You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?
My favorite prompt this week comes from The Daily Post. I loved it because I’ve been on a 1200-calorie-per-day diet since January and have become totally obsessed with daydreams about food. I thought it’d be easy to pick five foods that I’d want from my captors, but as usual, I’ve overthought the whole thing, and now am not sure what foods to request. Am I locked up, or free to move about the island? Are the captors providing me with five ready-to-eat foods (i.e. prepared dishes) that I just dig right into? Or are they providing me with five raw materials to cook any way I choose? If I’m my own chef, am I exiled to an island with a fully equipped kitchen, or am I cooking in a salvaged tin can over a campfire that refuses to stay lit when it rains?
If I’m free to wander but only get five ingredients that I can then cook for myself, I want:
I’m confident I could manage all of these ingredients in a full kitchen or over a fire, and that I could keep my taste buds engaged by foraging for other fruits and maybe some herbs on the island. I’m also not a bad fisherwoman, so I could add variety to my protein intake that way. (How am I gonna catch fish, you ask? Trust me, MacGyver’s got nothing on me. I’ll scavenge the beach for washed-up bits of net, pull the hem out of my pants and tie on a repurposed bobby pin for a hook, sharpen a tree branch to use as a spear… I’m nothing if not resourceful, and doubly so if I’m hungry.)
If my captors are offering me only five ready-to-eat foods in a jail cell, then I’m ordering:
1. Mushrooms on toast
2. Pizza with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes
3. Oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins
4. Chef salad with ranch dressing, hold the hard-boiled eggs
5. Rib-eye steak, medium, smothered in sautéed mushrooms and onions
I think there’s enough variety here to maintain a healthy diet and rotate some different options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (assuming, of course, my captors believe in three square meals a day).
I notice that chocolate is not on either of my lists, and wonder about that omission. I can go for long stretches without eating chocolate, unless I know it is not available, and then I crave it to the point of madness. For the sake of my sanity and for the safety of my captors, I wonder if I should replace one item from each list with a Hershey bar? So many doubts and questions for such a simple prompt…