Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Herbivore

"Things do not change; we change."
-Henry David Thoreau

Mater frequently makes enquiries about my particular food habits- but then refuses to believe anything I tell her about vegetables.
If it happens that she questions me when I am in the midst of cooking broccoli, cabbage or anything remotely considered 'greens,' Mater assumes me to be merely teasing.
She has, I admit, rather good reason: I shied away from vegetables until I was in my twenties, not being able to abide the taste of that category of food. No doubt the faces I habitually made as a youngster- curling lip, watering eyes, jutting tongue- compelled the various boiled vegetables to retreat in mutual repulsion.
I have of late been consuming a significant amount of broccoli with a dash of soy sauce, and am finding it to be the better part of a meal. I have settled at last on a style of cooking vegetables which is my own and which I can savour.
"I'm really cooking broccoli," I say to that disbelieving ear, "and I'm about to have it for dinner. I can't wait."
"But what are you really having?" trills the inevitable voice of doubt. She simply cannot envision me sitting down to a plate of steaming vegetables and happily devouring the lot. Perhaps a photograph might sort matters promptly.
Truth be told, I myself would find photographic evidence to be useful: I am as startled as my mother at the relatively recent turn of events. There is nothing, I find now, quite like a lightly pan-fried piece of broccoli so soft that the touch of a fork causes it to disintegrate and there is nothing so fascinating as the thought "if my mother could see me now," to inspire one to attempt new culinary endeavors. There is no accounting for taste, or change, or change of taste.


tangobaby said...

I grew up with a little sister who insisted on bringing a Filet O'Fish sandwich from McDonald's to every fine dining establishment my parents ever took us to.

Years later, when she went to college, I remember her calling me once to ask how to make corn on the cob (which I thought was pretty obvious but must not be to some folks).

Now my sister calls me regularly to tell me about fine French meals she's had, delectable sushi and what's most eye-opening, the meals she makes for her family. If I didn't know the voice on the other end of the line was my sister, I would have thought it was some sort of practical joke.

So, yes, I know that people can grow up and develop tastes and appreciation for all kinds of wonderful foods, but it still strikes those of us who witnessed something else (the days of mac and cheese) as a bit amusing.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Tangobaby- that's just what I meant- it's hard to believe someone can change so much with regard to food!
That's a very good story :) Your sister progressed from Filet O' Fish to something at the opposite end of the spectrum.

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