I don’t know about you, but I always associate holidays and festivities with food. In fact, there’s a saying in my family that we don’t celebrate anything without preparing some sort of feast. Thus, one can understand why I am excited about tomorrow, September 22, 2010: it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival!!!
24 hours ago, I was in a state of bliss: I was going to hop on the 1 train after my last class on Wednesday and journey home so I could stuff my face with my Mom and Dad’s homecooked meal. I would fill my bowl with fluffy white rice and dive into the spicy prawns and savory chinese broccoli; I would munch on crispy pork and salted peanuts with wild abandon. And to top it all off, I would finish my dinner with one (or possibly two?) sweet mooncakes. Mmmmm!
But my bubble of a daydream was unfortunately popped by my suitemate when she mentioned that mooncakes are too fattening and unhealthy to eat. Call me naive, but I never really thought about the caloric value or grams of fat in food. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are drinks that are filled with artificial nonsense and that twinkles (fried or otherwise) don’t do wonders for anyone’s health. It’s just that from as long as I can remember, my food motto has always been “eat what you like if you do so in moderation and exercise.” So when my friend brought up the “mooncake issue,” I began to question myself. Should I not eat the mooncake when I get home? Should I tell my family not to eat mooncakes? Are there low-fat/fat-free mooncakes?
And then it got me a-thinking about the food that is eaten during other holidays. We eat pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream on Thanksgiving and fruitcake on Christmas. And what about the rich eggnogs that many people gulp down during New Year’s? Just thinking about all of the desserts is sending me into a concerned sugar high.
In less 48 hours, I will be taking the 1 train back home. I will hug my parents tight and they will ask me about my first few weeks back at college. We will prepare dinner and eventually settle down and dig into our food. And when the dishes are cleared and the mooncakes are placed on the table, I will cut the sweet pastry into quarter slices and enjoy myself. In the end, if we eat everything in small doses and remain physically active, I think that we can learn to love food without any guilt.
I’m still glad that my friend brought to my attention the sketchy nutritional value of mooncakes but I think that I will still enjoy my little slice of heaven. Even if it’s only a quarter.