Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, May 16, 2020

Allergic Aversions

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. When I was a kid, I hated asparagus (the texture. GAH!) Now I love grilled asparagus particularly. In my 40s I developed an aversion to cinnamon. Sometimes I push through it to be polite. (For example, if I go to a book club, and they serve banana bread with cinnamon or whatnot.) But for the more part, I steer clear of it. What a great experience for your son to go to Boston. And it's interesting that he finally started eating beans.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes those aversion allergies can be tricked with a name change.
    As a young un my partner apparently flatly refused to eat minced meat. In any shape or form. Ground beef was very different. And was devoured.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Minced beef vs. ground beef? Brave young man to finally eat beans and learn to accept it. Good man.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to love baked beans as a child, we only ever had the canned variety from Heinz, now there is SPC as well, but I rarely eat them anymore. The beans are often hard as bullets and there seems to be so much more sauce in the cans these days. Not worth buying.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some people in my family will not eat anything with bell pepper. It's not that they do not like the taste of bell pepper, it's that the bell peppers do not like them! From observation i can tell you, the indigestion caused by bell peppers not liking you is worth skipping out on the bell peppers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My aversion was pickled herring. My mom liked it but I thought it was disgusting. The same with pickled pigs feet which my family never had but my husband's family tricked me into trying it. Otherwise, I'm a foodie and love most everything.

    ReplyDelete

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