving it for days after it was gone.
Kale Brussels Salad – Whole Food Plant Based
3 cups thinly sliced kale (130g)
3 cups thinly sliced brussels (240g)
1/4 cup tahini (60g)
3 dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes
- Place the sliced kale and the sliced brussels in a large mixing bowl.
- Make the dressing by adding the tahini, dates (strain from the water and make sure the pit is removed), vinegar, water and sea salt to the blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the kale and brussels and massage with your hands until everything is mixed together.
- Sprinkle some red pepper flakes and sliced almonds on top before you serve.
I hope you have a wonderful week and a happy and safe New Year’s celebration. Remember to let go of the stuff you can’t control. You have too much on your plate to worry about stuff that you can’t do anything about.
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