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.
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.