IMing the other evening, my friend Azucar and I somehow got to talking about the horrible, no good, very bad culinary pranks our parents liked to play on us. AZ reminded me about powdered milk and wheat gum (VOMIT). I cannot talk about that particular bit of wretchedness without having horrifying flashbacks, but luckily AZ just posted about it here.
(Ooooh, also, my sister wrote about powdered milk a few months ago on her food blog, here. I love how in the comments my brother's wife says he is still traumatized, and my mom tries to disavow her role in it. NICE TRY, MOM.)
My mom had other cooking quirks. For a while there she had this thing about gluten, or as I like to call it, wheat dregs. Once she made us gluten and oatmeal cookies. Let me repeat that. GLUTEN AND OATMEAL COOKIES. And she told us they were treats. That is NOT. RIGHT.
We were not allowed to have chips or any kind of sugary cereal. No Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles for us. No sireee, we ate Wheaties. Except, and I've never been able to quite figure this out - they let us put brown sugar on TOP of the Wheaties. And they would just - hand us the bag. Here kids, eat this nasty brown tasting cereal because it's good for you, except, also, HERE'S a SHOVEL and a bag of sugar - knock yourselves out. TELL ME HOW THAT MAKES SENSE.
My mom used to lock the fridge. To be fair, she did not really have a choice. There were NINE of us. Defensive measures had to be taken. She had this bungee cord and she would hook one end to the fridge handle and one end to a hook on the wall, and if you tried to open it and actually managed to get it unhooked, it would basically snap you so hard you went unconscious.
Sometimes, if the fridge was unlocked and mom was in another room, we would just rush it and take anything we could find and run away to another room where we would eat it, crouched in corners, stuffing the food into our gullets while keeping a watchful eye on the doorway. I once ate seven raw hot dogs, just because I could. Because they were there. (This explains so much about my eating philosophy. Oh, look, there it is! Hurry, hurry, hurry EAT IT NOW! EAT IT NOW! BEFORE IT'S GONE!)
I remember very clearly that my mom came after us for that one. She said, "Who ate those hot dogs? WHICH ONE OF YOU ATE THOSE HOT DOGS?! They were raw. RAW! You ate RAW MEAT. What are you?! ANIMALS?!"
I pretended to know nothing. "It wasn't me," I said. And then I threw up on her. (So I think she figured it out.)
If we were very good, my mom liked to serve a little dish she called Chocolate Treat. Chocolate Treat consisted of four ingredients. Peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a dash of milk. She mixed the ingredients together until it was the consistency of thick frosting, and gave it to us to eat with a spoon. So basically her philosophy was, "Here my children, eat Wheaties for breakfast and then you may have a nice bowl of lard."
This is me and my older sister. (I'm on the right.) See the nice healthy sheen on our hair? TOTALLY FROM THE LARD.
Ah, memories. So, what foods did your parents inflict on you?