Since we are getting close to Halloween, I thought I would share my scary food stories. I am pretty adventurous in what I will try, and I am not a picky eater, far from it. But even I have my limits.
Nope. No way. And here is why. When I was about ten or eleven, my Mom took me to the Gladstone Market, which was small town grocery and butcher shop. Mr. Cooper was the owner of the store and the butcher. It was a great old store, with big wide wooden floor boards, and bins of local product. Back then local was normal… He had big wooden butcher block in the meat department. It was worn and uneven from years and years of use. My Mom ordered liver for dinner that night. It was one of my Dad’s favorite meals. Mr. Cooper went into the back to the meat locker and returned with the ENTIRE CALF’S LIVER. He laid it on the butcher block, and it took up the entire surface. It was BIG.Way bigger than I expected it to be. And to a ten-year old, rather gross. Gelatinous, shiny, kind of alien-looking. What it did not look like was something that was edible. I remember standing there wide-eyed while he cut off pieces for my Mom. He wrapped it in paper, and my Mom brought it home and made my Dad liver and onions. I could not get that image out of my mind, and to this day, whenever I see liver on a menu, that is the memory that comes back. And I am not eating something that its sole purpose is to filter out the junk in a body.
Trauma by liver….
2. Lima Beans
My husband loves lima beans. Me, not so much. Now I love black beans, red beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans. But no lima beans. For me, it is a texture issue. They are wrinkly and mushy, with no real flavor. Come to think of it, they are kind of shaped like a liver…. hmmm. I can handle them in soup, and MAYBE in a mixed vegetable side dish, but not on their own. Again, I think this is a childhood issue, as my Mom cooked vegetables to death. No steaming, just boiled them into oblivion. No amount of butter on them can make them palatable to me.
3. Pickled Beets and Pickled Eggs in Beet Juice
I used to never eat beets. But my husband roasted some, and now I love them, so they are on my list of good eats. Especially with some goat cheese. But no pickled beets. It is a combination of the pickling and again, a texture issue that makes them not appealing to me. The same goes for those pickled eggs that you would see in a giant jar sitting on the bar at an old tavern. And how long have they been sitting there?
No. Just no.
4. German Potato Salad
Regular potato salad, red skinned potato salad, potato and egg salad, yes. Love them. German potato salad, no. I don’t care for the vinegar-y taste of German potato salad. To me, it tastes sour. And I do love pickles and foods with an acid base, but not this. Another reason why I don’t like it doesn’t have anything to do with German potato salad per se. A person was trying to get me to taste it. I said no, that I didn’t care for it. He kept insisting, that I try it. No, thank you. When he put a spoon of it up to my face, that was it. He ended up wearing it…. So I think German potato salad in some weird way became a symbol of me asserting my preferences and not accepting being told what to like or try. No means no, whether it is potato salad or anything else.
5. Anything with Jell-O
Every kid ate some sort of Jell-O as a dessert.And it was okay, not my favorite. But we were subjected to that fabulous fifties food-the Jell-O Mold. My Mom had the copper molds in rings, one that looked like a fish, and others. She would create those God-Awful molds as a side dish. There was Tomato Aspic-plain gelatin made with V-8 juice and celery and onions. Served of course, on Iceberg lettuce. Bleagh! Rings made with orange Jell-O and fruit salad. Not as bad, but no, not great.
But the worst was her Pickled Beet Gelatin Mold. (Note the tie-in to #3 on the list). She used a mold that looked like a cone. It was clear gelatin with chopped pickled beets. I was in Jell-O hell. I remember one time she made it, and it hadn’t set completely. When she turned it over onto the plate of Iceberg lettuce, it ever so slowly began to spread out. Did you ever see the movie “The Blob”? We had our own version of The Blob, right there in the kitchen. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It was alive, ALIVE!!!! It was a purple, icky slimy mass that was going to kill me in my sleep. So, no Jell-O for me. Too scary.
There are a few other less than delectable items on the list:
Insects-I have seen Andrew Zimmern of the TV show “Bizarre Foods” eat many a bug. Nope. No. I don’t care how protein rich they are, until there is an apocalypse, I am not consuming insects.
Miracle Whip- I am a Hellman’s woman. Period. Miracle Whip is too sweet for me.
Tuna Noodle Casserole- canned tuna heated up is gross. Just sayin’.
Tuna Salad with Sweet Pickles–eewww.
So, what is on your list of non negotiable foods? And what is the story behind it? Share your tales of fear and horror!
This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Annika at We Must Be Dreamers