Saturday, April 21, 2012

Past Deadline: Gastronomical Epic Milestones

I love egg salad.

I really do. I can’t actually remember a time when I didn’t. That goes for devilled eggs, too, which are basically egg salad without the bread.

When my kids were toddlers, I used to try to convince them egg salad was the cat’s pyjamas. I was almost personally offended when they refused to eat it.

Kids have this amazing tendency to wear you down about food. And other things. But we’re going to talk about food today.

When confronted with a new, untested food, a friend of ours used to tell her kids that they would have to try it 10 times before they would like it. We adopted the idea around our house, too. Sometimes it worked. I think I gave up after five or six tries with egg salad, though.

One day back in March, I made myself an egg salad sandwich. This doesn’t happen very often because I am the only one in the house who likes it. (Groom-boy will eat devilled eggs, but not egg salad. Go figure.)

On a whim, I kept a little aside and when the kids got home from school I said, “Here. Try this. I want to know if you like it.” It had been a couple of years since the last tasting.

Lo and behold, they not only liked it, they loved it! They licked the dishes clean and wanted more. I was shocked, surprised and thrilled. I made egg salad sandwiches for school lunches the next day.

This was an Epic Milestone™ in School Lunch Choices, but I warned myself not to overdo it because then they would get sick of it. Too much of a good thing, you know.

When Girlchild asked me to make egg salad sandwiches for lunch this past week, it got me to thinking about how much our relationship with food evolves over time.

I remember as a kid that it took me a long time to grow into my palate for some foods, but now I’ll eat pretty much anything that is put in front of me (which is a problem to cover another day). I still have a bit of trouble with Brussels sprouts – they have to be done just so, usually with maple syrup.

As I continue navigating this wonderful (sarcasm) era of being in my 40s, I am starting to realize that just because one’s palate has grown and evolved, doesn’t mean the rest of the body appreciates the flavour.

For instance, I love French onion soup, but if I eat it, I should plan to stay home the next day.

I am learning a lot of new and interesting things about soluble and insoluble fibres, and how the flesh of a fruit can be kinder than its skin. I think about bran.

I had a delicious meal recently that included rapini – something I don’t have very often. I immediately thought of my friend who has trouble with kidney stones and how she eats rapini to help.

Yes, I am perusing the menu and thinking about kidney stones. I look at an apple and wonder if the skin has too much insoluble fibre.


Life was easier when all you had to remember was that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I miss being able to eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce and not worry about all the sinister things food might be doing to my body.

That was a long day ago.

One night a week Girlchild has dance lessons right around suppertime, so it has become our tradition to have some sort of quick pasta casserole – usually macaroni and cheese.

Mmmm. Mac and cheese (the way Mom made it) has always been comfort food for me.

Unfortunately, it was on the menu around the time back in February or March when our household was afflicted by the barfies. Now I can barely stand to make it, let alone it eat it. It’s another Epic Milestone™, but I’m not so thrilled about this one.

Fortunately, we can turn to egg salad for comfort now.

Published in The Perth Courier, April 12/12

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