Friday, November 27, 2009

Home Cooked Meal

My four-year-old grandson is going through his “picky eater” stage; he doesn’t like anything, except sweets, of course. And he won’t try anything new. Poor little guy – I can relate, I was a picky eater when I was a kid also.

Science has now discovered that, due to genetic differences within our DNA, things do indeed taste differently to different people. I think it is interesting that my oldest daughter and I share some of the same distasteful foods; cocoanut for example.

Still I can’t help but lay some of the blame for my picky eating habits on my mother’s horrible cooking skills. Mom hated to cook so my father did most of the cooking; that is, unless the Jim Beam got to him first. In that case, the meal preparation defaulted back to mom.

Mom liked to use the pressure cooker. She would cook down spuds into mashed potatoes; she would render these spuds down to their basic molecular structure. We ate mashed potatoes in a bowl like oatmeal. Chicken was another favorite for the pressure cooker. When she was done you could bend a thigh bone into a horseshoe shape. I had dinner over at a friend’s house and they had “crispy” chicken. I loved it. Mom thought I was joking when I told her. How could chicken possibly be made crispy, she wondered?

Spaghetti was another dinner staple. The lid came off the pressure cooker and bundles of dry spaghetti noodles were dropped in the boiling water. She never stirred them so the strands fused into “spaghetti cables” about the diameter of a hot dog. Nor drained, the wet spaghetti would slide on the plate; you could tell if the table was level by which side of the plate the spaghetti cables gravitated toward. And this delicious pasta was topped with her own special spaghetti sauce: ketchup.

I once came home from college and was in the kitchen about to cook a small steak. I put some butter in the pan then some Worcestershire sauce. Mom observing this asked me in a haughty voice, “What are you, some kind of gourmet?”

Eventually the things that I had learned to distain started to look tasty when someone else was preparing them. My sphere of foods, including vegetables (100% of which came out of a can in Mom’s kitchen) and fruits, began to broaden. I love now to BBQ during the warm months and confess I like my own cooking.

But my wife is tops at this. I look in the refrigerator and see nothing but condiments. But my wife can pull things out and make a fantastic meal from almost “nothing”. I am a lucky guy.


Charlie said...

I got a little ill reading about the pressure cooker meals. You must have had a cast iron stomach.

And Martha is a good cook--I was joking in your last post. Her real forte is cheesecakes, no pressure cooking allowed.

kara said...

your YOUNGEST daughter doesn't like coconut either. we're a family of smarts.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Charlie: God how I love cheesecake. My wife makes good ones too. Kara made an out-of-this-world apple cobbler pie for Thanksgiving. I'll bet had it been coconut cream I still would have eaten it [or not].

Kara: I thought you liked coconut but The Waif hated it. Which one of you doesn't like peas?

theWaif said...

I dislike shaved coconut, but actually I like the flavor. Pina Coladas are just about my favorite drink ever. Peas can be delicious, as long as they're not smushy and tasteless. The peas from school were always disgusting.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Waif: Peas I can eat if they are still frozen. But then they stick to my tongue. Maybe just avoid them altogether.