Gross food

One of my unfavorite childhood memories is of sitting at the table with a plate of cold tomato-y looking “Spanish” rice for what felt like hours, locked in a battle of wills with my mother over cleaning my plate.

Yep. That was a rule.

I could gag down liver and onions as long as there was enough bacon involved, but “Spanish” rice was my nemesis.

I grew up thinking I hated Spanish rice and then I realized (sorry Mom), what I hated was my Mom’s attempt at Spanish rice. Now rice–often accompanied by beans–is a favorite: Mexican, Spanish, Indian, what have you.

And while I encouraged my kids to try different foods and sometimes fussed a little if I didn’t think they were eating fairly well balanced when they were younger, I never imposed the “clean your plate” rule at my table.

Sometimes I wonder if I worked so hard to be the antithesis of my parents (only in some respects) my kids will work just as hard to be the antithesis of me and therefore become my parents. (The logic is sound, no?)

In any case, I can’t really think of gross food in terms of some of the examples in the prompt, but I can think of a few quirks.

To me, sauerkraut is gross. Nor am I fond of pickles or relish or mustard.

Lately I’ve heard that is a genetic thing, but if that’s the case maybe I’m a throwback because as far as I know I’m the only one who has an aversion.

I grew up eating cottage cheese in my chili, which isn’t a stretch if you think about it, but I don’t know anyone else who does it. My brother-in-law puts pineapple in his chili, so when we used to eat chili together, it was like having cottage cheese and pineapple in our chili.

Go figure.

My dad allegedly appreciated chocolate sauce over peach ice cream. I’m not so fond of chocolate with my fruit, but that doesn’t actually sound too bad. Those chocolate jelly sticks? Not my favorite. Although I have grown to appreciate a fine quality chocolate orange.

Speaking of ice cream, dipping fries in milkshakes? No. Not a fan. Not even fond of fries in ketchup. But while I lived in Belgium I did come to love fried dipped in mayonnaise. And while I don’t often order or eat fries (except I never mind having just a taste when someone I’m eating with–the right person, of course, you can’t mooch fries off of just anyone), when I do, it will only be on account of fry sauce.

So my takeaway here is aside from the fact that when I order curry and they ask me how hot I want it I tell them I want tears streaming down my face and that I take WAY too much wasabi when I’m eating sushi–enough I can feel the exact place in my brain where it explodes when it hits my taste receptors, I’m pretty boring when it comes to food.

I’m ok with that.

[Day 55 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Post Edit: I continue to power through some of these prompts that may seem silly or superficial, mostly on account of the fact that on that night when I gathered in a room full of strangers (to me) at Ann Dee Ellis’ house some of the most poignant posts were written for the prompt “Pomegranate.” I’m not there yet, but I keep hoping that as I keep writing, I will learn to dig deeper and that possibly something wonderful will flow from something as seemingly silly as “Gross Food.”