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Monday, April 20, 2009

Memory Monday-----Don't Much Like Sauerkraut

This was back when I got the good stuff---baby food, of course.

When I was young, one of the things that I didn't like about life was taking time to eat. Now don't get me wrong! I loved desserts, which we usually only had on Sundays, and to this day, I absolutely love popcorn, which we had almost every night growing up. (And I will admit it, I still crave popcorn every night.)

But, you see, I always had so many adventures, and in the summer, when it was time to go into the house and eat, I felt hungry, but a bit annoyed. My Mom was a great cook, but liked to try out new foods, so it wasn't always going to be something that we enjoyed eating.

I didn't look like I was suffering from lack of food....


There was one time that my Mom decided that we were going to have something new with our hot dogs. I still remember going into the house---still excited by the play that we had left, but then coming abruptly to a halt, as an unfamiliar smell hit my nose. It was an odor that smelled up the whole house. It had a sharp tangy-ness to it, a bit like vinegar smells, but with a touch of old mixed in.

I remember thinking to myself, "Ohhh no, this smell is just like that awful smell when Mom fixes those nasty brussel sprouts!" Oh, how I hated everything about brussel sprouts. The smell, the look, and especially the texture----like small rubber balls, slightly cooked to cut down on the squeak......dreadful.

So, as I went to the bathroom to dutifully clean my hands and face, I was dragging my heels just a bit. I knew that the second that I sat up to that stool----as we ate at a bar, since there wasn't room for a table----that I was doomed. Doomed to have to partake of something that I wouldn't want or like and would have to spend the rest of the evening trying to choke it down.

Here is the bar area where we ate our meals.


You see, it was the rule in our house that you ate EVERYTHING that was put on your plate or you didn't get down from the table! I can remember many an evening sitting by myself, as I tried to eat peas. or some strange concoction that tasted like what I imagined throw-up would taste like. Awful.

I could sit for hours and even have the dinner for breakfast the next morning, as we often had to do, if we wouldn't eat it. You know, go right to bed and then Mom heated it up the next morning. Uh huh---thats what we did.



But this was the big one.
This was the one that almost broke me.



So, as I sidled up to the table/bar, and glanced at my sister to see if she had noticed that this was going to be a night that was hugely significant in our lives, she didn't even seem to be fazed. She was like that, my perfect sister. She just did as she was told and seemed to go on merrily with her life. I dealt in traumas.

Well, it was worse than I expected. My Mom told us that she was trying something new. She has gotten some sauerkraut to go with our hot dogs, or something like that. I don't really remember what she said. I was too horrified by the smells and the squiggly strange greenish-yellow mass that was occupying the side of my plate.

We said prayers and started to eat.

Ok, so I tried it. Just a bite, about as big as a drip of liquid. I COULDN'T take any more.
My sister told me to plug my nose. I tried. (Whoever came up with that idea is crazy---it doesn't work!)

She suggested that I close my eyes AND plug my nose. I just couldn't do it. It DIDN'T help!

I was doomed. My evening was over. I was NOT going to eat this.


My Mom, Dad and sister ate their food----or in my sisters case----choked down her food.
I was stuck. I wouldn't do it. They could torture me and I wouldn't eat it! (Ok, so how could they torture me any more than they were?)

I tried whining, cajoling, begging, crying----but nothing worked.


I went to bed that night without any food. I got up the next morning and sat in front of my saurkraut for most of the day. I don't know when my Mom decided to finally end the torture. I believe that I ate a small portion of it. Its where my memory stops.

And here I am sitting by myself---probably not wanting to eat!


I blocked it out, huh? Too traumatic, right?


I do remember that there was another can of saurkraut. My mother saw how badly I hated it and decided that it was a good way to keep me in line. You know, "Get your chores done, or I WILL bring out that saurkraut!" "If you leave the yard and don't tell me, I'm going to have to get out the saurkraut." "Why did you make such a mess? Clean it up or I am going to give you some saurkraut."

I was TERRIFIED of that can of saurkraut for years!


I often wonder what happened to it..... In my mind I seem to remember my Mom opening it years later, and it was filled with worms. (Though I can't figure out how worms could get into it.) She had to throw it away. And she never bought another one. Ever.

I secretly think that my parents thought that it was disgusting also, and thats why we never ate it again.


Who knows? After all, I was young and now I'm a bit afraid to ask them.

I don't want to give them any ideas.

31 comments:

SO said...

We had the same rule at our house. But I was the seventh of 8 kids so by the time I got there the rules had been relaxed a bit. I agree with you on cooked peas the texture and taste is not good. I love fresh peas now though.

I also remember a time when we had to eat liver. *shudder* I would take a small bite of the horrid meat and then eat almost a whole slice of bread to get the meat down. My sister, on the other hand, excused herself after every bite of liver to go and use the bathroom and then she would spit it out in there.

Saurkraut is horrid. My husband likes it. But then he likes liver too. He's weird like that.

Mrs. Organic said...

For me it was beets or chipped beef and gravy over toast. The latter reminded me of vomit, I just couldn't eat it.

Megg said...

Ok so I like saurkraut, but your experience reminds me of when I first tried eggs.

I will never forget that day because I got very sick...on the kitchen floor and vowed to never eat them again. My mom said to me " you will change your mind when you grow up".

I still hate the smell of eggs and can only eat them when they are scrambled with lots of cheese, hot sauce and spices on them. I shudder when I think of eating eggs....

Rachel said...

I love this post and your fabulous pictures. We have all had our bad experiences with food.

Thank you for posting today - it totally made my day.

Shauna said...

I l♥ve the pictures! What a great post :)

Carrot Jello said...

