Monday, March 7, 2011

Has Something Scarred You for Life?

            I think we all have those moments in which we claim our parents scarred us for life; I know I have a few. I was having a conversation with a friend on Face Book and the conversation worked its way around to food (don’t all our conversations do this?)
            Friends were making comments after reading my blog on eating oysters for breakfast and chasing them down with hot cocoa. This led to discussions on the general eating habits of our younger years where I admitted to being a finicky eater and feasting on mayonnaise sandwiches. I also remember spending hours at the dinner table hoping to outlast the admonitions of my mother and finally have her excuse me from the table for not liking what she had cooked that night.
            To this day, I cannot look at or smell a can of Trappey’s Red Beans. My mother had a dish she liked to cook called Western Beans. As far as I was concerned, those beans should have stayed in the west where I am certain the cowboys were missing them. It consisted of ground beef, stewed tomatoes, and the red beans. As detested, as those stewed tomatoes were, one of those little chunks was inevitably going to end up on MY plate. At that point, I knew dinner was going to last an eternity. There would be no television that night. My nose would not be buried in a good book that night. My time would be spent sitting at the table, hoping and praying that meal would somehow vanish into thin air (just so you know, it never did.)
            I spent an afternoon organizing my youngest sister’s pantry, and when I came across a huge can of those same red beans, I could not even touch them. I made her take them out and later put them back into the pantry!
            What would eventually scar me for life was the day I got off the school bus only to find the air permeated with a horrid smell. All sorts of ghastly thoughts were going through my young mind, all of which seemed tame once I figured out the smell was coming from my house.
            The closer my steps brought me to the kitchen door, the more frightened I became. It was worse than any horror show I might ever see in the future. I still remember the dread emanating through my little body as I reached for the doorknob and entered my house. My mother had decided to cook turnips and cabbage! I had never seen these two vegetable close up, much less smelled them; and now I had to eat them. If I could have run to church at that moment and confessed every sin my little heart thought it committed in the hope of returning home and having it all be a bad dream, my little legs could not have carried me fast enough.
Turnips (Brassica rapa)Image via Wikipedia

            My mom was standing at the stove and I could tell that she was anticipating dinnertime and the wonderful meal she thought she was cooking. How my little innocent soul longed for a mayonnaise sandwich. Dinnertime lasted a long time that night. There was not enough ice tea in all of China to wash down those turnips and cabbage.
            It is funny how some memories stick with you. 

**I was reminded by my younger sister that she was also traumatized by the cabbage/turnip debacle, and that she was sitting there right along side me, praying just as hard as I was. Her comment is on the comments page. Don't miss it! 

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  1. Reading about your turnips and cabbage experience reminded me of a special dinner my parents took me on for some event...either I had graduated high school or was finishing up community college. I can't remember. Either way, interestingly enough (as it always is with my parents) though it was my accomplishment we were celebrating, I didn't get to pick the restaurant. They took me to a German restaurant, which served the two things I hated most in the world in about 500 different ways: sausage and cabbage. Now I like breakfast sausage just fine, just not the kind you cook dinner with. Yuck. So at my special graduation dinner, I sat and starved while I held my stomach while the smell of the cabbage and sausage permeated the air around me. Thanks Mom!

  2. Okay, you forgot one key point...your younger sister was sitting there sitting at the table with you waiting for the turnips and cabbage to disappear !!! To this day when people talk about eating cabbage on New Year's Day, I tell them this story and that the only way I eat cabbage is in an eggroll, and even then, it's sparingly !!! I remember that putrid (?) smell of those turnips to this day and exactly where at the table we were sitting ! What a nightmare ! But we showed her, eventually she gave up and let us get up, leaving that nasty stuff on the plate ! Whew !!! Makes me want to vomit thinking about it ! lol

  3. I would have mentioned the mushrooms in the tuna casserole but I'll be having nightmares about turnips for a while. Then there's the whole broom story! lol

  4. (from sister Ann) can't comment on the blog thing for some reason... could b need an acct... oh welll... I love momma's western beans!!! Didn't ever have to eat the cabbage/turnip combo but I love cabbage smothered and we do eat the turnips in our homemade veggie soup!!!! How did I end up the only one who loves to eat veggies???


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