Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “cook.” Find a word that means “cook,” (or use “cook” itself) and use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

My mother was not a good cook. She wasn’t a disastrous cook, just not a good one. It didn’t help that my growing up time was in the era of canned everything, better living through science, food shouldn’t be real, canned soup poured over things makes a meal, and Hamburger Helper. My mother was also, apparently without irony, nicknamed Bunny. Once a week we had a Hamburger Helper knockoff my mother called Bunny Concoction. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth at the memory. I was a picky eater in an age of: clean your plate, eat a little of everything prepared, be grateful, there are children starving in Someplace You Never Heard Of, and by God you are going to sit there until you finish! I don’t know which came first, the meager cooking skills or my pickiness.

I certainly did inform anyone who would listen that I was ok with them mailing whatever ghastly horror was on my plate to the poor starving children. And how long would it take to get there? I succeeded in hiding bits of food by spitting into a napkin, or smashing things under a knife perched on the edge of the plate. That only lasted so long. The few times the parents asserted that I had to sit at the table until I finished my food also was an exercise in futility, on their part. I could sit until forever. And did. Parents wanted to go to bed. I could sit through that. Guess who was sent off to bed without having to finish her nasty cold food?

Food allergies didn’t help my pickiness, and my pickiness and wiles were probably the reason why my parents didn’t believe I had food allergies. My father loved buckwheat pancakes. Even smelling buckwheat gives me internal hives, where the roof of my mouth itches, my esophagus itches, and there is swelling. It is scary and excruciating. My folks thought I was faking, for years, until I finally went to an allergist (after nearly dying of an asthma attack at Niagara Falls thanks to the mildew). The allergist informed them that I am deathly allergic to buckwheat and a few thousand other things. Mom never said anything about the years of torturous internal hives; dad did say, “You probably shouldn’t eat that any more.”

When it was time to take cooking into my own hands it was the decadent Reagan years. I took cooking classes and read every page of Bon Appetite. I watched Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.

I make a pretty mean deviled egg, by the way.

5 Comments

  1. I used to try to hide everything I disliked under a sea of ketchup. I was (an am still) picky as hell. Mostly has to do with textures, can’t deal with most of them. Sometimes the ketchup trick worked, sometimes it didn’t. But I’d be damned if I was gonna eat whatever it was. Going to bed early suited me just fine, and my dad would feel guilty and sneak me something I did actually like later anyway.

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      1. Tell me they don’t like it. I’m easy, lol. LM eats most things as long as it isn’t spicy, and I’m working on coaxing BG into trying more things (she’s picky as hell, too).

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  2. My sister used to hide her peas in the pocket of her cheek….then forget about them. My mom would kiss her goodnight hours later in bed, and feel the lump on the side of her face and make my sister scrape out the old, forgotten peas. Amazing this could happen more than once, but it did.

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