I love sauerkraut. Always have. Always will.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Poor baby, I'm sure this has warped your little mind in ways science will never know. The things our parents did to us! and the things we did to our kids! and thank goodness we get a chance to be grandparents and make everything okay.

PS I love sauerkraut. Especially freshly made sauerkraut. And dill pickles and raw rhubarb and lemons--I like all things sour. But I like you and you're sweet so go fugure.

Omgirl said...

YES! I did get my gift. Did I not email you and tell you how thrilled I was about the bottles??? I swear I did. Or maybe I just planned to and never did. in which case I'm an ungrateful bitch. I'm so sorry! Anyway, I LOVE them. They match my overnight bag PERFECTLY and I can't wait to label them and fill them up. Wohooeeee! THANKS! I will take a pic, soon.

Cadance said...

hahaha...she threatened you with sauerkraut! That is funny....or not so funny! I can't believe that plate was there for you in the morning too!!! You poor girl!

Isn't that funny that we used to push kids to eat everything on their plate.....I think we started a generation of eating disorders and obesity....I'm so luck I don't have girls....I'd be a mess with eating/body image!

I have a story similar to that but it involved salmon patties....hate them to this day!

Shawn said...

Dang it! Just realized through your comments that I spelled sauerkraut wrong! crap! And it is my freakin pet peeve!


Better fix it before my daughter checks out this post, or I will HEAR it from her!

Margaret said...

I am so glad we did not have that rule at our house.

I do like saurkraut though.

Debbie said...

If I tried that with my kids, they would never have eaten! Bless your heart:)

Melissa said...

And now I'm twitching with my own awful food memory! At least one of many. Let's just say it involved pinto beans and hamhocks and sitting at the table ALL NIGHT.....ewwww I still get the gag reflex just thinking about it!

dapper kid said...

Euuurgh can't abide sauerkraut, it's yicky! My parents always made me eat something new on three different occasions. I wasn't allowed to say that I didn't like something until I had eaten it three times. And I actually secretly love brussel sprouts lol.

The Rambler said...

Oh my.

Same thing here. But mine was beets.

It followed me for a couple days. But I was stubborn. My dad finally got tired of sitting with me at the table trying to explain to me how important it was...blah blah blah...children in India would be happy to have food on their plate....the whole shebang.

Melissa B. said...

Such Superior Snaps...and I just gotta say that I ADORE sauerkraut!

jennie w. said...

Look at that dark hair! Who would have suspected!

Shawn said...

Hello there! Just had to drop by and visit another Shawn! The female versions of us are few and far between!

I hated sauerkraut as a kid and still haven't tried it, but it doesn't smell as bad now. Perhaps it's time to try again. In a reuben though..not alone. Ugh.

Shawn said...

Thanks for sharing your food anxieties---good to know that these things happen to everyone!

And I can't believe how many of you LIKE sauerkraut----nasty, nasty....

And, Jennie, as for the dark hair---I had that most of my life---then have had EVERY color under the sun, but have had to go blonde, as my hair is turning---ahem----white.

Thats all I'm sayin.

Anna See said...

I have STILL never tried sauerkraut. You poor thing. I love the pictures, particularly the one of you by yourself at the counter. My son is 10 yr old and barely weighs 50 lbs; I think the sauerkraut would have killed him.

Anna See said...

Shawn-- Thanks for the comment on the Underdog post. Just click on the Underdog button on my sidebar and it'll take you to the site and show you what to do. If not, email Kate from the Underdog site. Thanks! Anna

Hailey said...

So this explains why we never had to eat sauerkraut or brussel sprouts growing up--I will have to thank grandma!

And Ben likes sauerkraut on his bratwurst--there's a jar in the fridge right now...

Rhonda said...

This so cracks me up. I am thinking about how much I was never forced to eat anything....of course, I went hungry a lot because my mom always said no problem...don't eat it. HOWEVER, she was not about to let me eat anything else.

Concerning your misspelling. I am blogging today about changing the post after we have misspelled or made a mistake. Glad to see I am not the only one.

Enjoy our limited sun!

Helene said...

Ugh, I was shuddering as I read this post!! This totally takes me back to when my mom would make new creations in the kitchen and I could always tell she was trying something new the minute I'd walk in the door. The whole house would just wreak of yuck and I just knew it was gonna be one of those extremely painful meals to get through. What kid likes stuffed peppers?? And chicken livers???

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!!!

susette said...

Oh this story just made me sad. I guess I am just too much of a softy. I couldn't have forced my kids to sit there that long, especially if they at least gave it a try. Maybe that's why my daughter turned out to be such a picky eater. Hum...

zelzee said...

I was a spoiled kid. My mother would make sure each of us kids had something we liked for dinner.

Could be one of the reasons why I expect everything to be my way, now............hmmmmm

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love the idea of threatening saurkraut! I always carry on about spankings and naps and no one ever believes me (probably since I follow through on neither). Maybe I should try saurkraut...

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

What on EARTH are you doing up at this hour?

And 27 commentns? Amazing, girl!

dapper kid said...

The shredded t-shirt is actually pretty simple to do, I just unstitched the hemline, then teased out each individual thread a row at a time :)

Karen said...

I understand encouraging kids to try new things. And sometimes you have to kind of force him to try those new things. But I never did understand the point of my parents forcing me to sit at the table until I finished whatever awful concoction they had placed in front of me.

And I did hate sauerkraut when I was a kid, but now I love it. Same with broccoli, green beans, asparagus, spinach. But NEVER brussel sprouts. I'm never touching those again.

nikkicrumpet said...

What a great story...you told it so well that I could almost smell the sauerkraut! UGH I'm so glad my mom and dad didn't have that rule. I never would have survived green beans! But the best part of this story was the last line. I find it so funny that you don't even dare ask!

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