The Cat was reminiscing about how one of her father’s good friends influenced her and her character. I started to think about what influenced my love of food, cooking, and exploration of food. This happened way before the chicken feet incident, but I think this event helped to shape my relationship with food that affects me to this day. My recollection may be a bit fictional, but what do you expect? I was under ten at the time.
My parents were attending a company party and had arranged for me to stay overnight at Aunty M’s. I was a picky eater at the time. I don’t remember what she made for dinner or for breakfast the next morning. I think my parents were supposed to pick me up after breakfast but were delayed. Anyway, as lunch time approached, Aunty M started to make grilled cheese sandwiches for her children (my cousins). She said she would make me for lunch to try.
To Eat or Not to Eat
I never tasted cheese before much less grilled cheese (for reasons that will take to long and send me back into therapy, just kidding). She said to at least try it. I’m not sure if she was practicing tough love or what, but she said that grilled cheese sandwiches was all she was making, so the only choice was to eat or not to eat. She wasn’t going to make something just for me (not that I was asking). I was intrigued.
I helped her butter the bread on the outside and watched her fry them on the frying pan. This was not some sort of gourmet sandwich with artisanal cheeses and breads. This was plain white bread and American cheese. The smell of the melting butter and cheese was unfamiliar but somehow comforting. With a bit of apprehension, I took my first bite. It was like the heavens opened up and the angels started to sing, watching color television for the first time, you get the idea. The bread was buttery, toasty, and crunchy. Inside, the cheese was gooey and salty. WOW! I think she even gave me some of the cheese that melted on the pan and got crusty. This was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
That incident made me look at food differently. If I hadn’t encountered it before, at least I will give it a try. There are some foods that are still too weird for me, but I am more open to the adventure. I don’t eat cheese as much as I would like to because of lactose intolerance issues that occurred later in life (sorry, too much information). I think because of a grilled cheese sandwich, I was able to tackle the chicken feet. Initially, there was trauma and drama, but at least I didn’t go running out of the house screaming.
They say that a journey begins with the first step. My journey of eating began with a grilled cheese sandwich!
Thanks Aunty M.
The Mouse can Explore.