In my experience, pregnancy brings about two things besides a steady gaining of weight: a desire for a sloppy joe sandwich and a phenomenon that is best described as preggo-brain.
I remember when I was pregnant for the first time. We were living in London. One day I decided – out of nowhere – that I HAD to have a sloppy joe. The only slight problem was that one couldn’t just go to the grocery store and pick up a can of Manwich. Because they didn’t sell Manwich in fancy London. So I did the next best thing: consulted a Rachel Ray cookbook that my sister in law had given me, which just so happened to contain a recipe for ‘homemade’ sloppy joes.
I followed the recipe, eagerly anticipating the sloppy joe goodness that would soon be mine. But, of course, it didn’t taste at all like I remembered the sandwiches I’d consumed as a church youth group member.
Somehow when I was pregnant the second time, the craving never hit. Or if it did, I don’t remember it. (See previous reference to phenomenon known as preggo-brain.) But the third time’s the charm, because the craving reared its head with a vengeance on Sunday. As I walked by the church kitchen on my way to the parking lot I saw bags of hot dog buns. I’ve no idea what they were intended for. I certainly didn’t smell anything resembling a hot dog or a sloppy joe. But, in an almost Pavlovian moment, with that simple sighting, my lunch plans were set. In stone.
I charged Jason with going to the grocery store to pick up the Manwich and ground beef and buns. He returned with the ground beef and the bread. But no Manwich. ‘I couldn’t find it anywhere,’ he apologized. (How could that be – this is Canada, they sell everything American here, don’t they?) Realizing he was dealing with a very specific request, he’d taken it upon himself to bring home a substitute. A package of French’s sloppy joe mix.
I had my doubts, but had no recourse other than to proceed with Plan B. I certainly wasn’t going to make another trip to the grocery store just to see if he’d happened to walk by the Manwich display.
My doubts were confirmed. French’s and Manwich were not the same thing, at least not in my mind. But who really knows at this point since I can’t even pinpoint the last time I actually had a bonafide Manwich sloppy joe sandwich. Perhaps I’ve artificially inflated my fondness for ground beef in spiced tomato sauce. Served hot on a cheap bun. Preferably with some cut up carrots and cucumbers and ranch dressing for dipping. And chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
Could it be that sloppy joes were never that good?
But I digress. I decided to call the fake sandwiches ‘fanwiches’ instead of manwiches. It just seemed wrong to call them by any other name. What was most perplexing to me, however, was how much the boys LOVED them. Mr. G carried on about what a great lunch it was and how he loved ‘this’ kind of food. And the Hen ate an entire sandwich all by himself. Enough said.
Though, to be fair, when I offered my oldest another fanwich for dinner, he declined. ‘We already ate that today,’ he responded, as if to say it was good, but not that good.