(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: Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna 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?