Confessions of Childhood Mischief: The No-Large-Peas-Allowed Club

The bridge -- watch your step

The bridge -- watch your step

As a child, an antique school bell called me to our evening meal each night. It pulled me out of my world of books, down the valley, across the ancient creaking suspension bridge and up the long hill.

Plopping into my chair, I would ask,”what are we having?”

Now before I go on, you must know that my mother can cook anything. I mean anything! Iron Chef couldn’t rattle her.

When I was little, she taught cooking at a local college. And every single evening of my childhood, dinner was served at 7pm sharp. Many a gourmet meal was I served before ever knowing what that even meant.

Anyway …

Where was I? Ah yes, the inquiry.

Usually, it was some magnificent creation that made the mouth drool in anticipation. However, if there was a pause, it was time to panic.

I was a horribly picky child. Here is the very short list of foods I would simply have nothing to do with:

peas, mushrooms, stuffed peppers, chili con carne, long grained rice, anything with visible onions… and … lamb. Oh, or even worse, ram.

I was only allowed one napkin, because she knew my intentions. The dogs were fed outside at the same time. Sh*#! There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide these damn foods.

I tried to fake sudden illness, once, only to break the thermometer in a stuffed pepper that was significantly hotter than sick child.

Finally, around the age of ten … epiphany. The end of my torture. I was a genius!

Only last year, did I finally confess my brilliant stratagem to my mom. The most magnificent part was that she truly had never known.

I would arrive at the table with shoes on. Then, slide them off about a second after grace… And blissfully fill them with the miseries of the evening.

Okay, well, not the chili. There was just no way around that. But the rest of it…

Don't stand under those top windows next to the chimney.

Don't stand under those top windows next to the chimney.

After I cleared the table, my stuffed shoes and I would head up to my room to gleefully deposit dinner out my bedroom window.

Supposedly, at 37 I am an adult. My palate has matured and I now savor many of the things at which I used to balk. In fact, I bought a lovely leg of boneless lamb this weekend on sale.

However, the pea lingers. Not the delicious little sugar snap peas from my garden.

No! I mean the large squishy ones of terrible texture.

Note for my mom: Today, I have found a true kindred soul. We are starting a No-Large-Peas-Allowed club and you are not invited. No! in fact, everyone does not like peas. Click here for proof.

( Neighbor Nancy straightens her apron and marches off brushing her hands of the subject. )

( She peeks back at the computer )

Maybe tomorrow another book review or perhaps a post about the ease and importance of pea and bean innoculation.  We’ll see.


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I found that damn leg of lamb in the deep freeze… I made a delicious home grown herb rub mixture and roasted it. The house filled with the fragrant warm of the roasting meat. And you know what?! I still hate lamb and couldn’t eat it at all.
    *Neighbor Nancy straightens her apron and marches back to her kitchen where no more lamb shall be had*

  2. Cooked carrots, again a texture issue. Serve carrots and peas together and I headed for the hills.
    Also, there is not enough milk on the planet for a bowl of chili.

  3. We should have been childhood friends! I could have taught you a thing or two about ‘the art of swallowing whole.’ My mother could NOT cook anything. She’s 100% Irish and now likes to joke, “There’s a reason the Irish have bars and not gourmet restaurants.” That reason is some kind of genetic impulse to ruin perfectly good food. Everything she touched (including every item on your list) was beaten, battered, and abused and turned into crap. The worst worst WORST were her cooked carrots. So I just learned to cut a big chunk, get a glass of milk ready, and swallow it whole! Bon appetit!

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