The better-late-than-never thirteen

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Memories of Food

1. The best part of passover: matzoh and beet horseradish.

2. In Kindergarten, we had to drink milk at recess. Had to. You couldn't throw away your milk unless the level had dropped down below the level of the cow's bell.

3. First grade: I remember the taste of guinea pig pellets (not bad) and nontoxic paste (bad). I would taste anything. I'm still that way.

4. In case you haven't guessed, I used to have pica. From that link, I learned, "Pica is most common in people with developmental disabilities, including autism and mental retardation, and in children between the ages of 2 and 3. Although kids younger than 18 to 24 months can try to eat nonfood items, it isn't necessarily considered abnormal at that age." Good to know. My favorite nonfood items: the shellac on the wood of my bedframe; chalk from any source, even the ground; tar dripping off telephone poles.

5. On the other hand, I hated bananas, carrots, cantaloupes, raw nuts, and avocado. They made my throat itch. (Remember that, Sis?) Nowadays, naturally, I love 'em all.

6. I've never tasted breast milk. (That's a non-memory.)
7. My grandfather's rye bread was the best. Unparalleled.

8. When my mother made brown rice, I would slather it with margarine and soak it with soy sauce. "You must be half-Chinese," she'd say.

9. But I was all kwailo as far as my girlfriend's mom was concerned. For the most part, I loved her cooking, as long as she didn't try to feed me fish stomach. I found out later (long after we broke up) that the woman really, really liked me. She even liked my mother. No surprise there.

10. Worst thing eaten at a Chinese wedding: squab, poorly prepared.

11. Best thing eaten at a Chinese wedding: abalone, well prepared.

12. First year away from home, my boarding house mom fixed dinners for me and my roommate. Marguerite Slater, a wonderful woman, had a catering business on the side. She had even met Julia Child. I think often of Mrs. Slater, and grumble over the fact she would never part with her apple pie recipe. The. Best. Ever.

13. In the Berkeley Co-ops, the students took turns preparing meals. Worst idea ever: tuna jello. I missed out on that one, thankfully.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Sam Winston's Thirteen Reasons to Hate The Da Vinci Code.

2. Jona's Thirteen Wishes (including puppies!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


  1. Sam says:

    I can’t eat rice without soy-sauce either – otherwise it’s pretty tastess. Sort of what I imagine paste would be like. Actually, paste tastes better.
    I used to eat paste in kindegarten. My teacher never put the paste pot in front of me.

  2. Sam says:

    forgot to leave my Thurday thirteen link – thanks!

  3. stamper in CA says:

    I recall the “throat itch” regarding avocados. I remember the brown rice too, but honestly Doug, tar off telephone poles? Euuuu.

  4. jona says:

    That’s a lot of things I’ve never tried ;o)

  5. pat kirby says:

    I used to pick the corn out of the horse’s sweet feed. It was best from a freshly opened bag. soft and covered in molasses. Yummy. All those insect parts and germs gave me a terrific immune system.

    Ugh. They made us finish our milk all through grade school. To this day I f-ing, hate milk. Like drinking chalk.

  6. Walnut says:

    Sam, I enjoyed your list. I knew that book had to suck, just knew it.

    Jona, unfortunately, a willingness to put strange things in my mouth isn’t sufficient to boost my sluttiness rating.

    Pat, yup, I don’t care much for milk, either. Too milky πŸ˜‰

  7. mm says:

    I like your new blog a lot, Doug. I went to wordpress, and started my own. It’s completely blank, but I can’t say no to anything free. :-)

  8. Shelbi says:

    I grew up on a dairy farm, so I drank milk straight from the cow for the first 12 or 13 years of my life. There is something really different in the taste before pasteurizatin and homogenization. It even tastes different before it’s chilled.

    One of my favorite treats growing up was to go out to the milk barn and have my dad hand-milk a cow directly into a glass for me to drink. It would foam up as it squirted into the glass, and I loved the ‘fuzz.’ Milk that fresh is sweeter than the store bought stuff. That is, if you can get past the whole ‘eww’ factor.

    This is a first for me, I never talked about drinking raw milk after I got made fun of as a kid for mentioning it. Everybody thought it was disgusting. They were entitled to their opinions, of course, but since they’d never tried it, I thought they were stupid [and mean, I was pretty sensitive].

    I always thought those horrid little half-pint cartons were disgusting. The only time I ever drank milk at school was on Chocolate Milk Fridays.

    That all ended when my dad and uncle stopped milking. My dad had been milking twice a day since he was 9 or so, and he had finally had enough. Can’t say I blame him, but I sure missed the fresh milk after it was gone.

  9. Walnut says:

    Fresh butter must have been great, too.

    I hesitate to ask, but, um, “fuzz”?

  10. Shelbi says:


    That’s what I called the foam on top when I was a kid. It was all bubbly and soft and felt like fuzz. Tasted good, too.

    And yes, my grandma made homemade butter, and it was some of the most wonderful stuff on the planet! [She also made homemade cottage cheese, which was disgusting]

  11. Sorry, but I can’t do this the way you intended. I don’t have a personal blog, and Pica for Peace? Well, I don’t think that would quite get it.

    My two most peculiar food things were both chewable.

    One was the wheat my neighbors used to feed their pigeons when I was little. They showed me how to chew it until it formed this white, sticky substance with the consistency of chewing gum. You didn’t swallow it, but it wasn’t half bad.

    My second was chewing the tar when the roofers came to fix the house. Again, I chewed it like gum until it stuck my teeth together,then I would throw it away. This was when I was young and Root Canals were only dimly foreshadowed in my life.

    Peacfrog used to eat live pismires. He says he liked the way it felt when they bit as they went down. I don’t think he does it now, but I guess it’s nice to have fond memories. Peacefrog has always been a thrill seeker in his own way. Maybe pismires are a male thing like eating peppers so hot that they destroy your taste buds for six months.

    Oh, and now we know. Peacefrog is only 34% slutty, so I guess Sluts for Peace is out too.

  12. Walnut says:

    That’s okay, Platypus. A fellow tar-chewer is okay in my book, even if she doesn’t score well in the sluttiness test (at least I’m sluttier than someone out there).

    I’m off to find out what a pismire is.

  13. A pismire is a small black ant. The kind that is always trying to get into your house and infringe on your personal freedoms.

    I didn’t do so bad on the sluttiness, did I? I got 54%. It was Peacfrog the anteater who got 34%. I was jazzed on Sluts for Peace, myself. Oh well, another shattered dream.

    Hedgehog, over half slutty but a right good tarchewer in her own right.

    Doug, how are people getting the emoticons? I am clueless, so until the King of Word Press explains it all to me we’ll be stuck with the poor woman’s self made smile. πŸ˜‰

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