Sunday, April 29, 2012

Becoming A Food Grown-Up

Both my sons were vegetable-phobic.  

Josh cried in the 5th grade when I told him he had to eat at least ONE bite of carrot.  And they were candied carrots.

Tyler was resistant to even touching lettuce and the other veggies on a burger.  Finally, when he was nine, I said "Tyler, on the day you turn ten, you have to start taking the veggies off your own Big Macs.  Mommy's not going to do it for you anymore."

You can see the high-falutin' eating we were doing.

I considered them real food babies(Said in whiny, mocking voice.)

I, myself, have always been a food baby when it comes to seafood.  I have never been able to make myself take a bite of lobster, clams, oysters, or mussels.  I can only eat crab in the form of cakes - and that is with a lot of ketchup.  I had my first bite of tilapia in the last three months.  I ate salmon for the first time in the last year, and smoked salmon for the first time earlier this month.

And I can't eat seafood if I'm anywhere close to the water it came out of.  When Charlie and I visited the San Francisco pier, I ate a burger.  The fish...........well, they looked too much like fish.

I like fish that looks like a breaded stick.  Or that comes out of a can that you mix with mayonnaise and stick between two pieces of bread.

I love shrimp but have always hidden behind my proverbial mother's apron if the shrimp had legs.   The idea of peeling my own shrimp?  Nah.  Princesses don't do that.

Well, after being divorced from Charlie (my personal shrimp-leg-taker-offer) for ten years, I finally decided to take the bull by the horns (or in this case, the shrimp by the legs) and peel them myself two weeks ago.  What really happened was that I was at a fancy buffet with seven adult female co-workers and they weren't being whiny about the shrimp having legs.  It was a case of having to keep up with the Joneses.  Peer pressure at it's best.

And I was so proud of myself afterward.  I strutted out of that restaurant with my tail up in the air, blowing on my fingernails like Miz Hot Shit!

And now, I can't wait to rip off the legs of some more of those little boogers!

I have also been a life-long food baby about cheese.  My two favorite cheeses have always been Velveeta and Kraft sliced American.  Actually, I think those slices are called 'processed cheese food' - whatever that means.  After 28 years of living in New Mexico, I've also learned to love Colby and Pepper Jack. 

Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Parmesan (except the shaky kind) and Mozzarella (except in the form of string or on a pizza) were too smelly for me.

And Blue Cheese, Feta, or Goat Cheese ------- they were out of the question. NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THAT STINKY STUFF IN MY MOUTH!

Well, has anyone else noticed how hard it is to try to look cool and not eat Feta?  Haven't you noticed that ALL the cool people eat Feta and Goat Cheese?  Have you experienced the absolute mortification of ordering a fancy salad that is topped with Feta and having to say "Can I substitute shredded American cheese for the Feta -- or little chunks of Velveeta if you've got any back there?"

This is the area I'm currently working on becoming a food grown-up.  I've now tried Feta a couple of times and .. it was ok.  Next, I'm going to try Goat Cheese and fresh Mozzarella.  The kind that comes in little squishy balls.

And in my ever onward quest for grown-up eating, my next hurdle is going to be sushi with live fish rather than dead fish -- no, no.  I mean sushi with RAW fish rather than COOKED fish (grown-ups eat real sushi).  I took a tiny baby step last weekend by eating wasabi and ginger on my cooked California roll.  Donna (who knows I'm a food baby) and I were eating our sushi when Michael dropped by to visit.  As I easily fall into thinking that Donna is a reincarnation of my mommy, I nearly interrupted Michael to say something inane to Donna like "Aren't you proud of me for eating my ginger and green shit?"  My faulty filter fired up long enough to not blurt that out.  At least until Mike left, when I then told Donna with the expectation of praise as though I had used the potty for the first time.  And, being the good friend she is, she complied and showered me with praise.

Or maybe she REALLY IS the reincarnation of my mother!!

The final frontier of grown-up eating for me will be the meats-that-are-not-cow-pig-chicken-turkey-or-non-fishlike-fish.  I WILL some day conquer my aversion to venison, quail, dove, lamb, goat, and buffalo.  But it will take a long time.  My cousin Doak cleared up my misconception that Bambi was a deer instead of a lamb just last week.

Or was she a lamb?  They all look the same to me. 

So, what all this means is that when I eat Bambi, I will be a food grown-up.

Disclaimer:  No animals (or cheeses) were hurt in the making of this blog.  They were just shunned, put-down, threatened, intimidated, and generally treated mean.

Sweet 'lil Jenny...


  1. I resemble those "Joneses", not sure why people compare my surname to keeping up to anything. Put an Italian or Hispanic name or any other surname in place of the Joneses & someone might be sued. Anyways, I like your blog. Thank you for being there for my kid. <3

    1. Hi Rhonda, you're right.... put an Italian or Hispanic name in place of Jones and it would open a can of worms. I looked up the origins of the phrase and this is what it said:
      "The phrase was popularized when a comic strip of the same name was created by cartoonist Arthur R. "Pop" Momand.The strip debuted in 1913. The strip ran in American newspapers for 26 years, and was eventually adapted into books, films, and musical comedies. The "Joneses" of the title were neighbors of the strip's main characters, and were unseen characters spoken of but never actually seen in person.

      An alternative explanation is that the Joneses of the saying refer to the wealthy family of Edith Wharton's father, the Jones. The Jones were a prominent New York family with substantial interests in Chemical Bank as a result of marrying the daughters of the bank's founder, John Mason. The Jones and other rich New Yorkers began to build country villas in the Hudson Valley around Rhinecliff and Rhinebeck, which had belonged to the Livingstons, another prominent New York family to which the Jones were related. The houses became grander and grander. In 1853 Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones built a 24 room gothic villa called Wyndclyffe described by Henry Winthrop Sargent in 1859 as being very fine in the style of a Scottish castle, but by Edith Wharton, Elizabeth's niece, as a gloomy monstrosity. Reputedly the villa spurred more building, including a house by William B. Astor (married to a Jones cousin), a phenomenon described as "keeping up with the Joneses". The phrase is also associated with another of Edith Wharton's aunts, Mary Mason Jones, who built a large mansion at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, then undeveloped. Wharton portrays her affectionately in The Age of Innocence as Mrs Manson Mingott, "calmly waiting for fashion to flow north".

      I love to learn about the origins of American phrases. They all have such stories to tell.

      I love your kid. I'm gonna miss her next year.

  2. This is why I did not invite you over for Easter to eat our deceased friend, Siren, the duck. Although, I could only bring myself to try a tiny bit. I can eat buffalo, but none of the rest of those meats. And I am still appalled that BOTH of my parents liked to eat RAW oysters while I was growing up. (They look like a bundle of hacked-up phlegm, only not green.)You REALLY need to try goat cheese, though. It's very mild.

  3. Ron says you won't be a true food grown up until you swallow Rocky Mtn. oysters and a bowl of Menudo.

  4. Tell Ron then that I'll always be a baby....