Friday, October 16, 2009

#75 explained- the magic birthday

continuing my explanations, here's more on #75 of my list of 100.

today marks the 30th anniversary of my "magic birthday".

you may remember i'm a picky eater. i now consider it a major character flaw. and i guess that started at an early age. i noticed my mom used to make me "different" food. she usually had 2 or 3 versions of the same type meal on many nights. not just for me, but i know i was the biggest culprit.

for instance, when she'd make 'chopmeat & macaroni in the oven' (clever title, no?), she'd usually make 3: one with onions & peppers. one without. and one with just onions.

she was great at remembering what we all liked/didn't like. how she could keep up with all 13 of us' tastes, i'll never know. of course, she did spend a lot of time calling me by some other name. but, eh.

it was mainly when she made casserole type dishes that she did this. regular meat & sides, she'd just offer a choice of 2 or more veggies.

when i was super young, i remember having oatmeal for dinner. or scrambled eggs in the microwave*.

apparently i came of the age i'd have to start eating what we had. but i guess my mom figured if she's making enough for an army, it didn't really matter to her if she could leave something pesky out.

still i had issues with dinner almost nightly. how many times did my sisters try to coach me into eating my veggies? i would eat them one by one. ice cold, no doubt. if i were forced to eat veggies right now, i'm sure i'd do it the same way.

oh, and i learned to swallow many whole.

how many times did i rip open the string beans and "pretend" they were peanuts? how many times would i hold my nose, close my eyes, and STILL have a problem with what i was eating? how many times would i scatter my food around the plate, because we ALL KNOW the amazing physics behind how when you do such a thing, it miraculously fools your parents into thinking that you did, in fact, eat your supper.

just eat the veggies first they'd say. because apparently warm veggies that are disgusting are supposedly less disgusting than cold veggies that are disgusting. but no! i'd rather eat what i like just in case the world ended and my last taste wasn't broccoli. (or, more likely my dad became a softy that night and let me be done). the fewer pieces of corn eaten the better, in my book.

yes. i had problems with normal vegetables, as well as the grosser ones (creamed corn, anybody?? something that looks, smells, and tastes like, well..... eeewww).

i can still right now at this very moment conjure up the smell & taste of cauliflower. and the ONE time i had to have beets.

how many nights did i go to bed at suppertime b/c i flat out refused to eat? i just couldn't. and do you know that from all this turmoil, i developed a semi-talent...

i digress.

my mom made the BEST spaghetti ever. apparently. every sibling that would have people over for dinner for all years would request that we had either spaghetti or chicken paprikas. she was famous for it.

no jar here. unless you count the tomato paste that went in. with homemade meatballs as well. we usually had spaghetti on wednesdays because that was her bowling night and her night off from work. so she would start it in the morning. it was an all day affair; this famous sauce.

(2 meatballs a person, y'all. she had to ration. pity the pals that would come over and we didn't tell them that rule! and if she added sausage to it, you were allowed one of those)

not me. no thanks. tomato sauce.... eeks.

she'd drain my spaghetti, put mine aside with butter & mix the rest. i rarely got seconds. but honestly?? i LOVE spaghetti w/ butter. it's not that i tolerated it. even now, sometimes i crave it. it really is good.

so i knew i was a pest. and i knew i was tired of not liking things. and i was convinced that i was just being a baby. that if i just told myself to like spaghetti (et al) i would.

so somehow i figured that 5 was my magic birthday. i guess 5 year olds have much more mature palates than those damn 4 year olds! ooooh, i talked this up so much. weeks?? my family was in on it. and helped me convince myself that i am right.

for my birthday dinner (anything i want), i told my mom to make RED SPAGHETTI. yes i was serious. no, i didn't want paprikas. (shocking, i know!).

one of my sisters can vouch for me. i WANTED with all my heart for this to be my magic birthday. (don't butter it, mommy. i want to have grown up RED pisketti!) i was going to like RED pisketti. i can't wait! it's my magic birthday.

until i tasted it.

luckily, mom had the foresight to save me some WHITE spaghetti.

i was so disappointed. imagine... if i didn't like my mom's spaghetti sauce... there's none out there for me.

so it's now the 30th anniversary. and there's no spaghetti on the menu this weekend.

*who the hell eats scrambled eggs in the microwave?? i once saw an episode of Take Home Chef & when Curtis picked the chick up & asked her what was for dinner, that is seriously what she was planning on having. it was priceless! not "scrambled eggs". but "scrambled eggs in the microwave". i lived on them. not anymore! i'll dirty up a pan no problem.


Pregnantly Plump said...

I'm mildly picky, but have cousins that have very similar stories to yours. I'm so hoping Little Elvis stops with the majority of his pickiness. I've decided around age 3, I'm not going to make him separate foods. And he DOES eat microwave scrambled eggs. Poor kid. If he wouldn't be so picky all the time, we might dirty up a pan for him.

Tom said...

Mmmm, creamed corn.