Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Aversions 101

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.

6 comments:

  1. That's a riot! I used to have an aversion to sliced tomatoes (I'm not even sure why!) but I would order my burgers and say, "Hold the tomatoes, I'm allergic, but could you bring me extra ketchup"
    I've missed your stories, I need to make it a habit to stop by more frequently.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My partner claims his aversions are allergies. And he backs it up by puking if he is forced to eat the food in question. Unless for some reason he decided he wants to eat it, when the gag reflex is suppressed. Mushrooms for example. Poison. Vomit inducing poison. Until the day his steak was dry and he 'borrowed' my stroganoff sauce.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great stories, both in the post and in the comments! I have the opposite problem the last few years - foods that I loved my whole life no longer like me. And new foods that I've wanted to try REALLY don't like me! But I'm good with beans, ketchup and mushrooms, at least ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I grew up on baked beans, but the canned kind from Heinz, home made was unheard of here in Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Life can be so ironic! As soon as I saw your son was going to Boston, I burst out laughing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've always been fascinated about why people like different things. (I"m sure there is a more technical name for it.) I'm not fond of baked beans either so I have to agree with Mark.

    ReplyDelete

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