Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cheap is often better

It still doesn't look much like winter here - there's no snow on the ground and the trees look lonely without their leaves. It's hard to believe just two hours from here that there's tons of snow on the ground.
My cold has returned with a vengence, this time giving me a sore throat, sniffles and a cough that is only settled with hot or cold drinks. As a result, I have no sense of smell and therefore, next to no ability to taste.
This is not a time to waste on high quality, expensive teas and coffees. I can't taste them and my throat simply wants to be soothed. So today, it's lots of plain, black tea and the cheapest decaf coffee. It is at times like this that inexpensive is really the best. Interestingly enough, Earl Grey is one of the few things that I can taste, along with honey. I never put honey into my tea although many say it soothes a sore throat. I just can't stand the idea of sweet hot tea. Now sweet cold tea is an entirely different matter.
Honey is another item that I genuinely prefer cheap. As a child, my mother would buy the occasional container of creamed honey and to this day, it's the only honey that I like. I've tried them all - paying some pretty ridiculous prices for some of it. And you know what - I still prefer the plain old creamed honey from the grocery store. It has to be creamed - liquid honey just doesn't do it for me. I know it's all the same - but for some reason, to me, creamed just tastes better.
I think most of our tastes are formed in childhood. If you grew up eating homemade cookies, you'll always prefer homemade cookies. If your childhood was filled with storebought foods, you probably always prefer them as well. As adults, we may feel a need to try new and different foods and we'll sometimes find new favorites. I never ate garlic before my 30s. It just wasn't something my family used. Now I can't imagine a day without it. But even with our new favorites, the tastes from our past will often follow us into our futures.

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