Saturday, July 12, 2008

Food Memories...

So, since I have been struggling with this category, I thought I would change tactics a little bit.

When I was a kid, my father only liked "meat and potatoes" kinds of meals and "ethnic" food (food from other cultures) was not nearly as prevalent as it is now or as it is here in Portland. Even when we lived in Germany, we pretty much had American food or German food (sometimes Italian food with a German twist). My mother didn't really grow up eating food from other cultures, and spices were not at all what they are today.

My food experiences growing up were very plain - I don't like condiments, I don't really like many sauces, etc. So food was not that exciting for me. Unfortunately, it was also a source of conflict for me much of the time. If you ask my mom, she will say that when I was a baby I liked all kinds of things, but then as I grew older, I was influenced by textures. I have very specific textures that I don't like AT ALL and that really changed the kinds of food I would eat. This infuriated my father and fascinates other people. I find that regularly people STILL will ask me, "So, you don't like ketchup? mustard? mayo? relish? salad dressing? nothing? How can you live like that?" Ummm. Easily. I don't eat that. It is actually pretty healthy to not slather crap all over everything you eat. But it can also be boring. I remember my grandmother being frustrated that I didn't like chili and stuffing and pickles. Ew. In fact, my sister used to chase me with pickles and pickle juice on her hands because I hated them so much - the smell is VILE to me.

When we traveled to France for a day, I was about 7 years old. We just drove into France while we were on our way somewhere else and my dad tried to order sandwiches. His French was minimal so when the food came, I didn't want to eat it because it has some mayonaise looking kind of sauce on it. I didn't make a scene or scream or ask for something else, I just didn't want to eat it. This set my father off in a RAGE and he NEVER forgot that. Even a year before he died, whenever he would get mad at me for something, he would bring up that day. I know he was trying his best and was probably frustrated that his French abilities limited what he could order or ask for. I felt bad that he was so mad, but at the same time, I was just a little kid. It was always something that he used as a weapon against me.

Also, as a life-long migraine sufferer, I have some foods I don't eat any longer. When I was little, anything that seemed to have triggered a migraine was off the menu...the most recent off the list is Diet Coke. After 3 migraines hit in less than 2 months immediately after taking a drink of Diet Coke, I decided that was one thing I could eliminate. I have been migraine free for a year now, so I don't know if it was stress or the Diet Coke or a combination, but I'm not willing to take the chance. The best part of that decision was the increase in my water intake. Now, I can tell when I haven't had enough water in a day. It is only hard when I go on trips to places like Oakland (smile) where it is hard to even FIND water.

Anyway, just a few memories about food which may be slightly more interesting than stories about what I had for lunch.

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