After months of nothing but rice, coconuts, and things you can get out of a can, we all began to crave 'real' food. One morning over the breakfast mat my father related a dream he had, where he was fishing a carton of ice cream out of a refrigerator, and it kept melting before he could get it to his mouth. Meal times became dream fests. We would all take turns to relate what we would be eating, if we could.
"I want a bowl of Cheerios, and some cold milk," Matthew said. We all licked our lips and mmmmm'd in agreement. I gazed forlornly down at my own bowl of burnt granola we had made in a stone oven a week earlier, drenched in watered down powdered milk. I stirred it with my spoon and a little dead weevil came floating to the top, circling in the eddies my spoon left.
"I want some pancakes, with real syrup, lots of it, and scrambled eggs," Anna said. My mom made pancakes occasionally, but we ate them with peanut butter (for more protein, she said), and jelly from a can. Eggs were a rare treat, brought to us by the occasional village kid. We never knew if they were from chickens or ducks, or if we would find the nice little treat of a half-formed chicken embryo inside. I still can't crack open an egg today without a little shiver of horrified anticipation.
Nathan just sat there glumly, chopping at his granola with his spoon and waiting for his first opportunity to bolt.
"Danica, what would your ideal breakfast be?" My dad asked, turning to me. I thought a bit.
"I want Pop Tarts," I said. "The kind with frosting and sprinkles on them." Pop Tarts had only just come out when we left the States, and even then my family was too poor to buy them (and my mom was probably philosophically opposed to them anyway, because they had the dreaded 'too much sugar'). But I had tasted them at my Aunt Peebsie's house, crunchy and sweet, chewy on the inside, with sprinkles that stayed last in your mouth after everything else had gone. I took another bite of my granola and closed my eyes, imagining it was a strawberry Pop Tart. Yummm.....