Slice of Life 26: Try it, You WILL LIKE it!

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .


Do you remember sitting at the dinner table with a plate in front of you with some completely un-recognizable stinky food?  And what did the responsible parent say, “Try it, you will like it.”  What was that food for you?  Something exotic like caviar or escargot?  Or something simpler like kohlrabis or asparagus?

Picture this:  my older sister is home from nurses’ training. The first “boy friend” is due for lunch.  We’re a family of six kids so there is no special menu much to my dismay.  “Why can’t we cook more than one chicken? Rats, Spanish rice. Why can’t we have a special meal?” are just a few of the questions rattling around inside my brain.  I know enough to not ask it out loud because silly questions at the table could mean more chores to do.

The table is crowded.  The skillet of Spanish rice is in the center.  We take turns scooping up portions.  “No heathens here.  We are polite.”  A vegetable bowl is passed.  Quiet descends as we clear our plates.  Then the visitor, the new boy friend says, “Pass the green beans, please.  Those are really good.”

Startled, I look at my sister. She looks down.  I look at Mom and she just shakes her head.  So I look down.  I want to say, “They aren’t green beans, buddy!” but I know if I do there will be consequences.

We are almost finished when Dad gets home and joins us at the table.  He asks for the vegetable, “Pass the asparagus, please.”

I wince.  Will he laugh?  Did he even hear?  Who is this city slicker who doesn’t know the difference between green beans and asparagus?  Then we hear, “You know, they did taste a bit different.  But I’m color blind, and they look just like green beans to me.”  We still thought he was a “rube.”

Asparagus is/was a favorite food for many at our house.  I loved the Minneapolis IRA conference a few years ago because every restaurant we went to had asparagus on the menu.  A co-worker hated every restaurant we went to because every dinner included asparagus.  She saw no redeeming qualities in asparagus.  She has moved on, but I am thinking of sending her this recipe to see if she wants another “go” at asparagus.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Do Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries sound good to you?
This story lives on . . .

I couldn’t type this story without laughing.  It’s a favorite story that is recounted every time “anyone” in the family brings a new person to “meet” the family. The details vary according to the memories of that particular sibling.  When my younger sister emailed this recipe, one response was, “Maybe we should call them ‘Crispy Baked Green Bean Fries'” and another sibling responded with,  “Then – – – – -, (brother-in-law) would eat them!”

Poor guy. Still being picked on decades later!


Do you remember being “told” that you would like something, but the romance quickly fizzled and you really didn’t even like whatever the something was?

Does that happen to our children?   Are they told, “Here, read this story today! You will love it, because I loved it when I was a student!”

Or even worse, “I STILL love it, but I haven’t really read it during the last five years.”

(And if you are lucky, the student ONLY thinks and does not shout out loud, “WOW! This is so lame.  There is no way that I will ever like this story!”)

When have you been told to “try it, you will like it?”  Was it really that simple? Did you like it?

21 responses

  1. Funny story about “green beans.” That recipe sounds pretty good, I think I will try it sometime this spring. I love roasted asparagus!

    1. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable! Love “green beans” in our family – either kind!

  2. Most times when my Mom told me to try it, I did like it. But when I say the same thing to my teenage daughter, I may as well be saying “Try this, and no matter how delicious it is, pretend not to like it in as dramatic fashion as you can.”

    1. Drama – the new speaking and listening focus; “let me see it but not hear it!”

  3. This is hilarious Fran! I mentored myself off of your choice to write about a childhood memory. Here’s the link (not trying to self-promote, just wanted to give you a shout out!)

    1. Loved it, Anna! Thanks for the SO!

  4. Oh gosh, I laughed through this story. I think perhaps it has a universal theme. Ever have blood sausage? DON’T. Have you tried the recipe?

    1. The recipe came yesterday. I don’t think asparagus needs ANY adornment!

      yes to blood sausage, head cheese, pickled pigs’ feet and all those yukky recycled parts! NOT favorites!

  5. This was great! My dad, a very hairy man, used to try to get my sister and I to eat beets. We balked every time. Then he’d say, “They put hair on your chest!”. We’d squeal in horror. He once told my 3 year old niece that beets tasted like candy and the poor dear actually said “I don’t like candy.”

    1. Oh, Adrienne. “Burnt toast” would make my hair curly according to Grandpa. It didn’t work.

      However, I am not a chocolate lover! !!! Not big on candy!

  6. Funny! Sounds like the boyfriend is a good sport…still! Good Story…and I think I will have to try that recipe…as we love asparagus here. Jackie

    1. I hope you do try the recipe. I would have to make asparagus for one at my house. No other takers! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Funny story, Fran, especially your wry inner dialogue. Poor fellow. This particular phrase has never worked for me – neither as a mother nor as a teacher.

    1. Tara,
      Thanks for commenting on the inner dialogue. That was “on my list” for this month. And that phrase did NOT work for me as a child either so I gave it up!

  8. There are many food items I have tried in my lifetime because they were “good” or “good for me.” Most of them, I still avoid. But this recipe does look delicious. I may try again! Thanks!

    1. I think there is enough covering that you won’t taste a lot of the asparagus. I remember that I never liked overcooked, mushy asparagus! There are many other ways to cook it!

      Thanks for commenting, Jennifer!

  9. Great story, Fran! It makes me think of going to my cousin’s very proper Southern wedding at age 13. Because we were out of town family guests, my grandmother and I were invited to a luncheon the day before the wedding. I was seated next to one of the hostesses and was trying my best to be polite. I failed miserably when a plate with a stuffed tomato and pickled beets was placed in front of me. I just hope I didn’t visibly turn up my nose!

    1. Wow! Great story! As soon as you said “very proper Southern” I was thinking “grits, hominy, and barbecue.” I remember a childhood of eating anything that came from the garden! Sometimes we literally washed the veggies off at the outdoors pump!

      Thanks for commenting!

  10. A terrific story! And he became your brother-in-law! Does he eat asparagus now? The thing I remember trying and hatinb was brussel sprouts. My mom never made them but when I went to a friend’s houe, her mom cooked them. I put a whole one in my mouth and couln’t figure out what to do with it. I love brussel sprouts now!

    1. He eats asparagus but it is not a favorite. I do remember the first time that I had brussel sprouts as well. It was not fun as I also had a mouth full of ICK!


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