Traumatic foods of your childhood

What did Mom dish up–on a regular basis-- while you were growing up that still makes you shudder when you think of it?

For me, it was that gloppy canned chop suey with the flaccid bean sprouts, served up on a bed of minute rice. I stared at many a plate of that, watching it congeal.

Well, hit me with it. What was cookin’ at your place?


Creamed corn from the can. Bleargh. You’d think my farm-girl mom would have known better. (To her credit she stopped serving it later on.)

Tuna casserole. Every Friday. I can barely stand to eat tuna when it’s cold and disguised by mayo and bread. But HOT tuna and noodles? Yecch! Eventually I resorted to peanut butter samwiches on Fridays.

Also, peas. When I was very litte and extremely picky about what I would eat, my dad was able to get me to eat peas by calling them “little green balls” and he would roll 'em around the plate. The whole family called them that so I wouldn’t know they were a vegetable. My brothers would say, “Mom, please pass the mashed potatoes and the little green balls.” I found this very entertaining and was a huge “little green balls” fan until one day, somebody let it slip that they were actually peas. Never ate them again. Even now I don’t like them.

Milk. My ma made me drink a glass of milk every night with dinner, and I absolutely hated it. Still hate it. I’m getting sick just thinking about it…

::claps hand over mouth::

gotta go!

Liver. Yecch.

we lived with my grandparents for a time while i was little. it seemed to me that my grandmother had a penchant for overcooking vegetables, and the worst had to be brocolli. i would pretend to chew, spit the said vegetable into a napkin and near the end of dinner sneak off to the bathroom with napkin and flush it down the toilet. still gives me shudders. not to mention the salads she would make with everything in them. she would add avocadoes to the salad which just seemed like slimey tasteless green things that stuck themselves to the underside of lettuce so you couldn’t avoid them. and, i absolutely couldn’t stand tomatoes when i was a kid. the flavor and texture would make me gag every time. now, though, i love them and have a bumper crop of brandywines and amish pastes coming up. however, i still can’t eat cherry tomatoes - blech :stuck_out_tongue:

my grandmother, however, was an excellent cook otherwise - just in case someone, somewhere who knows her happens to be reading this.

My mom was really an inventive cook. She was the first suburbanite to own (and use) a wok. she’d scour magazines for new ideas. a real wonder and treat.

except for

Tuesday nights. We had choir practice and as such, would need a meal at different time than our dad, so, she’d “treat” us by buying a TV dinner. The first Tuesday, when I was with her shopping, I picked one out that sounded ok. Salisbury Steak (with gravy) and sides of Mashed 'taters (fake) and green peas. Liked it ok, that first week.

Every single Tuesday for the next 5 years. “here’s your favorite TV dinner” First to go was the taters. then the peas. finally, I couldnt’ even START on the main course.

To this day (some 30 years later), when my son sometimes wants a salisbury steak din din, I go to the other room.

Baked beans. The kind with pork in them. I cannot even begin to describe the horrors.

I am a vegetarian now and I will still not even eat vegetarian baked beans because the memory of those pork beans makes me completely ill.

Potroast. Dry, stringy potroast. We had it at least once a week when I was a kid. I needed to drink about 10 glasses of milk to wash it down. I frequently used the hide-it-in-a-napkin-and-flush-it trick. To this day I can’t stand the sight or smell of it.


I threw up once after eating a helping when I was 7 years old. To this day, I get nauseous whenever I see the stuff.

I was good about trying stuff, but even as a child I knew I genuinely hated 4-5 foods. I still hate them to this day:
mayonnaise, limabeans, baked beans (especially the little lard nugget that comes in the can), bologna & other luncheon meats (Soylent Green, anyone?), and egg salad sandwiches.

My mom had little patience for kids’ picky eating habits, and when we claimed we didn’t like something it would never stop her from feeding it to us and making us sit there till we cleaned our plates. It didn’t occur to her that there are some instances where kids legitimately hate the taste of a certain food, we were always “being silly.”

