Becca's Favorite Foods
Life changed for 16-year-old Becca (from Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie) in more ways than one when her cousin, Spence, came home with an unwanted "surprise" - he was turning into a zombie. Sadly, Becca became infected via an accidental scratch.
Now as a "part-zombie," she's had to cope with all kinds of changes - physical, mental, and yes, even taste-wise. And no, she doesn't eat "that." Meaning no brains or human flesh on the menu; only the full-Zs, those overtaken by the infection, attack others.
If Becca had to pick any one thing, okay two things to eat, it would be the dishes made by her Tia (Aunt) Imelda--homemade tamales and spicy enchiladas. But being a part-zombie means even your tastebuds change. Her food choices now are pretty limited and adapted to her specific dietary needs, so lots of proteins and ground protein powders. Luckily, she can even taste something like raspberry or lemon once in a while.
But every now and then she can dream....
(Read more about Becca's story in Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie
- and find out what happened to Spence before he got home in CHANGES: A GIRL Z Prequel, A Zombie Story)
By C.A. Verstraete
The tangy smell of tomatoes and the spicy scent of Mexican food cooking made my mouth water. I admit it. I'm not a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl. Never have been. Give me tamales and enchiladas anytime, and lots and lots of cheese. Okay, so maybe it's not so good for my waist, but Mmm, it sure tastes good going down.
The smell jolted me out of my short nap. I wandered downstairs, still in a kind of fog and rubbed my eye. "Tia, when will the tamales be done?"
I quit rubbing my eye and stared at her, the shocked expression on her face snapping me back to reality. My heart sank as I tried to apologize. "Ohhh, Tia, perdóname. The dream... it was so real. I almost thought--" I began to make those horrible gulping sounds that passed for crying these days.
I felt my aunt's arms around me. I buried my head in her chest, taking in the scent of her Gardenia perfume, remembering when I was little and did this, wishing I was a kid again with no problems.
"There, there, it's all right, honey." Tia said. "Honey, don't worry, it'll be all right."
I gave a weak nod even if I didn't agree with her. What was all right about being the way I was now?
Okay, cue the big pity party.
Most days, I make the best of it, even if I can no longer eat the things I loved. Tried that. It didn't turn out well. My other menu is rather bland, boring, even if I can't really taste it most of the time. It's actually pretty disgusting when you think about it, so I don't.
My aunt, though, is a whiz in the kitchen. She's helped me a lot by making me stuff I do like, and wow! I can even taste it sometimes. I really like the protein shakes and been drinking lots of those.
But it's in times like this when I manage to drop into a half-hour or so nap that it really hurts. I don't sleep much anymore, in fact hardly at all, so when I do, I sleep---yeah, like the dead. When I get up, I'm pretty confused. It doesn't help when I have such a real dream that I can even smell the food cooking.
Except it's mid-afternoon and I've been napping like some old lady. Sigh. And this time, Tia really does have my favorite meals cooking for dinner later. I gave another big sigh. At least I can smell them.
I wonder if she can figure out a way to turn that awesomeness into a protein shake? It may sound awful, but trust me, eating raw chicken is no picnic. I'd suck up ground tamales any day if I could...
****************Here are a few recipes for Becca's favorites. Enjoy! (even if she can't!)
***Here's a version that sounds pretty good, though I'd skip the onions:
***She also loves enchiladas for pretty much the same reason - spices and cheese.
***Protein shakes don't have to be boring, however:
(this one sounds good though I'd probably use whey powder instead; ups the protein.)
(Recipes (except last link), photos: AllRecipes.com)