I am a 60-plus-year-old kid that still works as an IT consultant. I hope to write a humorous, slightly apocryphal column with some real life insights.
Hmm, I bet you all can remember your favorite foods from the past. Ah, I remember my first taco. Thanks Mrs. Gapinski! She had sons that were my high school age, and I happened to drop by during supper (free meals are great). The hamburger meat, the lettuce, the cheese, and those crunchy taco shells. Explosions of red sauce on my shirt. Belching was appreciated, but I couldn’t match the decibels of Mrs. Gapinski.
When I was even younger, I went to my first Chinese restaurant in Minneapolis. I must have been about 6 or 7. I don’t exactly know what I ate, but I remember the poor family sitting right behind us. Here is this kid (me) constantly shooting up from my bench seat, and then peering at them over the wood partition. I found something exotic about staring at others people’s food with hunger in my eyes. I still have that survivalist trait today! Be sure to invite me to eat when I do that, but you are paying of course.
I remember my friend Joe who invited me over to a Ghanaian party. I didn’t recognize most of the food, but I do remember my first taste of okra. Bleeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! What a slimy, slithery, mushy, jelly kind of ingredient. Plus there was a bowl of some doughy substance. When I dipped my fingers in that bowl to peel off the dough type bread, it snapped back and hit this nice lady in a beautiful African robe. Needless to say, they ripped off a chunk for me and put it in my own private bowl. Hmmm, no communal sharing after that!
Ah, my mom’s Hungarian goulash. I have no idea if it was either Hungarian or goulash, but mom put a bit of love in there with the chunks of meat and potatoes. She knew I couldn’t stand those slimy egg noodles, so she put in the spuds instead. (I have a problem with slime don’t I?) And wait a minute! You don’t make chili with elbow noodles? Well, mom did and you obviously have an inferior palate!
We all remember the food “specials” at our households. Those toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup pairs, which caused me to groan. Hmm, the pork chops that mom so lovingly burned, but made up for it with awesome gravy over the potatoes. Speaking of spuds, I hate mashed potatoes, too slippery tasting. And PLEASE stop offering me spuds without gravy, I can’t eat it.
Who remembers their favorite family desserts? Grandma’s lemon meringue pie or her raspberry jam made straight from farm garden. Or how about your favorite food faux pas? As a little boy, I was at my Aunt’s house. I would snack over there a lot, and I saw this wonderful fruit bowl on the kitchen table. So I grabbed this beautiful red apple and sunk my teeth in it. What’s this??? Oh, oh, it was a wax apple. I then gently put it back in the fruit bowl and turned it over so the teeth marks would not show. I hung my head in shame, grabbed a real cookie, and got the heck out of there!