January 21, 2003


... sung to the tune of Elton John's Rocketman. Change words as needed.

Holding out to the end, here. A lone man and his computer in an otherwise empty room. The lonely woodstove throws futile rays of light into the dark corners. The steaming water kettle hisses at the man's back through clenched teeth. No, stop! No time for whimsy this morning. The Carpetman Cometh! More about that later, and mayhaps a before and after picture with further explanation for why we have chosen (well ONE of us has chosen and the other one of us has surrendered to overwhelming force) to sod our floor with recycled pop bottles (or soda or soft-drink, depending on where you're from)... that's basically what olefin is, as I understand it. Better living through chemistry. I guess. Olefin: sounds like a Norwegian boy's name, but I digress.

Meanwhile, class, during this brief lull from the more long-term lull in creativity that typifies Fragments, a writing assignment for you, shamelessly snagged from a professional teacher of English who comes to this weblog, I think, to find examples to show her students: to paraphrase the words of Click and Clack... don't write like my brother. Just kidding, Prof, I visited your writing assignment page and am passing this one along just for fun, under the 'Better to get forgiveness than permission' clause. I never took a writing course, so didn't get to do these fun essay assignments. Here it is, lifted verbatim and also word for word...

Is there a food or dish that you detested as a child that you like as an adult? Can you pinpoint the moment when you gave that food a second chance? How, in general, has your sense of taste changed? Think about the kinds of words that we use to describe taste -- sweet, sour, tangy, spicy.

Your responses from 'comments' you post here will be excerpted in part or whole and read to the class first thing Wednesday morning. And don't bother with excuses for missed or late assignments.

"The dog ate my hard drive" will not even be considered.

Posted by fred1st at January 21, 2003 06:15 AM | TrackBack

We had lean years and peanut butter sandwiches were a staple as a child. I grew to despise the little buggers. Peanuts held little favor with me until, as an adult, i was introduced to Thai chicken with peanut sauce. Ahhhh... the esquisite glory that is peanut sauce! Smooth, creamy, just the right hint of spice and heat; gastronomic heaven! My favorite comes bottled - from the House of Tsang, Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce, although the extraordinary Kerri Smith also has a superb recipe.

Hugs to ya'll down there in Floyd

Posted by: anne at January 21, 2003 07:19 AM

Green vegetables. As a kid, I hated them all. I carried that hatred through my teenage years and into college. Then one fine day I found myself at The Olive Garden with my new girlfriend, and the famous bottomless salad bowl sitting between us.

My choice was simple. Look like a loser in front of my new girlfriend, or suck it up and eat salad. I chose the salad, and in the long run I got the girl too. We've been married for 11 years and I happily eat most of the green things she puts on the table.

Posted by: Chris at January 21, 2003 08:59 AM

You should see the rose-colored carpet that covers every inch of our place. Even the walls reflect a pink hue when the room is lit. It is warm, though..

Posted by: ron at January 21, 2003 09:57 AM

Whoa, I commented on the wrong entry! Anyhoo, my food switch was the mighty tomato. I wouldn't touch them as a kid, now I cover a large portion of my back-yard with tomato vines each summer.

Posted by: ron at January 21, 2003 10:03 AM

No. No. It hasn't. Ok, I thought about them, yummy words. Blog on!

Posted by: Bene Diction at January 21, 2003 12:56 PM

Brussel Spouts.

Tried to hide them under the mashed potatoes...but it just ruined the potatoes. Dropped them into my milk glass...but that fouled the milk. Slid them down my sleeves, tucked them into the cuffs of my jeans (Yes Virginia, we cuffed our jeans back in ought-six)pushed them between the cracks in the seat cushions. Nothing fooled my Gran. It all came out in the wash.

Peppy, my faithful cocker, sensible creature that he was, refused to participate in the charade. Oh, he could be bought off, but not with sprouts. Liver was his vice.

I was stuck...hung out to dry with the Sproutage.

"Eat your sprouts, don't fiddle with your food." Gran said.

"But I don't like them" I whined, sliding my elbow to splay myself across the table looking utterly pathetic...projcting my best shot- How can I be expected to eat brussell sprouts when you can see I am in such mental anguish!

"Sit up, don't whine, eat your sprouts, they are good for you. Some day you will thank me for making you eat vegetables." She replied as she tidied up the kitchen. Then she played her ace-in-the-hole: "You will not be excused from the table until your plate is clean."

EGADS! that meant no TV...soon I would miss my alloted half hour of TV time. NO!

