My earlier post about medieval food (Roo in a Sewe, 2/15/15) put me in mind of the following true story.
As a kid I hated, oh, so many foods. Like most, I was good with the starch family, not so good with the legion of predatory vegetables, including, but not limited to brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, okra, beets, squash, and any form of those pallid, mutant brain stems commonly referred to as cauliflower.
Visiting my grandparents was the most challenging time of all for food, because they hewed to a worldview in which every supper must include one gnarly vegetable and everything on the plate must be eaten.
Desperate times call for desperate measures
One grandmother, a truly sweet and loving person, thought she was an excellent cook when, in fact, she was not. And because she was sweet and loving, she would go out of her way to whip up dishes we kids were sure to enjoy. Her version of pizza stands out in my mind. Here’s the recipe:
Line the bottom of a glass Pyrex dish with Wonderbread, place a dollop of Heinz tomato ketchup on each slice, top with Kraft Singles, broil and enjoy!
She once made me a non-alcoholic mint julep (Why, Grandma, why?) so impregnated with sugar that an ant city blistered from the ground beneath my bedroom window when I surreptitiously poured it out.
I am not sure which cousin came up with the idea that allowed us to safely avoid eating gross food, but whomever it was deserves a Nobel Prize. Because there were so many people in the house, we sat at a separate “kids” table. The plan was devilishly simple: slide the vegetable off the plate and onto the table and from there into your lap. Then you would slide it into a pant pocket, excuse yourself to the bathroom and consign the payload to the toilet.
The fact that—in the space of one summer—we abruptly stopped complaining about so many foods was never remarked on. Nor was the fact that our troop of seven cousins took so many trips to the bathroom you’d think we had amoebic dysentery.
The plan worked great with relatively solid, if slippery, veggies like fried okra and brussel sprouts but, as you can imagine, our pockets were less than excellent for soft, saucy things like canned beets. Still, when faced with adversity, one turns one’s face to the wind and bears down. Creamed corn from a can was my pocket’s particular cross to bear.
Our perfidy was finally revealed when one cousin, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, tried to flush an entire bone-in pork chop. It clogged the pipes until the toilet was plunged and the meat came bobbing to the surface.
After that, the gig was up.
Bonus Treat: check out this hysterical vine that shows you exactly how to behave when eating nasty food at a friend’s house.
What have you done in the past when there was something hella nasty on your plate, but it wasn’t OK not to not eat it? Tell me in a comment below!