It’s Thursday which means it’s time for Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop. This week I chose prompt #5) Describe your least favorite meal growing up.
That’s kind of a tough one because growing up in a household of 6 children, 2 adults and countless children and adults who frequently adorned our table, we were pretty much just happy for whatever food you got. Being one of the youngest didn’t help because all the older kids had longer arms and my younger sister and I frequently got shoved aside.
I’m not saying people literally shoved us out of the way, although at times they may have. I’m just saying that meals, like every other moment in our household, were chaotic at best. There really wasn’t an orderly way of anyone serving everyone. If my dad was home, he and my mom got first pickings and then it was sort a free for all and grab what you can reach and be happy with it.
It was that way with the extended family too. The adults ate first and the kids grabbed what was left. I’m not saying we went hungry. There always seemed to be food of some sort but it wasn’t always necessarily what you wanted, it was what there was. There did always seem to be a lot of fresh vegetables in the summer and dried beans with lots of fat back and corn bread in the winter or home canned veggies. One of the ones I remember the most was succotash. Everyone in my family seemed to LOVE succotash and I always hated it. I would eat it because I was hungry but I never really enjoyed it.
As we got older the cooking kind of fell to the kids since our mom worked. First my oldest sister did the cooking until she graduated high school, got married and moved away all in the same week. Then my oldest brother helped out a lot and then he graduated the next year and the next two siblings never really got into cooking or cleaning much so a lot of it fell on me at a fairly young age.
I was 11 years old when my oldest sister left home and then for the next three years one by one my older siblings left so by the time I was 13 or 14 I was doing most of the cooking during the week. My mom left home very early in the morning, usually before the sun came up and didn’t get home until around 5 p,m, She always left us a very detailed note every morning with what she wanted cooked and cleaned before she got home from work. We usually stepped off the school bus at 4 p,m. which meant we(by we I mean I) had to have beds made, floors swept, breakfast dishes done and dinner ready to go on the table at 5 p.m. when Mama came through the door.
I was never a really GOOD cook but I was sufficient in that I could get a meal on the table even if you didn’t like it. One of the things I hated the most was SPAM. Yes, there was SPAM of a different kind when I was growing up. Not SPAM assaulting your email inbox just SPAM assaulting your taste buds and every other sense. I still to this day throw up a little in my mouth thinking about it! My mom and dad liked fried SPAM which to me was even more vile than just SPAM. Any way you sliced it, it was nasty.
I hated everything about it. I hated having to fry it and smell it cooking. To me, it smelled horrible and even just cutting it to cook it made my skin crawl. It kind of had that gristle in it and the congealed grease or whatever that stuff was in the can was simply gross. They liked frying it and eating it on biscuits. I remember even today the sound of that square hunk of mess plopping onto the plate. Then having to put my hands on it to cut it and flour it up meant having to handle it even more and of course we didn’t have rubber gloves back then so the smell got on my hands and it seemed like my hands smelled like that for days. I could swear going to school for the next few days people would be whispering behind their hands “She smells like SPAM… GROSS!”
Yeah, it WAS gross and SPAM was my least favorite meal to cook or to eat. I thought it was gross then and I still think it is. I don’t think I’ve tasted SPAM since I left home at age 18 and I don’t even know if they still produce it (WHAT IS THAT STUFF ANYWAY?) or not, but, I have NO intention of ever eating it again.
How about YOU? What was your least favorite meal as a child?