Tired of hearing about it already? Or maybe you have yet to hear the news.
Hostess -makers of the rolled-up, chocolatey Ho Hos, the tangy lemon Zingers and, most iconically, those fluffily stuffed Twinkies- is closing its doors after 82 years of dishing out sugar-saturated sweets.
Many of you are probably thinking, ‘Good! Americans don’t need to be eating more high-processed foods anyways. A farewell to Hostess products is fine by me.‘
And for the most part, I agree with this. For the most part.
I am a staunch believer in eating foods that provide nourishment to our bodies – taking care of the awesome (humbly, I might add) bodies that God has blessed us with. And these foods should be comforting too, not an avoidance of rich, whole cream over fresh strawberries or a thick slice of velvety butter on a hearty piece of toast. (Drooling…)
While the foods we eat give us vitally important nutrients, they deliver something more meaningful than that. Meals make memories.
And let me tell you, I have a lovely Twinkies memory.
I remember my mom as being a pretty health-conscious person. When we’d go to the grocery store, I’d almost always ask if we could ‘please, just this once, get those Costco muffins that smell ten times better than expensive perfume.’ Instead of a firm, “no,” she drew my attention to the cardboard boxes overflowing with vibrant green grapes and dimply Satsuma oranges, asking which one of these I’d enjoy instead.
On most days, she would gently steer me away from foods with hydrogenated oils and saturated fats.
But some days, the world was a better place if we just stopped to see if the Krispy Kreme “hot doughnuts now!” sign was on, or if there was a glass of Champagne with dinner, or if we bought a box of emergency Twinkies to stick in the pantry.
I considered these comfort food cravings to be pretty normal. After all, deprivation of the foods we love -albeit something that might clog your arteries a tad- just takes too much joy out of our lives. And I’ve never heard of a person keeling over after eating one Twinkie, anyways.
So yes, my mom indulged in a Twinkie every now and then. But apparently her love of Twinkies was more than just a once-a-year treat. Truth be told, my mom once whispered to me that she had wanted a wedding cake made entirely of those squishy, yellow cream cakes!
I’ve heard my mom and dad’s wedding was pretty lively (popcorn machines, hot dogs …), but I think a Twinkie cake would have caused my dad’s mother, a tried-and-true Southern belle, to faint.
So, alas, my mom did not have her Twinkie wishes come true … on her wedding day, that is.
When my mom passed away from ovarian cancer -over nine years ago- my dad and I wanted to throw her a memorial fit for the whimsical, vivacious woman she was.
We had leis flown in from Hawaii, whoopee cushions, bottles of French Champagne, and to top is all off, my cousin and I made the Twinkie cake.
And was it a sight for sore eyes!
I’m guessing we used over 100 Twinkies for this thing, piled high up on top of each other in the shape of a mountain, which we then generously coated with buttercream frosting. Instead of a cherry on top, I cut out a picture of my mom skiing and stuck her on the side of the cake, I mean, Mt. Twinkie.
It probably had 500 calories per serving. It probably filled most people’s Twinkie quota for their lifetime. It probably gave you a sugar buzz that lasted all week. But you know what? It was 100 percent worth it.
Meals make memories, even Twinkies.