|Stupid peas...think they're so special!|
It's funny, because I do love pea soup, I adore sauteed pea greens, and I don't mind throwing a handful of peas into a dish for some crunch or color (such as last week's Ancho Carbonara). But a serving of peas with a meal? Meh. I'd rather not.
But I know why this is. Peas were the one ubiquitous vegetable at dinner when I was growing up. We always had other veggies, too, but my dad insisted on peas, almost every night. And unlike much of my parent's other food "experiments" with recipes doomed to scare small children, peas were always served as is: defrosted from a bag and then put on our plates.
This may speak more to the fact that my mom probably didn't care too much about them and my dad only wanted them as is. They weren't presented as tasty. Merely mandatory.
And even though I was a surprisingly picky eater, I did scarf down other vegetables. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, carrots ... yes, please. But peas...I'd hide them in my napkin.
So it should not be surprising that, as an adult, I rarely if ever have peas in the house, nor do I go out of my way to order them in restaurants. It's not like I hate them. They just don't come up in my list of foods to think about.
Around the same time as my napkin hiding escapades, came a product that was supposed to handle such an issue: I Hate Peas.
These were basically vegetables reconstituted with potatoes (and other ingredients) to make french fries. And they came in other vegetable flavors, too.
(I had hoped to find the TV Commercial online, but no dice.)
Even back then, I thought this was a bad idea. Really? French fries as a substitute for everything?
Now I can really see that my parent's feeding habits of us kids helped me be open to trying most everything. That is especially apparent watching some adult friends and acquaintances who avoid certain groups of foods altogether. It's one thing to not like a a particular food's taste or texture (I was married to someone who hated the pulp of tomatoes. I'm currently dating someone who does not like the taste of cucumbers. We manage.) It's entirely something else to meet folks into their 30s and 40s who won't eat any vegetables or fresh fruit because they find them all "icky".
And I believe these were the people who were probably snuck their "healthy" foods into their "regular" meals. And that's not so unique. You can find tons of blogs about it, so much so that other bloggers have complained about it. (In-fighting among the foodies!)
Even scientific studies have shown that both scientists and moms felt that "stealth veggie-ing" was the effective way to introduce healthy energy-dense food to youngsters.
But then we end up with folks who only eat deep fried greens and perpetuate this madness by following Jerry Seinfeld's wife into hiding broccoli in your cupcakes.
So, much as I don't often say it...thanks, Mom and Dad, for serving me those awful peas every meal, along with the strangely crisp eggplants, the home made sushi and "crepe night." Without all that, we wouldn't have the Streamlined Ska Librarian recipes we see today.
Caton, Samantha J., Sara M. Ahern, and Marion M. Hetherington. “Vegetables by Stealth. An Exploratory Study Investigating the Introduction of Vegetables in the Weaning Period.” Appetite, Feeding infants and young children: guidelines, research and practice, 57, no. 3 (December 2011): 816–25. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.05.319.
“Dear Ninja Vegetable Mom: You’re Raising Kids Wrong.” Accessed September 14, 2014. http://www.foodretro.com/dear-ninja-vegetable-mom-youre-raising-kids-wrong/.
Spill, Maureen K., Leann L. Birch, Liane S. Roe, and Barbara J. Rolls. “Hiding Vegetables to Reduce Energy Density: An Effective Strategy to Increase Children’s Vegetable Intake and Reduce Energy Intake.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 94, no. 3 (September 1, 2011): 735–41. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.015206.