Snack of the Afternoon, 7/23/09: STRETCH ISLAND FRUIT LEATHER

Collect 'em all!
Collect 'em all!

At work we have a stocked kitchen (the road to hell is paved with food from stocked kitchens), and we can add requests to the shopping list. Recently I added “fruit leather” to the list, and lo and behold, like Christmas in July, I have my fruit leathers.

Last season I was feeling nostalgic for my school days and requested “fruit roll-ups,” but we ended up getting all sorts of crazy newfangled fruit roll-ups that didn’t fit my needs, and also seemed to be made of a mixture of wax and plastic. They were delicious, but I felt gross about it.

This season I wised up and/or decided that I would try to start out on a healthy foot, so I requested fruit leathers. People will walk by me while I’m eating and say, “What is that?” Now that people know, I’m getting a lot of jokes, like, “I didn’t realize you were into leather.”

Fruit leathers and I go wayyy back to my elementary school days, which pre-date modern medicine. Seriously. When I was in 2nd grade, my desk-neighbor (and fellow Girl Scout Troop member) had diabetes. That was before blood sugar-monitoring insulin pumps, or at least before they were a common thing. Every day during class, Annie had to put some blood from her finger onto a little strip and insert it into a blood sugar-reading machine. Then she would eat a Stretch Island fruit leather and star-shaped lemon crackers that came in a little black package. (She might have also given herself a shot, but I was squeamish–although I was oddly fascinated by the finger-pricking. Subsequently, I don’t remember seeing it happen.)

Annie ate her snack before the rest of the class got dismissed for the morning snack break, and every morning I would look enviously at her bounty. Yes, I coveted a diabetic kid’s blood sugar food. I’m not proud. (If you read the So You Think You Can Dance post, you are probably thinking that I am the worst right about now. Cancer? Diabetes? What’s next?) Sometimes Annie would offer me a lemon cracker, or a little corner of her fruit leather, because she was the best. We are Facebook friends now and everything.

So now you know that I steal fruit leathers from diabetic kids, and Jelly Bellies from writers. I am a wonderful person.

Admittedly, fruit leathers are not the most delicious thing out there. But to me, they taste like 2nd grade friendship. (And finger-blood. No, just kidding.) I guess that’s emotional eating? Oh no, I lose.

Hearts and star-shaped crackers,

Countess Snackula


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