Rodney Roe's Blog

Still Trying to Make Sense of It All

Rodney Roe

Rodney Roe
Clayton, Georgia, USA
November 22
I currently place myself among the curmudgeons of the world. Always thinking about why things are, and how they may be better, I tend to rant at times, but mostly I just look for a reasoned discourse. I have previously worked as a cotton scout, grocery bag boy, cannery worker, and am a physician. I am married, have two daughters and four granddaughters. I retired due to vision loss in 2005 after a 30 year career as a hospital pathologist. Fortunate to have a wide range of interests, life following retirement has been good.

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MAY 25, 2010 4:28PM

Food Your Mother Made You Eat

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I was born at the beginning of WWII.  The depression and the war colored everything as I was growing up.  The only money my parents ever borrowed was the mortgage on our house.  Everything else was on a cash basis.  We had beans and cornbread and milk a lot because that is all there was to eat during periods during the depression.  We fished, hunted and raised cows, chickens and had a large garden.  So, we had rabbit, squirrel, fish (always fried) fresh or canned vegetables, blackberries, plums, apples, and pecans.  I liked almost everything my parents cooked except for cooked turnips and Brussel Sprouts.

Brussel Sprouts just smelled bad cooking and on the plate and salt, pepper and butter couldn't hide the strong cruciferous vegetable smell.  So, my mother used coercion.  "The English survived the war by raising and eating Brussel Sprouts."  I was too young to know that Brussels was in Belgium and who could be so ungrateful for the sacrifices that the British made as to reject the little cabbages.

So, recently I told an older friend who was a teen in England during the war what my mother had said.  "Poppycock" she said.  "We survived on rabbits.  Every day a man came by with a large number of rabbits that he had killed and sold them door to door.  If it had not been for him we would have had nothing."

James Coca once said that he was heavy because he single handedly saved every Ethiopian from starving to death by eating what his mother put on his plate.

I'm curious.  What was your least favorite food and who did you save by eating it?

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My grandmother cooked so much cabbage when I was a child, that I constantly feared that that odor had soaked into my skin and I smelled of that watery stench. I ate it when forced to as a child, but don't go near the stuff now. Wouldn't cook it in my house at knife-point. (well maybe at knife-point, but never as a food source ...)
I still remember the look on the adults' faces when I was first given Brussels sprouts at a dinner party and asked for seconds then turned my nose up at the fruit ambrosia served for dessert ("Wow, your kid is weird...but in a good way"). I was probably around 6 or 7 and that was just the beginning of me doing the opposite of whatever it was they expected of me.
I hated bologna most of all and still do. I will eat hot dogs now, but they have to be Kosher.
Funny how tastes change. I like Brussels sprouts now and will eat turnips if they are cooked with the greens. My great grandfather was a German immigrant and my paternal grandmother, who spent part of her childhood with an Indian tribe, cooked the strangest assortment of food. The basis of her cooking was German, but there were lots of dried meats, fruits and even vegetables, as well. Nothing like sauerkraut and jerky.