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Why do I crave the foods that I do not have in stock?

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Snowbound DC although I can walk to a grocery store so it isn't that dire. We stocked up and have plenty of things on hand but at the moment, I am obsessing about the things that I don't have. Just put the last potatoes in to bake for dinner. Suddenly I *must* make shepards pie which require potatos. Finished the last of the stoneground grits this morning. Can't think of a thing to eat for breakfast tomorrow other than grits, despite having oatmeal, bagels, eggs, bacon, you name it available.

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  1. i think it may have something to do with "pioneer spirit" and testing the mettle of one's pantry. do i have the depth and foresight to be able to weather harsh times with the bounty of what i've put by for my family? can i produce a remarkable meal using only what's on hand? have i forgotten essentials or can i glide seamlessly through days of being unable to pop out to the store?

    having been a rural homemaker for many years it was a matter of pride to be ready for any contingency. now that i'm an urban dweller i still think the same way but in smaller space.

    1. That's funny, I do the same thing. Half the time once I get the particular item I don't even want it anymore. I had a lot of "single mom" years where I couldn't afford much and craved everything but what I had on hand (usually not much!) I taught myself to figure out, was it something sweet I was craving, something salty, something with a given texture...then tried to substitute whatever was closest on hand. That did work often. What a blizzard you had there in DC, looks pretty in pictures but tough to face, I am certain. Hang in there, spring is coming!

      1. yeh I frequently have to remind myself when I have a craving for something that is not in the pantry that I am the main shopper in my house!!

        1. a good time to browse the internet and Chowhound for recipes that might strike your fancy with ingredients you do have! something that makes you go, "oh wait! now *that* sounds good! better even!" maybe you'll forget about the other craving temporarily... or maybe you'll realize you want to make the trek to the store :-) i've had it work both ways...

          1. Know that feeling!!! I had the worst craving for nachos on Sat. during that terrible blizzard - not just nachos but Velveeta nachos, something I never ever ever have on hand. In prep for tonight/tomorrow's storm, I've bought fixing for nachos, and I wager I won't want any. I attribute the crazy to the "grass greener on the other side" syndrome.

            1. Because, this is the way life is. "Ya never want a drink of water 'till the well runs dry"

              1. Classic "grass is always greener" syndrome. I have a different but similar affliction. No matter how carefully I plan my pre storm grocery shopping, when I'm in the kitchen I often end up making very different dishes from what I went out and shopped for. Its not really a problem but I have no idea why I went into this storm craving chiken paprikas and ended up with piles of fried chicken, meatballs instead of meatloaf, etc. But damn I'm completely out of grits too.

                1. Recently I've been struggling a little bit with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If I'm careless about the way I eat, my blood sugar will dip dramatically. It goes past the point of hunger and thirst to a point where I'm no longer hungry. Sometimes, I'm actually nauseous. I must force myself to eat to bring my blood sugar back up. I can't just gulp sugar of any kind because that'll spike my blood sugar for a bit but then it'll plummet lower.

                  So there are times when I'm surrounded by -- literally -- a restaurant full of foods but because I've had them all, none are appealing. Those are the times I have to get in the car and go somewhere to get something that appeals to me and that will help me bolster my blood sugar but not too quickly. It's really a pain.

                  So, to be more on-topic, it happens to me often that what I crave the most at a given moment is something that I've probably just recently enjoyed very much -- and run out of.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shaogo

                    Ali, we're on the same wavelength! When I read the title of this thread, my first thought was, "Yes! Yes! Why did I start craving cheap nachos as soon as it started snowing last night?"
                    I spent over 100 bucks on groceries on Sunday and I still have enough food for at least 4 meals... but as soon as it started snowing last night and I knew I didn't want to venture out to the store, I started thinking about nachos. Crappy nachos with melted shredded cheddar and canned black olives and sour cream. And I won't stop craving them until I can get to the store again, at which point my craving will suddenly disappear!