In 1990 President George Bush (the first one) raised up a big row by declaring to the world that he hated broccoli. He said, in essence, that he'd always hated it as a child, and now that he's the president, he wasn't going to eat it any more.
It was one of the few idealogies that he and I shared.
There were actually quite a few foods that I grew up hating. Broccoli was one. Squash was another. My mom is actually an excellent cook. But this was one dish she served up that was horror on a plate. Her squash was this boiled, puree'd glop of orange and it tasted gross and had a texture that was like melted modeling clay.
Liver was another one I couldn't stand.
Asparagus and I were bitter enemies, however. I loathed the slimy sticks of bitterness. They could fill my soul with ugliness like no other vegetable could. I hated them so much that one day I was possessed to actually trample my mother's asparagus patch. Many years later she and I could laugh about it. Not on that day, however.
Mom and Dad had devised a deal they offered us. We could pick one food, one item that for the whole next year, we didn't have to eat. No matter how often it was cooked for us, we didn't have to touch it. The tradeoff, however, was that we were obliged to eat everything else with dignified and calm acceptance.
I almost always chose asparagus. And I have a very hard time believing that I ate everything else with dignity and calm.
So, why am I bringing this up?
Well, the last week or so, I've been contemplating my now-annual Mother's Day feast. I've been thinking about what to cook for it. For the meat/main dish, I've been seriously considering a pork crown roast. I mean, for sheer "Wow", there's not much that will beat a crown roast. And in one of my dutch oven cookbooks, there's a recipe for one with this mushroom and asparagus side dish.
Everything looks just great, except for those blasted asparagus.
But, you know, when it comes to making a plate look high-class, there are few veggies that will dress it up like asparagus.
But can I do it?
In the years, I've managed to make peace with broccoli. I don't mind it, now. I still don't like liver and squash. Sweet potatoes, not so much, either.
Everyone tells me that good asparagus relies on the method of cooking. But see, my mom was a great cook, and I have a hard time believing she'd done it wrong all those years. I mean, Dad loved it, and even my sister grew to love it. What's wrong with me?
So, should I swallow my pride and swallow the asparagus?
And while you're contemplating that one, tell me about your most hated foods as a child. Did you ever grow up to like them?
PS. In other news, I've been asked by our Ward Relief Society (the Women's organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), to do a dutch oven cooking demo. I'm pretty excited, and so is Brendon. I think we're going to do my Chicken/Onions/Potatoes meal.