You’re going to sit there until you eat it all- like it or not!
When it came to eating all of your vegetables my parents were mean. Really mean.
Vegetables from my childhood were different to vegetables now, I’m sure of it. Those childhood vegetables of my memory bear very little resemblance to the crisp, fresh, nutrient-packed selection on the supermarket shelves today.
When I was a kid vegetables (in our house anyway) were served one way (sorry about this Mum)-boiled until they were an insipid pile of soggy mush. By the time they reached the plate they were unrecognisable. It was hard to believe they had ever been a living organism.
It was the texture that got to me more than anything- slimy boiled cabbage, soggy boiled cauliflower, carrot slush and stringy “baby-foody” pumpkin.
Pumpkin was the worst for me- I would gag trying to get it down. Mum would ruin perfectly good mashed potato by mixing in hideous pumpkin, then pretend it was “yellow potato”. (Yeah, good one Mum- that really worked…) Even the vegetables I loved would be murdered in the cruellest of fashion.
So, it would come down to the nightly ordeal of staying at the table until the evil mush was all gone. I would sit there for hours (kid time); big fat tears plopping into the cold, congealed mess on my plate (*insert pitiful violin solo here) in a battle of wills that lasted years. “No veggies, no dessert” was the rule. I was never in danger of getting fat, that’s for sure.
My brother and I did a lot of our bonding over “veggie time”. We tried all of the tricks that we knew to fool the eagle-eyed parents. The aim was to get rid of “it” using whatever means we could. There were the obvious ones like spreading it all around the plate and flattening it out; hiding it under the cutlery or disguising it as a chop bone; or hiding it under the plate itself (pretty short-lived that one).
As time progressed we got more creative: we used our forks as catapults to flick Brussels Sprouts (ie: “snotballs”) under cupboards. We filled our pockets or surreptitiously put tissues in our laps and scraped the “poison” off the table when the coast was clear. (“It won’t kill you!” “Yes it wi-i-i-i-ll !!”)
We flushed it down the toilet and jammed it down the plughole. We bribed each other with cash or toys and did swaps- “10 cents if you eat my pumpkin too” or “I’ll eat your carrots if you eat my cabbage.”
Tipping it behind the kitchen cupboard worked well until we shifted house. (The furniture removalists were almost as unimpressed as Mum at that discovery.) Sometimes my brother, avoiding all eye contact, would gulp his down and run into the sitting room to watch TV with the enemy- Traitor!!
So, what happened? Eventually I got out of therapy ( :)! ) and learned to love vegetables (though I still cannot do pumpkin no matter how hard I try.)
But, if you choose to eat at my place you’ll find that most of the time, vegetables at my house will be served up RAW……..
Like it or not!!
(This post was a 500-word challenge from ABC OPEN on the theme: Like It Or Not.)