26 August 2011


That phrase came out of my mouth a few times as a child. More often than not, that kind of attitude could be found at the dinner table. I was a very picky eater as a child and went through a lot of food phases.

As a toddler, I ate bananas and oranges like a good kid. Then, around age four, I did not like them anymore. To this day, I will only eat bananas if they are well mashed in a banana walnut bread, and I will only use an orange to squeeze some juice on a chicken. I even throw away orange Skittles.

There was a phase that lasted about a decade and a half when I would not eat anything green unless the green apple found its way into a pie. Vegetables other than corn and raw carrots were not my friend and not even Popeye could get me to even consider eating spinach.

I remember I spent a couple of weeks with my aunt when I was in elementary school. She lives on a farm in Ohio and I was living in Tennessee at the time, so it was a big deal to get away from my parents and experience farm life. But one evening my favorite aunt and I had it out. There was a standoff at the kitchen table.

Spaghetti was served for dinner, which I liked, but there were also some strange beans on my plate next to my pasta. Now the beans were not green, but they did fall into the non-corn, non-raw-carrot vegetable category, which meant they were off limits. My aunt did not seem to care.

She made me sit at that table until I ate them. If I remember correctly, I stuck it out for quite a while. I think I even got her to negotiate so that I only had to eat three beans instead of the whole pile on my plate. My dad sold cars for a living. I learned about the importance of negotiation.

I became more lenient on the green vegetable phase as I became a teenager and added lettuce to the acceptable vegetable list but I refused to use salad dressing until I was almost in college.

One day in my 20s I became an adult. I decided to eat a green bean or two on my restaurant plate because they looked good. They started to taste better and better with time. On my 23rd birthday, I tried asparagus for the first time at a Cameron Mitchell restaurant because I felt I was ready for the adventure. And I liked it.

Since moving to Singapore, I have cooked a chicken with all of its parts and have butchered a chicken to lose the parts I did not want to see. I have eaten Indian food, Malay food, Thai food and a few other Western dishes that I would previously not touch.

I joined a supper club in April where I had the opportunity to learn some French cooking. I wanted to be polite and not picky so I tried a piece of the rustic onion tart and a seared salmon salad with a Dijon dressing (I am still not a fan of mustard), neither of which I would eat in my own home or anywhere else for that matter. Surprisingly, I liked both. I could not taste the Dijon.

I skipped the May event because I was not yet ready to conquer the Mediterranean fare (yes, I know, the in-laws are Greek – what am I saying?). After the summer break, we had our welcome back dinner this evening.

Tarts and quiches were on the menu tonight and one of the dishes included a new first – the anchovy. Though I typically make salad dressings, I refuse to make my own Caesar dressing because I do not even want to deal with anchovy paste.

Let’s be honest. Kids are told vegetables are bad and sugar is good. I think my mind has decided that anchovies are gross because growing up everyone talked about how gross they were. If I lived in Italy, I would likely love the little things.

I was a little nervous but I knew the fish would be finely chopped and cooked into what was supposed to be our appetizer. I guess if I don’t have to look at it, it won’t be so bad, right?
Well I ate the tart and I survived. I could not tell that any anchovies were in there so maybe I liked them. Who knows? The important thing is that I am trying new things.

1 comment:

Leanna (aka Mom) said...

You absolutely amaze me. Getting you to eat peas was a major accomplishment for me. I never thought I'd see the day!

Love you!