Looking Back On 5 Years: Love & Oreos
JFG Nation, today marks the day this website, this blog, this little chunk of the internet turns five years old. Five. What started out as a blog that tried to provide “a best-effort daily snapshot of all the junk food that exists in this world,” has really become something else entirely. At the beginning, I wanted to remain anonymous, but as this site grew, you all were treated with my mug:
Zup. Hair was super spiky last month.
Last year, when I turned four, I wrote a long post about changes and plans and things that were going to happen next. None of those things happened, because this last year of my life has been the best and most tumultuous year I can remember. The truth is, when I began this blog, many parts of my life were on cruise control – job, apartment, family, friends. Like most things, this website arose out of a bit of restlessness. It provided a bit of color to an otherwise pleasant but neutral backdrop.
But this past year? This past year has been very different. New job, new directions, new everything. NEW NEW NEW. Now, my backdrop is FULL of color, and this website has felt it from time to time – I know you’ve felt it. New priorities sometimes left this JFG pot on the backburner.
So I’m not going to talk about what the future will hold after five years, because it is clear that life takes us in amazing unpredictable directions, and I have no clue what is next. Instead, today I’d like to talk about….the Junk Food Gal.
It’s appropriate that the Summer Fancy Food Show is this weekend, because the JFGal has been with me through it all. She’s been the one, after all, behind the camera when all of these pictures were taken:
First Fancy Food Show, Summer 2012! Hey, nice baby polo shirt, Eric. Do a sit-up once in a while.
Second Fancy Food Show, Summer 2013! I still do love Cheetos.
Third Fancy Food Show, Summer 2014! The hair kept getting spikier. “And Leroy is getting laaarrrger…”
Finally, last year’s Fancy Food Show, Summer 2015! That’s one weary-looking JFG. Too much fried cheese and chocolate that day, I think.
Anyways, the JFGal. She’s been there from the start, patiently watching me photograph Pringles before she could tear into them and walking the floors of the Turkey Hill factory with me, sampling not-yet-container-ed ice cream. She’s not only put up with the JFG, she has pushed me to do more. What do you do when you find someone who understands that you need write about crab chips at 1:00am? You tie the knot.
And then you call Oreo.
Well, that’s not the entire story. The real story is that we wanted to work in the JFG-side of our lives into the wedding somehow, but couldn’t agree on how:
JFG: “Dorito appetizers!”
JFG: “Cheese curl centerpieces!!”
JFG: “OREO WEDDING FAVORS!”
For as much as we joke that Oreo is trying to take over our lives with all their new flavors, I still can’t deny that I love them and so does the JFGal. Once we decided we wanted Oreo to be involved, it made so much sense. Oreo wedding favors? So simple, it had to happen. Not too over the top, but definitely would give the guests a small JFG wink. My friends with Oreo connections, Lauren and Alex, were into the idea, and we got down to business.
How many Oreos would we need? 100+ guests, maybe give away 4-5 Oreos a piece…so 400-500 Oreos? That number isn’t that staggering when you consider that a package of Oreos has about 39 cookies in it. The JFGal and I figured that 10-12 packages of Oreos ought to be enough. What came in the mail, however, was the above: FORTY packages of Oreos. 40.
Oreo had just sent me over 1500 Oreos. Lauren and Alex, what did you do??? I guess Oreo does believe in love. And hand trucks, because that box was close to 40 lbs.
The JFGal and I got to work, stuffing our wedding favors…
Package after package of Oreos were ripped open and distributed among the boxes…
And our gift favor box pile grew…
AND GREW. And at the end of it all, we STILL had probably A THOUSAND OREOS LEFTOVER.
How did it turn out? See for yourself…you can almost hear the Al Green playing in the background:
“I…I’m so in love with you…”
“Whatever you want to do…”
“…is all right with me…”
“‘Cause you make me feel so brand new…”
“And I want to spend my life with you…”
“Let me say that since, baby…since we’ve been together…”
“Loving you forever…..is what I neeeeeeeed…”
And the rest, as they say, is history. The guests enjoyed the favors, and people kept munching throughout the night even on the dance floor. When facing the risk of Oreo-teeth in wedding photos, people said, “Hey hand me another one.” Of course they did. Because they are, like you, part of the JFG Nation.
When I look back on the past five years of this website, I’m amazed at what impact it has had on my life. SO much has happened, and thankfully, I lost some of that baby fat along the way…which I plan to add back this weekend at the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show (follow me on Instagram, Twitter @junkfoodguy, or Facebook to see ALL of the goodies I’ll be eating!!)
Thank you to Lauren and Alex and Oreo for helping add a bit more JFG color to that amazing day. Thank you to John Heredia for the photography. Thank you to Shelley for making these photos happen 🙂 Thank you to you, JFG Nation, for reminding me that it’s all worth it and sticking around even when it seemed I had fallen off the face of the Earth. And thank you especially to the JFGal, who didn’t run away when I held up a S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich and said, “Uh…I think I want to write about this. On the internet. Using a fake name.”
Here’s to the unplanned future.