You could say, ‘by their isms, shall ye know them.’ For me, the world of food, was my own political platform, running a close second to my eco warrior existence.
I'm reminded of this when I watch a programme on BBC America, which mentions the words "aduki bean." I immediately lose the thread of the story and whiz back in time to when I was a real cook that ate real food.
I was a follower of the ‘your body is a temple’ institute for the ever so slightly deranged. Those were the days where Miso soup and home made flapjacks were the order of the day. No salt, no sugar, no harmful fats. If it didn’t have the word ‘whole’ in it, then it would never pass over the threshold into the house of pure. My kitchen was filled with bean sprouters and home made yoghourt fermenting on a pilot light. Just say 'no' to the contamination of British youth. I had one perfect daughter on the perfect diet.
My idea of fast food and a culinary treat would have been a handful of dried apricots, almonds or a smattering of yoghourt coated peanuts and raisins, knocked back with a glass of Lassi. Convenience food was a banana. No food was too obscure not to be tried at least once. Bombay mix and Tamari sesame seeds, quinoa and couscous, anything to tickle those taste buds. Health food store heaven.
Then, a couple of decades later, the other lot came along to rattle my silver cage and shatter my glass house. It was about the same time that I fell of my pedestal with a splat. The purity of the nutrients that my children imbibed, were of an entirely different order. My holier than thou attitudes were swept aside with one hearty tug to the table cloth and the whole food pyramid came tumbling down. After I’d swept up, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was dealing with food issues of an entirely different magnitude. The magnetic force of my culinary skills turned to rust and plans to dust. My ivory tower had been vanquished by neophobes, the most mighty of conquerors for the average middle aged mum.
It is with a heavy heart that I follow the occupational therapist's advice. My youngest son is to be introduced to meat, in the form of little hot dog sausages. Flavourles and textureless. We have ploughed through social stories, all leading up to this momentous moment. I ensure that they are room temperature to give him the best possible chance of success. They glisten in the bowl. They do not look particularly appetizing but I am assured that this is the first step in the long road towards 'hot dogs on the 4th of July.'
The desensitization campaign commences.
"Are you ready dear?" "Yes." "So we're going to look at it first with our eyes. Can you use your good describing words for me?" "It is be brown and huge and it is being a wiener." "Excellent! How about we smell it now? What does it smell of dear?" "It be smell like poison!" "Hmm. How about you lick it now." " NO!" "Um o.k. how about you just touch it with your finger instead." "I am have dah M & M if I touch?" "Yes. Touching it would be very brave indeed!" He extends a tremulous finger tip, the baby finger, the least sensitive of all his digits. I watch, silent as I don't want to jinx him. As his finger tip makes contact he lets rip with a blood curdling howl and a 30 mph exit screaming "my wiener is wet!"
Maybe I should revise the campaign date? 4th July 2009 perhaps?