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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, February 17, 2014

'Bean' There

You want me to eat what . . .?

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'.
Grant: “Father in Heaven.”
Mark: “Father in Heaven.” (But imagine it in a little 20 month-old voice.)
Grant: “We thank thee for this food.”
Mark: “We thank thee for this food.”
Grant: “Because it's so yum.”
Mark: “Because it's so not yum.”
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.

12 comments:

  1. The only beans I prefer to avoid are (shudder) lima beans....and even then, if they are in soup, I will eat them. Imagine living in Boston for two years and only being served beans once. Unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm afraid I'm in the same 'anti-lima bean' camp. I choke them down rather than pick them out, but . . . ewww . . .

      Delete
  2. I can't imagine not liking deep browned beans. That's a major staple. Take a can of beans, add some chopped onions and half a can of ginger ale and they lose their ability to keep you and your sleeping partner warm at night. Boring...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Food warms our lives in so many ways . . .

      Delete
  3. I love baked beans. But in moderation, because they don't love me back :)

    Wonderful post. It's amazing how peoples' taste buds differ, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. They say love makes the world go round. I think it's food . . . :)

      Delete
  4. Well my youngest daughter would put her food in the plant near by. I didn't realize that for a very long time; since I seldom watered the plants. Maybe the food helped them live longer.
    Very happy that he can now eat beans. Smiling...............
    Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! I like how your daughter thinks!

      Delete
  5. Mom made the best baked beans and I could never equal them. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's with these Moms who take their amazing recipes with them? :)

      Delete
  6. I've never made my own baked beans. I used to eat the canned variety when I was young, but they're not the same now, they must be using cheaper quality ingredients, the sauce is often too plentiful with not enough beans, or the beans are hard like tiny pebbles. I'll have to find a good recipe and have a go at making my own. Without chili.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmm. . . beans. I'll take them however I can get them!

      Delete

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