A Picky Eater

My wife, Kathleen, accuses me of being a picky eater. Other people do, too, and they’re probably right. I’m normally the only person at a picnic who doesn’t eat potato salad or coleslaw.

I get tickled at listening to parents talk about the trouble they have getting their kids to eat certain foods. Or even certain types of foods. Kathleen admits that she avoided veggies (which she now loves) and ate canned soup rather than her mom’s homemade pizza during her childhood and that her two girls went through a phase of eating only hot dogs and cheese.

I didn’t have the option of objecting to what I was served. Or of refusing to eat it. There were no hassles about it. No protests. No bargains or compromises. And with rare exceptions I had to eat all of it. I couldn’t tell you why I was so complacent about my eating except to say I was a complacent child in general.

Oh, the things I had to eat that I detested! Spinach and other leafy green vegetables, yellow squash, butter beans (lima beans were even worse). Even tomatoes. (At least until they started growing almost seedless ones.) And especially stewed tomatoes.

Mother never fixed regular grits, but I’ll never forget the one time she served hominy grits. Eating them made me think I was eating moth balls! I don’t think she cared for them, either, since she never fixed them again.

Some things I enjoyed eating, though.

I was crazy about most meats. We seldom had steak, but we did eat roast beef and veal fairly often. We were more apt to have lamb chops than pork chops. We ate bacon, though, and my mother made the best bacon waffles. I’m not sure how the bacon cooked adequately in the waffle iron, but I believe she laid raw bacon in the batter when it started cooking.

For whatever reason, with rare exceptions (like the bacon waffles) breakfast was always toast, bacon, and scrambled eggs. We didn’t normally eat loaf bread at other meals. On occasion, however, Mother baked homemade cinnamon rolls. I salivate at the memory even now.

My mother baked some really good cakes, and I’ll never forget her homemade gingerbread, topped with a white topping I remember only as “hard sauce.” She also baked caramel cakes, but I didn’t care very much for them. Good thing I wasn’t forced to eat desserts, huh?

I look back at the wonderful foods I enjoy now and marvel that my mother never fixed them. I never had pizza until I was in high school and that was at someone else’s house. I don’t think I had ever ate spaghetti or any other pasta dish (except maybe mac ‘n’ cheese) until I was at college.  Sloppy Joes? College, also.

Once I got out on my own, I rebelled at eating foods I hated. I still detest most vegetables; that’s what vitamin pills take the place of, right? I’m not an adventurous eater, although I successfully tried several Cajun dishes on a job-related visit to New Orleans. Including alligator-on-a-stick.

I honestly don’t know whether parents are doing the right thing in just working hard to get their kids to eat–period. But force-feeding kids foods they don’t like has its drawbacks.

What about you? Did you have to eat what was served or did your parents work with you on the basis of your individual tastes? Are there any particular foods you avoid now because of an unhappy experience with them when you were younger? Or is there anything else you’d like to share about eating as a kid or as an adult? Please leave a comment.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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Best regards,

3 thoughts on “A Picky Eater

  1. I’ve been super busy but have been thinking about this post for a few days. Food is my thing. I love food. There is very little I haven’t tried though there are quite a few things I will not go back to. Ever.
    Travelling has given me excellent opportunity to try new and unusual things. I’ve eaten udder, lung, insects and bugs and all sorts of variety meats, aka vittles or innards. All this Frenchy pawing over the luxury of eating animal glands and filters just doesn’t turn the page in my book. There are actually hundreds of fruits here in Colombia that are mouth exploding, mind-altering experiences. Who would have thought of such interesting and queer flavors! I go for that stuff.

    I do not take vitamins as I think they are a waste of time. and Money. I eat very tiny amounts of meat, a lot of grains and veggies and fruits. Almost no alcohol. Lots of dairy. I am constantly running into new things here as there is such a variety that comes from the jungle that it defies my ability to explain it to you.

    As for desserts, I am a chocoholic and heavily addicted to buttercreams. The French got that part right. I don’t eat just any old chocolate but the dark variety. Ooo la la…

    Food. It’s what keeps us alive!


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