Wednesday, August 26, 2009

#61 The Poetry of Food

When spinach is served if I am able, I always try to leave the table. But if I can’t, why then I fake, I shut my eyes and call it cake.

This poem was written by my maternal grandfather. He loved to write poetry and even had a book of children's poems published. When my sister recently reminded me about this poem, it brought back memories of my mom reciting it at the dinner table to make us eat whatever it was that we didn't want. I actually hated spinach and as much as I tried to make believe it tasted like chocolate chip cookies, it didn't!! Actually, I "lost my cookies" the first time I tried to eat spinach. I know, gross. Ironically, I now love spinach. One of my favorite side dishes is sauteed spinach with garlic, and one of my favorite omelettes is made with spinach, feta, and tomato.

When my son was about 6 years old, he was scared to float on his back. I begged and pleaded with him. No way Jose he would say. I finally bribed him with an Eric Lindros Jersey [captain of the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team]. That worked, and he completed the promised two minute float on his back. I decided to try this same tactic with spinach. I told him I would give him $20 if he would try spinach. I had to do some begging and pleading, but I wore him down and he finally gave in. He put a small amount on his fork and hesitantly put it in his mouth. I watched as his nostrils flared and his eyes bugged out. Next, his throat flexed, he gagged, and what followed was disgusting. I guess, like mother, like son. Lesson learned -- when it comes to food, there are certain things that [most] kids just don't like. I'll still offer new foods to my children, but my bribing days are over.

Ok, back to the spinach poem. After hanging up the phone with my sister, I began to think of other foods that I used to hate and now like. While power walking the other day, I shared the spinach poem and spinach stories with my walking partners. We had a lot of fun trying to remember that there were once foods we didn't like [LOL]. After making a list, I narrowed it down to these.

This past summer when we took my folks out to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, I chose the restaurant because they have liver and onions on the menu. Comically, as a kid, I would hold my nose, squint my eyes, and slather the liver with ketchup to make it go "down the hatch".

As you know from from babble #58, I hated the smell of boiling brussel sprouts and ranked it up there with skunked dog; now I love them. I cut them in half, spray them with olive oil, roast them in the oven til brown, and pop one after another into my mouth. It's like eating candy.

I like cream of mushroom soup. I love tuna fish. I adore almost every type of cheese on the market. However, those three foods combined to make a tuna casserole, to me, was just gross. Ugh. I hated how it looked. I hated how it tasted, and I especially hated how it smelled. Now though, if I see this on a menu or on a salad bar, I have to have some. Beyond absurd, I never make this dish at home because I can't trust that I'll stop after one serving.

Stuffed cabbage is an acquired taste, and the smell while cooking, is right up there with brussel sprouts. However, I now love this too. There is one restaurant in my neighborhood where I've never eaten anything else besides their stuffed cabbage. I go there only for that and that alone. Well, their humus is pretty outstanding too!

And so, I'll end with this little ditty -- which perhaps may make you think that I should leave the writing of poetry to my grandfather.....

As a kid, I wasn't picky, but certain foods I thought were icky
The years passed by and my tastes began to bud
I started eating foods that had once tasted like cud
The moral of this story is simple and neat
You can't go wrong with a good piece of meat!!

Quote of the Day: "The world looks beautiful through a donut hole. It reminds me that there is not always war and conflict; that sometimes there is sweetness" David Lyell (School Teacher and Part-time actor)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Growing up a salad was iceberg lettuce and mayo. Atleast my kids will eat romaine and carrots. I've tried the purees to 'hide' veggies from my kids, it has just made them paraniod. I believe kids have very sensitive taste buds that get dull as we get older so we can tolerate and even enjoy certain vegetables. Thanks for the chuckle. Looking forward to your next installment.