Saturday, January 21, 2012


Growing up, I was quite literally an absolute vacuum at the kitchen table. I could, and did, eat absolutely everything put in front of me, and even some things that were not in front of me. I didn't care for pearl onions much, but I would eat them. I guess it was a psychological thing, they reminded me of eyeballs...although, to my knowledge nobody ever made me eat a bowl of eyeballs. Now I'm fairly certain they aren't actual eyeballs and I love them deeply caramelized and served with a red wine reduction.

Then...There was my brother Bryan. The one food he would not eat were, peas...Some folks call them sweet peas, others (esp. in the south) call them English peas. There was nothing you could do to disguise them to where he would eat them. By disguise them I mean put them into something, I'm not sure how that's being disguised, but understand my mother had no knowledge of a great English favorite Mushy peas or other types of mashed.  Even if she had, I'm sure she would have thought somebody completely insane for mashing up perfectly good peas. It was always a battle of wills when mom would serve peas. All he had to eat was a serving spoon full which he always made a great fuss about, with fanfare abound.

Why would my mother make them knowing he hated them you ask?! Well good, kind and gentle PC people, this was back in the day when a 10 year old did not get a personalized menu. My mother was not standing in the kitchen with a dupe pad in hand, waiting for little Lord Fauntleroy to come up with what he thought to be appropriate fare, for his delicate palate.  This was at a time when food was cooked, it was eaten....if not that day, then the day after, or the day after that...until it was gone. We had a garden, peas were grown in that garden, ergo, my poor brother would be a pea eater for the short season in which they grow in New Hampshire....and that was that. For all the fussing there was about peas, my brother made up for in his interest of anything else food. I remember once, that while we were doing dishes, Bryan got scolded for getting something out of the fridge to eat after we had just gotten up from eating supper.

Somehow my brother was labeled "a picky eater". I think it's funny now, because I look at some people who are making several different meals a night because, this one won't eat this, and that one won't eat that. How does this happen? How do you develop a like or dislike to certain foods. I know childhood food aversions are either as a result of becoming sick in correlation, allergy driven, parent dislike, and later from peer dislike. But what about adults who get food aversions. After eating certain foods your whole life, how can you flip that switch? Is being in a country where excess is the norm a contributing factor? It's one thing to fall out of love with something, go through phases where you like a lot of one thing so much you burn out on it, or you're changing your diet to vegetarian, vegan, lowfat etc...But to wake up a day after eating say chicken, to the next day absolutely detesting it seems asinine to me. Or accumulating new dislikes based on other aversions, this makes me want to shake people until their heads fall off.

A friend of mine was talking about a television show where this person would not eat anything that appeared wet. I'm guessing that this person was either a burnt out saucier, or almost drowned while being thrown into the pool as a child in the old "Grampa taught me how to swim" routine... But how do you take that and turn it into "I don't do wet food"?! Are you F'ing kidding me? People were replying to her post with, well some people just like what they like, or, you don't have to watch it. There was only one thing that kept coming to my mind and that was...I wonder if this variety of insanity ever occours in *insert third world country here*.  Personally it makes me sad, and angry. I wonder if poor children in other countries getting in the range of 300 or fewer calories a day who may only have rice or some other cereal grain available, is looking at their mom through malnurished eyes and saying..."Yeah, I'm not really digging rice anymore." Just really sad to me and my sensibilities.

What can be even more madening is when you invite one of these picky people to your home to share a nice meal with and then they ask you what you're preparing. You explain what you had in mind and they wrinkle the nose, not offering something they may prefer, or are fine eating but instead offer "um yah, I can't really have onions, I'm allergic" or "um yah, My husband doesn't like this or that or that or that...etc..." A) Don't be an ass, first I would be suspicion that you are actually allergic to onions, most folks like to say shit like that because they "really" don't like onions and pin it on allergies. Yes, yes, yes, good and honest people, I'm sure there are folks allergic to onions, all five of them, and the closest one lives in the Ural Mountains in the quaint town of Sverdlovskaya oblast, Russia. But lets use our heads people and stop giving everybody the benefit of the doubt all the damned time. If they said peanut allergy I wouldn't be shocked, an Onion allergy just may force me to puree one up to pour in the pasta suce and head to the pharmacy for an epipen to see what kind of a lying ass I'm really dealing with. Oh, and to Mr. or Mrs. Here is a list of shit I don't eat, here is some advice to you, stop at MikeyD's on your way over, or whatever crap o' matic fast food place you probably "LOVE" everything at, and get your dinner there, as I'm not in the catering business, I'm in the having a nice meal with friends business. I have heard of such people and this should serve as fair warning. The Cat knows this very well, as I embarrassed him and a lady friend he wanted to make Crêpe Suzette for, until she showed a lack of interest in orange zest....I threw a hissy fit, and he took her to Henry's for a night cap... Henry's is a nice little jazz bar down the street....but that's quite the other thing. He hasn't spoken about it since, unless of course it has been jotted down in his memoirs...Either way, you get the point.

Look, I'm sure most all of you fine and fun loving people have one or two foods you don't like and have given them the old college try. You are also the same people who would just put to the side or pick out things they don't like and eat the rest. I'm not talking about you, I'm talking to the "I don't like wet food" or the "I don't like it even though I've never tried it, mostly because I suck" people. Luckily, I don't have any of those folks in my circle. I see some of these folks from time to time, and have seen them in my restaurants... You know them..."Can I get extra beurre blanc (a wine and butter sauce as Beurre is French for Butter) for my scallops, but I don't want any butter on my rice, cause I'm allergic." To which I always instructed the front of house to ask the customer if they'd like to add beurre blanc to the rice at no additional charge...I can't tell you how many were so pleased and thanked me personally as I always took the time to deliver these myself. "Bon Appetit!"


  1. I totally agree, my brother hated raw onions, raw tomatoes and few other things, he ate them anyways, and we labeled him the "picky annoying one", yet, I have fallen into the make at least two meals a night trap, sometimes four, wth, is wrong with me

  2. It's all good, my son actually went through a spell when all he wanted to eat were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Only having him on weekends, what was I supposed to do....Now he's nearly 20 and he eats pretty darned well. My brother is now eating peas...provided they're fresh. Thanks for reading!

  3. C'est bon! You crack me up! Wet food? Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Our grandchildren eat mac 'n cheese except when they are eating mac 'n cheese.
    Pavlov, any interest in exchanging links?

  5. Yeah Tupper, that's what I said...Wet Food?! WTF?! Glad you liked it!

    Sure thing Yank, I'll put you on my blogroll, anyone who's a fan of hot dogs, is a friend of mine!