Sunday, August 26, 2012

How Sweet It Was: "Grandma's Medicine"

   “Don’t touch these – they’re Grandma’s medicine” was the warning us kids got about Grandma’s little bottle of saccharine pills that were always on my grandparent’s table when we’d visit them in Cheboygan, Michigan

   “Grandma’s got sugar and she needs these to put in her coffee,” they’d tell us. 

   It didn’t make any sense to me – if she has “sugar” – why does she need those little pills?

   “Because they’re her medicine,” like that explanation meant anything to a young and inquisitive mind.

   Well, I’m older now and I have “sugar”, but unlike Grandma, I don’t have that little bottle of saccharine pills on my table, I’ve got a jar filled with those pink packets.  Oh, I could have the yellow or the blue packets, but I’m an old die-hard who enjoys saccharine, what I don’t like are those damn pink packets.  If you have to put the contents of those pink packets in a steaming beverage – you’ve got to fumble around which end you’re going to tear it open – do you go on the “marked” end or the unmarked end?  And sometimes all of the contents of the packet doesn’t empty out because the steam of the beverage – I want a bottle filled with those little white pills that we once knew as Grandma’s medicine. 

   I’m surprised that diabetics in this country aren’t demanding artificial sweeteners in a delivery form such as my “grandma’s medicine” – i.e. “saccharine tablets”.  A little bottle of saccharine tablets are a lot more convenient than those pink, blue or yellow packets and they would be easier to use whether you’re making a cup of coffee for yourself or a picture of sugar-free sweet tea.  And if these tablets were available today – we would be able to pass on that “don’t touch Grandpa’s medicine” warning to a whole new generation of grandchildren.  It’s only a thought.

No comments: