I am my father's daughter. Though the cooking I do is typically healthy, one thing I have in common with Dad is that I sometimes get a craving that is undeniable. I don't mean the type of craving you get where you think, "Hmm, I think stir-fry might be nice for dinner." I'm talking about the kind that starts as a nagging voice in the back of your mind, and builds over days at a time. Should you try to suppress the Craving, and allow days to turn into weeks, you will find yourself making a trip to the store at the most inconvenient time, and doing your food shopping at places like Walgreen's. Because you just have to get whatever-it-is you've been trying to tell yourself that you don't need, or is too high in fat, or doesn't fit with your ideals. And you have to get it right then.
Spam is not for everyone. In fact, I don't think it appeals to a lot of people, even those who are dedicated meat-eaters. I remember walking into my friend Jen's house one morning in high school. Her father worked for Dial corporation, which had recently acquired the company that produced Treet, a rival product of Spam. He had gotten a lot of free Treet as a result of the merger, and was packing Treet sandwiches for all the kids. One of them, Jason, was having none of it. As I walked up the stairs, I heard her dad saying, "Jason, do you like pork? Do you like chicken? Do you like beef? Well, good. Because IT'S ALL IN THERE." I'm sure Jason tried unsuccessfully to trade his lunch that day.
Well, I've never tried Treet. But I grew up with Spam, and for me it is a fond memory. In my younger days, before I turned fifteen and my metabolism came to a screeching halt, I ate as much as four grown men at every meal. I also had no standards or "ideals" to speak of, and I only obeyed my instinct -- to eat what was tasty. And oh baby, I could eat those pan-seared slices of Spam just as long as Dad would cook 'em up, and the stockpile of cans in the cabinet held out.
Now, I still adore the idea of Spam for kitsch value (a reputation I think the company is well aware of, due to their production of an extensive catalog of items, a museum, and a pretty awesome, if slightly obnoxious, website). But come on. I'm not that girl anymore. I can't stand most Hormel products (Dinty Moore beef stew gives me the shivers just to think about... And remember the Frankenstuff hot dogs with chili inside? In the commercial the dog was struck with lightning, and the chili gushed out. Uhhhk.) I don't generally eat mystery meat, or pork of any kind. Except, of course, for those times when I do.
And don't bother with the Spam Lite. It doesn't taste the same, and that unsatisfied craving just might get rolled over to another day. When you experience the Craving, just go for it. Serve a bit of it diced in scramble eggs with onion for dinner, some green veggies on the side, and enjoy. If our lives are like houses, then a good home is all about balance. And sometimes the cracks can be patched up nicely with Spam.