Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Food

This is kind of a response to the troll's comment from a few days ago.  Not really, but it got me thinking, so here we go.

I have mentioned how I have lead a very sheltered life--and I make no apologies for it.  It is what it is and I'm too old to want to change too much.  Nowhere is my sheltered life quite as obvious as in my eating habits.  And this all stems from my childhood.

Growing up, our household revolved around what The Father wanted--or what The Mother THOUGHT he wanted.  He was/is a very tight-lipped individual, so whatever was said, we children didn't hear.  I have to take The Mother's word for it that what was, was what he wanted.  And nowhere was his influence felt more than at the dinner table.  The only things that were put on the table were things that he would eat--and there were not many foods that he WOULD eat.  And that's where I get my lack of imagination and adventure when it comes to food.

Dinner for me as a child consisted of meat, potatoes, a tiny spoonful of some vegetable, and bread.  We ate beef, chicken, beef, pork, beef, and, occasionally, turkey or salmon.  Potatoes were mashed, boiled, and rarely, baked.  As for vegetables, we had very little variety.  Mostly we ate peas and carrots or corn.  Green or waxed beans were on the menu, at times, and that pretty much was it.  Once in a great while, we had a tossed salad.  Fresh vegetables consisted of tomatoes and carrots.  The Father ate pickled beets and homemade pickles, but not much else.  The bread we ate was usually white and store-bought, but sometimes we had homemade bread--and occasionally we had Finnish flat bread (rieska.)  The ONLY casserole that was served at The Parents' table was a potato and salmon casserole.  And I won't even TRY to describe the spaghetti that The Mother made--and the ONLY spaghetti The Father will eat.  Most people wouldn't even recognize it AS spaghetti.  The only spices that were used were salt--WAY too much--and pepper.  Onions were also used for flavor.  Other than that, nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Bland food was the order of the day.

I was in middle school, at least, before I tasted pizza for the first time.  I never had a taco till I was married.  The first time I saw someone eat a bratwurst--I was probably 12--I almost died.  I thought it was disgusting.  I didn't even KNOW that there were 'flavored' Doritos--actually, the only snack foods we had were potato chips, potato sticks, maybe Fritos, and maybe Cheetos.  Again, I never KNEW there were so many snack foods to be had, until I was out of The Parent's house.  I remember going to a restaurant only a couple of times when I was a child--it just wasn't done in my family.  And even if we would have had places that HAD takeout food, we never would have gotten any.  Again, NOT done in my family.

Getting married and leaving the influence of The Parents could have sent me one of two ways:  I could have embraced all of the foods I was denied as a child or I could have stayed with the 'tried and true' from childhood.  Maybe not so surprisingly, I kind of took the middle-road--and I really don't leave my comfort zone very often.  I eat most of what you will find in the chain-type restaurants, but still can find it hard to find something to enjoy in 'regular' ones.  I am truly an American when it comes to eating--I enjoy the everyday, non-threatening menus that you will find at burger-joints and Americanized Italian restaurants.  And that is pretty much it.

I don't make a big deal about what I will and will not eat.  If the people I'm with want to eat at a place where I'm not comfortable, I do the best I can.  I usually will order something I am familiar with, but there ARE times I will step out of my comfort zone.  I actually have eaten calamari and alligator.  I'm not completely against eating fish.  I DON'T, however, eat mushrooms, shellfish, mutton, squash, among other things.  And yes, I HAVE tasted all of the previous foods and find that I JUST. DON'T. LIKE. THEM.  Just because I am a bit finicky doesn't mean I need chastising over my eating habits.  I won't try to tell you what you can eat and don't tell ME what to eat.  And I won't make a big deal about my eating habits--I will just, quietly, eat what I want without disturbing others.  However, I don't think I COULD be quiet if you try and serve me caviar, oysters, or Rocky Mountain oysters.  I WILL bolt from the table if those were put in front of me.  :D

7 comments:

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EllA said...

Well the upside is that you had a pretty healthy diet! I think Most (actually all) foods that taste bad are good for you.
I'd be behind you on the caviar and oyster front... fish eggs don't sound too appealing. Poor little fishes!

cmk said...

EllA: You know, I never actually thought about it, but you ARE right: My diet growing up might have been boring, but it was much healthier than the way I eat today. We really didn't eat all that much junk and the bakery, etc, was limited, too. Almost everything that we ate was homemade from scratch--very little in the way of packaged foods. I guess I have to rethink my 'woe is me' way of being. :D

ordinaryjanet said...

That could have been written by me! We had almost exactly the same things. My mom still thinks onion powder is The Spice of Spices and is suspicious when I give her anything that she doesn't recognize.

I still order things I know I like at restaurants, too. I might be adventurous once in a while, but for the most part I'm middle-of-the-road too.

cmk said...

I always found it very strange that my father won't eat vegetables--after all, he was raised on a farm! But, he does eat fruit like crazy.

My mother is much more adventurous than my father--SHE likes garlic!--but her hands are tied when it comes to cooking because of his tastes.

ordinaryjanet said...

Once in a while, my mom would make sauerkraut and sausage for my dad, and on those days she'd make something else for dinner for us kids, since we refused to eat sauerkraut. I can't remember if she ate the sauerkraut-I'll have to ask her!

cmk said...

I'm trying to think if there was something we didn't HAVE to eat...maybe liver, but that was about it.