Day # 14 Question: The most disgusting food I’ve ever eaten was…
Ah, this question prompts me to tell you the tale of when I met prank phone call guy’s parents, my first set of in-laws. After PPCG (“prank phone call guy” from here on) had been dating for about a month, he decided that I should meet his mom and dad. Despite my silly interior, I’ve found that I am the type of girl that you take home to mom. So, dinner invitations were extended to me and I soon found myself sitting at the head of the table in their formal dining room.
Before I go any further in this story, it is important that I share with you my history of food up to that point. My mother was extremely picky about what she fed to us. I grew up in a very rural area where we had a ginormous, pesticide-free vegetable garden, an orchard of apple trees, a sprinkling of peach and pear trees, and a lovely bunch of chickens. All of our vegetables and fruits were either eaten fresh, or canned or frozen for the rest of the year by my mother and grandmother. The meat that we ate, aside from our chickens, came from the farm that was less than a mile from my house. My parents only bought a few things from the grocery store like dairy products, cereal, which was never the sweetened variety, and the components for baking bread. When our garden wasn’t producing mom would purchase some produce, but she would treat it as poison until she had thoroughly washed it.
You can imagine that my transition from eating a diet of whole, preservative free food, to eating food from a college cafeteria was a rough one. While I was thrilled to have the option of sweetened cereal, and ate my weight in Fruit Loops my first semester, my stomach was very sensitive to most of the foods offered. To avoid sudden attacks of intestinal distress, (AKA diarrhea), I found myself sticking to very safe options in the cafeteria; mainly foods that were in their whole form and not mixed into some sort of gloppy casserole.
After struggling to eat cafeteria food for so long, I was thrilled at the prospect of a home-cooked meal when PPCG’s mom invited me to dinner. There I sat at the head of the table where everyone could get a proper look at the girl who had stolen their son or brother’s heart. PPCG’s mom had prepared quite a spread of baked chicken, au gratin potatoes, green beans, and rolls. PPCGs mom was one of those who prepared everyone’s plate for them. First, she served the men, which would have NEVER gone down in my household! Then she served me. Before she spooned an item on my plate she asked me if I liked it. When she got to the au gratin potatoes, I told her they were one of my favorites, so she gave me an extra-large helping. After grace was said, we proceeded to chow down. The chicken was great. The beans were perfectly steamed. The rolls were delicious. The au gratin potatoes, however, were HORRIBLE. There was no creamy dreamy cheese sauce like my own mother made, and certainly no mellow, earthy taste from the potatoes. This dish tasted like garbage. It tasted as if it had been hatefully crafted by the Devil in the kitchen of Hell. As I politely choked down this orange glob that seemed to be growing on my plate, PPCG’s mother, asked me if I liked them. For a moment I wondered if she was being facetious. I wondered if I had been seated at the head of the table as part of a girlfriend poisoning ritual. I expected that if I peeked under the table that I would see her dainty cloven hoof impatiently tapping, waiting for me to die. “They’re great!” I said enthusiastically as I suffered another mouthful. “Well, believe it or not they’re from a boxed mix, but I think they’re just as good as homemade,” she replied. Relief swept over me. She wasn’t trying to kill me; she had merely made a bad cooking choice. I pretended to adjust the strap of my sandal and checked her feet. No cloven hooves! I was safe.