One day she made me an egg salad sandwich to take to school for lunch. Oh, the grossness! The foul smell emanating from my Holly Hobby lunchbox! The wilted lettuce, the mushy wheat bread, the vomitous texture and odor! There was no way I was putting it in my mouth.

Then came that fateful Saturday: She made me an egg salad sandwich.

“But mom, I don’t like egg salad.”
“Don’t be silly. Of course you do.”
“No mom, I don’t like it.”
“But you just had it for lunch the other day!”
“No, I didn’t eat it. I threw it away because it was gross.”

After a lecture on wasting food (deserved) she put the sandwich down in front of me. “I’m not gonna eat it.”

“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not.”

“You are going to sit at the table until you eat that sandwich.”

I sat at the table the entire afternoon, unable to read, watch TV, play, or do anything but stare at our harvest gold appliances. Dinner time came around, and while the rest of the family ate something else, I stared defiantly at my egg salad sandwich.

Bedtime came. Still sitting there. I fell asleep at the table, and my dad (I think) carried me up to bed. Next morning was Sunday, when after church we got to have “Fancy Breakfast” (waffles, pancakes, etc. instead of cereal). I’m literally starving by this point…salivating…

Out comes the sandwich - now a day old, congealed in the refrigerator.

I sat in front of that thing for 2 days before they finally threw it away and gave me something else to eat.

Slight hijack here on the Creamed Corn issue: yes, it’s pretty gross from the can. But I was converted when I had a side of creamed corn with my prime rib at Lawry’s in Chicago. I never knew that was what creamed corn was supposed to taste like. Mmmmmmmmm.

Just thought of another one, a side dish consisting entirely of grated carrots and raisins. Mom wouldn’t let me pick the raisins out of it :frowning:

What I hated was sauerkraut. Why on earth did my parents like cooking it so much? The smell just filled the entire house, and they would put in enough vinegar so that if you threw it at a wall it would strip the paint off of it. I can’t even look at the stuff now. Yeccch.

Damn, that’s psychotic (mantra: always preview, always preview…)

Beans on toast. I HATE beans on toast. My mom used to feed it to us when we were poor. She never had to eat it, though. I will not eat baked beans, ever.

Spaghetti Bolongese. I once refused to eat it-I hated the stuff. My father told me to eat it or he’d put my face in it. I told him to go ahead and put my face in it- and he did. Nothing says love like smashing a 5-year-old’s face in a plate of spaghetti :rolleyes:

Cauliflower. This is the one vegetable I still can’t bring myself to eat.

For my wife it was beets. She says they remind her of internal organs. “Dr., are we going to have to remove his beets?” “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

Grandma’s meatballs.

Now I enjoy meatballs (on spaghetti and such), but when Grandma made them, they were gross. First she’d call them hamburgs (we couldn’t get it through to her that hamburgs are on a bun with catsup). Secondly, she’d put onions in them because she liked them that way. When I refused to eat them because ‘they tasted funny’, she’d yell, lecture and finally swat my butt until I did eat them. Then she’d be mad because I’d be “faking sick” all afternoon. Nothing my parents said would convince her that I actually was allergic to onions (scallions, leeks, anything in that family). Her response was that’ ‘If you eat enough of it, you’ll outgrow it.’ Dining at Grandma’s house was traumatic, to say the least.

Grandma’s lard

Any meat (chicken, steak, veal, venison) Grandma cooked was fried in lard in a cast-iron skillet. 'Nuff said.

Liver and spaghetti. Not together, but separately. I STILL despise liver. I’ve since learned that it was the anise in the spaghetti that I hated, but I’m still not fond of spaghetti, or any sort of pasta. If I have beef stroganoff, I want it served on mashed potatoes or rice, NOT on noodles!

Oh, God. I’d forgotten about beets! They really DO look like slabs of raw liver…ugh!!:eek: