When my students don’t know what to write about, I tell them to start with food. Food is a subject that everyone has something to say about. Food inspires strong feelings. We all have foods we love and foods we hate.
My list of foods I hate:
Gravy—any kind of gravy
Potted meat—makes me sick to think of it
Salisbury steak—save me from this
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
That green bean casserole thing that people eat at Thanksgiving
Restaurants I dislike
Jack in the Box
List of foods I love
Mexican food especially chile rellenos
Salads in general
When I was a kid, I lived on a farm and there was some good farm food, but there was also a lot of terrible food and that is what I remember the most. I remember pork chops and applesauce. For some reason these two foods are often fed to people together. I don’t like either of them and putting them on the same plate doesn’t make them taste better.
We would have chicken drumsticks rolled around in wheat germ. The wheat germ was nasty and bitter and kind of ruined the chicken but we ate it anyway.
Other foods that were popular at the farm which it turns my stomach to think about. Cows’ livers and onions. Fried or baked or whatever they did with them. I didn’t mind chicken liver, but liver must be cheap food because they were always getting us to eat the stuff. Liver and onions with overcooked green beans was a staple of my childhood. I can still get queasy to my stomach just thinking about it.
They also used to mix carrot juice and cider. What a nasty combination. Both taste perfectly good by themselves, but once you mix them, it’s just weird.
Every day they had us drink this stuff called Tiger’s Milk. A frightful little concoction made of milk, Brewers yeast, (I kid you not, you can’t make this stuff up), vanilla and blackstrap molasses. I used to take my Tiger’s Milk and sneak down to the basement and give it to Smokey, the cat. The cat was quite healthy and vigorous and lived to have many kittens with many different tom cats. Literally hundreds of kittens. Feral toms, Siamese toms, calico toms, large black males, ugly cats, she wasn’t picky. I’m definitely glad I stayed away from Tiger’s Milk.
A whole generation of kids have grown up without any disgusting food forced down their throats. My students had KFC, pizza, and a variety of fast foods for a lot of their meals. They loved it. They could eat Panda every day.
I have no idea what they will tell their future therapists.