I squenched up my eyes (ever notice how things appear less theatening when seen through slitted eyelids)... stabbing the loathsome globules with a fork. There! Take that! Sprout of Brussels!! I stuffed them into my cheeks, washed them down with a river of milk, still they came...sprout after sprout..a neverending green army of sprouts marching across my plate. (I was very taken with the Sourcerer's Apprentice at that age)

I gagged. I turned. I twisted. I capitulated, throwing myself on her mercy. "Please Gran, I can't, they taste awful..I'll do extra chores, eat two slices of liver next time...Oh Pahleeeze!"

"E-yeah...suppose they aren't so tasty when you let them get cold. Maybe next time we won't have so much drama and they will be eaten when they are served. Eat. Your. Sprouts." She was unbending.

Gah! I ate them...all of them. I did not watch TV. I was sent to bed for being a pill.

I don't recall when the conversion ocurred...perhaps we aren't meant to recall certain events too clearly. I adore Brussel sprouts. I revel in Brussel Sprouts. I could sing the praises of a well steamed Brussel Sprout, glistening with sweet cream butter and a grind of black pepper...if I could carry a tune.


Thanks Gran.

Posted by: feste at January 21, 2003 09:44 PM

Um...I may have gone over the top..always was a drama queen ya know. *G*

Posted by: feste at January 21, 2003 09:44 PM

Tee hee! Oh . . . those were all absolutely marvelous! No really. I mean it! I had kind of a crap day, but now I'm in a much better mood now after reading these terrific responses . . . Hmm . . . maybe will mosey back over to my blog and take a stab at my own assignment. :)

Posted by: Artichoke Heart at January 22, 2003 01:01 AM

Over here, we have a fruit called durian, which has a thorny shell, pungent smell and creamy yellow flesh. It's known as the "king of fruits".

Most "Westerners" just can't stand its smell. I was born in England and came back to Malaysia when I was four. I just REFUSED to have anything to do with durians. Eww.

I don't know when I changed, but today the durian is one of my favourite fruits!

Posted by: irene at January 22, 2003 05:27 AM

Like most kids, I hated liver. Despised it.

Several years ago, on Christmas Eve, I lost a bet to a cousin and I had to eat some liver pate wrapped in bacon.

Been eating liver ever since.

Posted by: michele at January 22, 2003 01:37 PM

When my older brother was 8 and I was 6, Mom bought tapioca. Tapioca pudding had been one of my Mom's favorite desserts, next to chocolate, of course, and the whole family had been anticipating this dessert.

Dessert time in my family is a highly competitive, no-holds-barred war zone. It always has been. Each family member learns, early on, to guard his or her own dish of sweet stuff while using every trick and ploy imaginable to steal a bite of someone else's dessert. Anything was three times sweeter if it was on someone else's plate. Ah... the sweet, sweet taste of victory, when you tricked a sibling out of something good.

Mom's favorite ruse was to tell us that it was no good at all, before we'd even taken a bite. We soon learned not to listen to her when she passed us a brownie saying, "Oh, dear, these don't look like they backed right... I think I better eat them all so you don't have to suffer. I'll take on that burden for you children." She wasn't beingselfless... she just wanted our share.

On the night of the eagerly anticipated home-made tapioca pudding, my older brother leaned over and whispered to me, "Luminous, I thought you already knew that tapioca was just a fancy name for fish eyes."

"I know that!" My eyes widened in fear as I stubbornly refused to let him know that I had been completely ignorant of that fact.

I was the only one in the family who disliked anything fishy, so I could just imagine the rest of the family sitting around, happily eating fish eyes, squishing through the retinas and optic nerves and I was getting sick. I thought that it might, just maybe, be a plot for my brother to get my bowl of pudding, so I told myself that I would take a bite, maybe even two, and see for myself if I was eating fish eyes. (gag...)

I was a highly suggestible kid, though, and I don't know if anyone really expected my imagination to run away with me quite that much. I looked at my bowl of fish eyes, I mean tapioca, and it looked pretty suspicious to me. There were little round things in it. It did have eyes!

I took a bite and one of the little round bits of tapioca squished between my teeth. I just ate an eye... oh, no, I ate an eye. I spit it out into a napkin, pushed the bowl over to my brother who was nearly done with his own,and excused myself to get a glass of water.

I didn't even look at tapioca pudding until ten years later, when my best friend in high school laughed at me for believing that silly thing about fish eyes. She served me tapioca pudding and it was the most marvelous thing. I've loved tapioca ever since.

Posted by: M. Luminous at January 22, 2003 03:48 PM

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