Are you a picky eater? We’ve never ever considered ourselves picky eaters. You can live your entire life thinking you are this awesome person who has no food issues, only to realize you are the world’s pickiest eater. That’s what happened to us. It all ended with the fish. The original Weight Watcher’s diet recommends you eat fish four times a week. We gasped! People eat fish!?!?! We were pretty sure the four times a week rule was a bit excessive and punitive for dieters. Maybe they assumed everyone would lose weight as they resolutely prepared fish and then refused to eat it?
You see, we prepare dinners every evening and we eat them. We don’t quibble about what is in them or how they were prepared. We sit down at the table and enjoy a quiet evening meal. Not food issues in sight. Enter Jake. See Emma has a boyfriend named Jake. (Emma is Brooke’s sister.) And Jake completely destroyed our inner tranquility at dinner time. Until Jake, we had (as I stated earlier) reveled in our lack of food issues.
Okay, that’s not completely and totally the truth. We assumed we had no food issues even as we were picking the cooked tomatoes from our spaghetti’s tomato sauce. Well, the ones who eat tomato sauce picked out the tomatoes while the other two enjoyed their spaghetti with butter and a little cheese. Maybe we are a little issued – but not much. I mean, we all eat asparagus. But Jake neatly destroyed our delusions of issue-free eating.
It probably started with the risotto. See, Jake had been tolerant of us picking our way through life without comment. He nonchalantly watched us enjoy our meals devoid of onions, green peppers (well, any peppers except hot ones if the truth were known), fish, cooked carrots (those are just gross), and frosting. One afternoon, in a fit of brash rebellion, Jake offered to make us a dinner of chicken and risotto. He put (gasp) onions in the dish – he diced them up small so no one would notice and was surprised at the magnitude of anger he faced in the wake of his misdeed. We (Brooke, Emma, and Sherry) were petulant children, picking out each and every onion from that rice while complaining vehemently. It was a day that almost ended an important relationship; though we’re not sure who was most serious about needing out.
Thinking back, maybe we shouldn’t blame Jake as the harbinger of bad news. There were a few vignettes at restaurants which suggested there mayhave always been slight issues lurking in the background. Like the confused waiter who helpfully cleared our plates and brought back to-go containers brimming with leftovers; we insisted he had the wrong table as our table had had no leftovers. He presented the boxes as evidence: onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, and other assorted vegetables carefully packed into them. We gave him a discerning look and carefully explained that those weren’t leftovers; they were the foods used to flavor the foods we do eat – but we don’t eat those! We do indeed cook with onions: big chunks of onions that can be pulled from the dish and thrown away after they have provided the flavoring. There was also that waiter who was a jerk because Brooke asked for no onions in her food at a trendy restaurant. She was the first to order. He was resentfully quiet once the whole table had ordered and there was no food that he did not have to alter. We’re pretty sure he didn’t like us much. We have meandered through life NOT ordering food if it cannot be prepared to our specifications. However, most restaurants do have a few items that are served sans onions, peppers, fish, and cooked tomatoes; and we know where they are. We shake our heads in disbelief when the seafood restaurants appear to stay afloat despite their only selling fish.
Ha ha. We were just discussing this and trying to figure out what we don’t eat and Brooke thinks we pretty much eat everything. We just seem picky because we don’t like mainstream food much. Brooke, for example, has just this past month started to eat grapefruit, oranges, salmon, shrimp, kale, and lettuce for the first time in her life. What we discovered is that the children of a food-issued cook will be picky themselves. Yet no one considers themselves to be issued because everyone eats the food that was prepared.
But I digress; back to the fish. Sherry will enjoy a bit of salmon on occasion but Brooke has never willingly allowed fish to enter her digestive system until last week. A fan of southern cuisine, Sherry will make salmon patties, corn fritters, and steamed asparagus for dinner. The corn fritters and asparagus will disappear in a flash and the salmon patties will, too (as long as Jake is there to help Sherry eat them). But Jake and Emma are off at school so there was no one here to eat the salmon we were required to prepare for this diet. Unable to hide in the crowd, Brooke was dismayed to find herself facing a plate of salmon one snowy afternoon. (Ew. And the kitchen smelled of fish.) After much cajoling (and a little shaming) Brooke relented and tasted the Cilantro Baked Salmon. And she loved it! (That might be an overstatement but any form of acceptance is deemed good at this point.) We did enjoy that salmon and were happy (although not overjoyed) when there were leftovers for another meal. So, see? We aren’t picky. We eat salmon! But it has to be wild salmon. And fresh, because we fear mercury poisoning. The lady at the fish counter was laughing at us as we made our fish selections. She was recommending all sorts of spooky fish.
“How about a nice piece of cod?”
“No way! Cod are full of parasites and are ugly, trash fish! Maybe we’ll get brave and try some halibut the next time we stop by. We’ll just take that medium-sized piece of wild salmon, again, thank you!”
We are trying to come to terms with the fact that we just might have a few food issues. We’ve realized that some of our unhealthy eating habits that make us fat stem from our unwillingness to consume a lot of the mainstream foods (i.e., raw and healthy) on the market. The first step, they say, is always recognition. We have recognized.