I’m a picky eater. I’m sure there were many factors that led to my picky eating, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s just blame my parents.
First of all, my mother was a really bad cook. When she was a child, someone told her she had a disease called “geographic tongue.” A person with geographic tongue will get red and white patches on their tongue. The patches move around during the day. Seriously. Google it if you don’t believe me. They should avoid eating spicy foods, as this can exacerbate the problem.
My mother mistook the “avoid eating spicy foods” part to mean “avoid eating food with any spices.” So, we didn’t have any spices in my house growing up. No basil, no thyme, certainly no garlic! Nuthin’. When she made homemade fried chicken, the breading was made out of flour. Just…flour. The day I dissected a frog at school, she served fried chicken legs, only she used green food coloring in the flour and called them Frog Legs. They were just as flavorless as the regular fried chicken, but now we had to suffer the indignity of having green mouths.
The first time one of my high school boyfriends came to dinner, my mother had bought some cheap breaded chicken discs from the freezer section in the store. The breading was bright orange and the “chicken” inside was grey and grisly. I’m pretty sure it was alligator. I’ve had alligator, and it was grey and grisly, too. She served the orange chicken discs to my guest. After that, all our dates were at Taco Bell.
I’m not entirely convinced she really has geographic tongue, but if anyone’s going to have it, my mother will. My dad had Cat Scratch Fever, so why not a mother with geographic tongue?
No, Cat Scratch Fever isn’t just a song. It’s a real medical condition. My parents took in a stray cat that scratched my dad’s hand and he had nerve damage in his hand from it. The doctor had never had a case of Cat Scratch Fever before. Sure, he’d seen bad cases of Loving You, but not Cat Scratch Fever. (I know. I apologetize for the lame joke.) The doctor was thrilled to see a case of Cat Scratch Fever and wrote about it for a medical journal.
My dad also super glued his eye shut once, too, but I suppose that’s a story for another day.
While my mom was serving her flavorless dinners, my Dad found it hilarious to show us seafood every meal. Only it was see food, as in, “Hey! Look!” and he’d show us the food he was chewing.
Oh, my parents are strange, strange ducks. It was like being raised by a pesky older brother and sister. No, no, they weren’t mean spirited. The bills were always paid and everyone was fed and clothed and loved. They just never completely grew up. ‘Course I’m not sure I have either. I remember when I first moved up here and didn’t have any friends yet and was feeling trapped in a house with small children, I told the pastor of my church, “I just want friends so I have someone to play with!” As soon as the words flew across the room, I realized how immature they sounded.
But it was true. And it still is. I want friends so I have someone to play with.
Ok, pull this back in. I’m supposed to be talking about being a picky eater:
Part of being a picky eater is that you get bored with your limited palate and don’t bother cooking. Sometimes I would post on Facebook about my horrible little meals that I would eat to avoid making dinner. Like the time I made those ghastly hotdogs, fried in butter, without a bun or toppings. Hot dogs are not meant to be eaten plain with butter. They need to be smothered with ketchup and onions and relish or at least the bun. A plain hotdog staked on a fork, dripping with butter, is just asking for a disgusted stomach. (If disgusted stomachs could talk, they’d have East London accents.)
I have a friend on Facebook named Victor who loves to cook. After posting about the hateful hotdogs, he sent me a private message and gently asked, “Hon (he’s from Baltimore and they call everyone ‘hon’), do you know how to cook?”
Sort of. I started learning when I turned thirty. And that was only because we put a tv in the kitchen. I use “I have to cook dinner” as an excuse to catch up on my shows, and not from any love of cooking. We chatted back and forth and Victor offered to teach me to cook. The first recipe was for salmon.
This conversation was in December, and now it’s the end of March, and I still hadn’t made the salmon. Every now and then Victor would ask about it. Last week when I went to the movies with mom and ate the movie theater popcorn and a flat sprite for dinner and posted about it, Victor commented back simply, “salmon?”
So, this week I was determinted to finally (!) cook the salmon no matter what.
Today was Salmon Day.
I followed the recipe faithfully, used my baking stone to bake it and holy moley! That fish was sooo good! I’ve never had such delicious salmon! Vic is the best cook ever! I didn’t even get a decent picture of it because I was too busy devouring it with a fork right out of the pan. By the time I got Clarisse out to take the picture, half of the fish was gone. Didn’t use a plate. Ate it standing in front of the stove.
I wonder if Vic has a decent recipe for fried chicken?
Star Trek quote of the day: “I am Keer-rock! I am Keer-rock!”
Number of Vulcan Mind Melds: 1