Much of my wife Emily’s food and drink tastes err on the side of—I’m trying to be diplomatic here, Em—grandmotherly. Currently we have in our fridge a 12-pack of plain seltzers and in our cupboard two bags of “original flavor” Goldfish crackers, purchased on a BOGO Market Basket sale.

In the morning, if she can spare the time before work, Emily will cook a soft-boiled egg. But because neither of us can bear to get up at the first alarm, our A.M. regimen compresses and we end up scrambling to eat even the poorest excuse for breakfast, which for the past month has been toast with spreadable cheese.

Our grandchildren won’t look forward to visits if we keep up this bland kitchen stock, this Werther’s Original palate, this plain and mild flavor personality profile. Yesterday I looked at a head of cabbage and thought, “You know what, I could boil this up.”

My paternal grandmother had a reliable inventory of candies with no certain sell-by date. I ate them regardless of their staleness, savoring each pinstripe mint and concrete-hard caramel cream. She had a bubble gum machine modified so that it didn’t need nickels to dispense the goods, and my sister and I figured out that the perfect Christmas gift for her was a refill pack of bubble gum balls so that on every visit we knew we would have gum to chew.

I hope to have such industrious grandchildren when the time comes, because Em and I will need them.

Here’s some good ambient luster from Goldmund. More here.

[Photo by Pen Waggener]

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