When I was twelve I went to sleep-away camp for the first time and was introduced to another first: the wonder that is the “Cup of Noodles.” I had never had these three minute noodles before and I soon learned that they were the best late night snack and quick meal replacement. All you need is hot water (sink water worked in our case back then) and three minutes. Fork and seasoning come included! My bunkmates were obsessed with the noodles and I remember one girl having her mom ship up a Costo sized crate of them, ideally to last her all summer. Thinking back on those camp days, I wonder how any of us could ever have opted for the Cup of Noodle meal when the camp had employed some of the best chefs in the state of Maine (ok, that may be an exaggeration, but our camp food was real good, borderline great for cafeteria style cooking…I mean, there was a vat of marshmallow fluff present at every meal!)
Comparing those Maine Teen Camp days to life in Samoa, I envy those kids whom this very day are eating French-toast by the plate full and Spaghetti Bolognese fit for a king, while I attend a staff meeting and am served a Cup of Noodles. My dinner for the past three nights has been some form of quick noodle. I was recently introduced to a form of the noodle that cooks in three minutes and then you drain it and mix in the seasonings. It feels real classy. I bet the sodium levels are off the roof, so it’s a good thing I can’t read Chinese! I wonder if the kids at camp are still requesting boxes of the noodles from their loving parents, or if that fad has passed and they have finally learned that in the end, nothing beats a real, homecooked meal.