Cultured Joy

If there is one activity that I dislike (well, there are many, but this is the featured disliked activity of the day), it is the weekly purchasing of groceries to feed my never-satiated family. Towards the end of every week, I trudge bolstered by a solid shopping list and purchase all the requested items for their chomping pleasure.

Well, this week I cracked. I went grocery shopping and purchased all the required items on the shopping list, and then I went rogue. I purchased…

Yogurt, but not just any yogurt...

8% fat yogurt.

Yup, now I see you swooning.

For the last three years with a goal of healthful eating, my yogurt dining habits changed to 0% fat Greek yogurt. As a foundation for my morning berries and a substitute for sour cream, fat-free yogurt has been featured in many of my meals. Then starting to make my own yogurt, I moved from 0% to 2% Greek yogurt…about 20% more delicious and again featuring prominently in my diet.

Running out of active culture (two tablespoons of cultured yogurt), I found myself needing to purchase a brand-name yogurt. Instead of reaching for the 0% fat as I normally would, I rebelled and grabbed the strawberry 8% Greek. Not just rebellion but all-out mutiny.

Bringing it home and after unloading my groceries, I popped it open and savored my first creamy bite. At 500 ml, I had abundant yogurt for the next few days as my frugal heart would not allow me to overindulge on this precious substance. In the spirit of generosity, I ran around to the two family members who were home and encouraged them each to have a bite. They nodded appreciatively to humor me, but after a comment of “good,” they each said the same thing…not overly sweet and cannot taste the strawberries. I told them high-end yogurt such as this just gave you the hint of strawberries but was too refined to go overboard on the sugar and the strawberries

What I learned is that children who have not suffered 0% fat yogurt cannot appreciate “the good stuff.”

Yesterday morning, I indulged in a yogurt/granola combination. As I scooped out of the yogurt, I added a tiny extra dab and realized that there was a dark substance at the bottom of my yogurt tub. Originally a 500 ml container, the volume was more at 150 ml when I discovered the anomaly. There, lying in all its shimmering beauty was the strawberry portion of the yogurt. Apparently higher fat yogurt is too good to do its own stirring. Swirling it around, I now had myself a super strawberry, super sweet concoction which I was not planning to share with anyone.

The moral of the story is that when you savor the sheer joy that the simple things in life can offer, more joy can be uncovered, sweeter and more strawberry than you ever could imagine.

Don’t cry over spilled milk. By this time tomorrow, it’ll be free yogurt.

- Steven Colbert

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