Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Food 'Allergies'

The Bean Man . . . and family.

My Dad always claimed to be allergic to onions.
Whenever he ordered any burger, he always asked them to 'hold the onions'.
We just assumed that he really was allergic to onions.
Later in life, we discovered that his reticence was due, not to allergies, but to aversions.
There's a difference.
But what a scheme!
My kids tried to use it, too.
Our eldest, Mark, became quite expert.
His particular nemesis?
Beans.
Harmless, deep-browned, baked beans.
My personal favourite.
And one of the major ingredients in my award-winning chili.
Something that appeared with amazing regularity on the family dinner table.
Mmmmm.
From his very earliest years, Mark exhibited an unparallelled reluctance to put those nasty, evil beans anywhere near his mouth.
Regardless of how many times they might appear on his table.
Once, when he was just learning to say the blessing on the food, his father tried to trick him into 'bean acceptance'.
“Father in Heaven.” Grant.
“Father in Heaven.” Mark. (But imagine it in a little 20 month-old voice.)
“We thank thee for this food.” Grant.
“We thank thee for this food.” Mark.
“Because it's so yum.” Grant.
“Because it's so not yum.” Mark.
Laughter (Grant).
More laughter (Mom).
Grin (Mark).
And so it went.
For 19 years.
At the age of 19, Mark received a mission call for our church to Boston, Massachusetts.
He excitedly prepared to go.
I took him aside. “Mark, you know what they call Boston, don't you?”
“What?”
“Bean Town.”
His face whitened a little. “Bean Town?”
“Yep. Where do you think the term 'Boston Baked Beans' comes from?”
He had to sit down for that one. “Boston Baked Beans,” he said, faintly.
“Yep. So you'd better get used to eating them, because you will probably be getting them morning, noon and night.”
“Oh.”
He went anyways, brave boy that he was.
And returned two years later.
We met him at the airport.
We had sent our little boy.
We brought back an adult.
The first thing I asked him was how he felt about beans now that he had spent two years in the midst of the world's best bean eaters.
His response?
“I just got served beans for the first time yesterday.”
Even the 'Bean Towners' catered to my son . . .
Mark eats beans today.
Mostly to show his children it can be done.
But he doesn't wage much of a battle.
His oldest daughter, Megan's favourite food is Grandma's chili.
Okay, maybe the acorn skipped a generation, but it still landed near the tree.

9 comments:

  1. They all take a "scunner" to some food or other as they are growing up. My sister would only eat cod fish so whenever we had halibut or trout or whitefish etc. mom would tell her it was cod and she thought it was just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hahaha my husband loves beans, lentils esp.but eats little meat unless its camouflaged.
    My son numb 2 hates onions garlic, grease,fat, tomatoes eggplant fish and no matter what you do he sits and picks things out.So no matter what I buy he says I buy nothing to eat.
    We all love chilli stuffed canneloni,cabbage ,spaghetti, wine leaves,stuffed zuccinis, pizza .Soup has to be fat free.He ate bananas when he was a kid then stopped and now suddenly is eating them again. Beats me whats going on.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, what a cruel send off! Men are such odd eaters. My brother abandons piles of picked out mushrooms. My brother in law eats olives with every meal. My nephew....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fake allergies have saved me from many a bad meal . . .

    Funny :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's so funny. It made me smile. I love beans. My kids love beans too. I used to buy canned beans at the store and then I finally figured out how to cook them myself... terrible cook that I am... it took me a while. But now my kids turn their noses up so high at canned beans, you'd think they were snobs. :)

    Would you share your chili bean recipe? I have never found one that I like... I would love to try yours!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I knew a missionary once who claimed to carry around an empty scripture case to DA's, just in case.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a funny story and it reminds me of all my husband's food "allergies"! So glad your son survived Bean Town :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ha, ha. I've never heard of anyone claiming an allergy that wasn't. Kids can be so funny about food, especially saying they hate something when they have never even tried it.
    Glad your granddaughter loves your chili. Acorns don't ever fall too far from the tree, do they!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Diane, Mark reminds me of my son, who adamantly dislikes beans. They only way I can entice him to eat them is if I make chili, and it has to be extra hot! In my son's case, he doesn't like them cause they make him feel "bloated." You think? :)

    ReplyDelete

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