Comedy · Humor

I Say, Tomato; You Say, What’s That?

picky eaterGrowing up, I was a picky eater. Tomatoes were persona non grata on my plate. Though I recognized that the “I’m-A-Fruit-Masquerading-As-A-Vegetable” meant well, I couldn’t understand why tomatoes insisted on encasing their precious seeds in something the consistency of snot. Oranges were also out of the question. If we were meant to eat them, why would the powers that be weave all that stringy, pulpy crap throughout its flesh? Bananas? Fuggetaboutit! After three bites, the funniest of fruits becomes slimy on the inside, almost as if a tomato had dropped by for an evening of inter-genus plant sex and didn’t bother to clean up the wet spot post-coitus.

Despite the lure of a red-lipped, ginger psycho clown, I may have been the only kid in America who didn’t want to devour a McDonalds’ hamburger – or any burger, for that matter. Ground meat could contain, well, anything. Animal bone. Truck parts. Factory workers’ fingers. Bits of curling, ginger, evil clown hair. My fears were confirmed when my parents forced me to eat a homemade hamburger and, with my very first mouthful, I bit down on a piece of dreaded gristle. Okay, no one ever called it the dreaded gristle but me. Still, when your mother tells you to spit it out and continue eating, you realize that the gristle shouldn’t have been there, much like Mike Pence at Drag Queen Bingo. It didn’t help that no one would explain to me exactly what gristle was, how it ended up in my burger, or what would happen to me if I accidentally swallowed a piece of it. All I knew was that it sounded a lot like grisly – as in grisly murder.

I'll Show You Grisley, Junior Miss Snarky Pants!
I’ll Show You Grisly, Junior Miss Snarky Pants!

On the rare occasion in which I did chow down on a slab o’ meat, it had to be completely exorcised of the sinister fat that wound its way around and throughout the cooked piece of carcass. Fat was disgusting. Like gum, it could be chewed and chewed, but unlike gum, it didn’t taste like fruit, nor could it be blown into pink bubbles. It did introduce me to my overactive gag reflex which is called into action anytime my mouth comes into contact with something that doesn’t belong in it. Okay, maybe not everything. Nonetheless, every round of Junior Miss Snarky Pants vs. Fatty Porkchop ended the same way: with little balls of masticated pig flesh hidden in my napkin or beneath the rim of my dinner plate.

Bad Form
Cat Chow Mein?

Perhaps the most baffling part of my childhood was spent trying to figure out (1) why people ate fruits and berries that were covered in hair or fuzz; and (2) why people would bother eating foods that required one to spit a portion of that food back out again. With regard to the first, I couldn’t and still can’t comprehend why a human being would deliberately ingest hair. Is it not generally considered bad form to lick one’s cat or dog in order to groom them? If so, then why would a person consume a peach? Or a strawberry? Any fruit that wants to be eaten should have the decency to shave first.

Likewise, it was puzzling to be told by my mother that when eating watermelon, I should spit out the seeds. Although I didn’t harbor the fear that a watermelon would grow in my stomach if I swallowed a teardrop-shaped seed, I was offended by the watermelon’s audacity to have so many seeds, not to mention the fact that it allowed them to spread throughout its flesh like those obnoxious people in the airport terminal who plop all of their carry-on luggage on the empty chairs so that no one else can sit down. Watermelon is a fruit that has no respect for the people who eat it, unlike, say, the apple – who keeps its seeds under control, confined to its core. An apple begs – no, pleads – to be eaten; small and encased in a protective, but edible, skin, it promises to be fast about it and not waste your time. Watermelons are so laissez-fucking-faire about the whole thing. Come eat me, the watermelon purrs, but don’t make any plans because you’re going to need a chainsaw in order to open me up and then it’ll take half the afternoon for you to sort through my flesh with your tongue, reserving the seeds in the side of your cheek and spitting them out before starting all over again. This is why watermelons are only eaten at picnics on lazy Sundays and not during your half hour lunch break at work.

Vodka Is Not A Food Group; It's A Lifestyle
Vodka Is Not A Food Group; It’s A Lifestyle!

So why the diatribe about my awkward relationship with food, which, by the way, was accurately diagnosed as texture issues by someone with no medical or psychological background whatsoever? Because despite not beings a fan of certain foods as a young child, it didn’t prevent me from correctly identifying a vast array of veggies, fruits and berries – even if I didn’t like them. How do you identify the criminal pomegranate if you can’t recognize it in a line up?

Today’s kids – and teenagers, for that matter – don’t know the first thing about fresh produce. Now before you begin typing out an indignant comment in which you paint your particular child as a lover of all fruits and vegetables, one who personally tends to her own organic garden and orchard which she fertilizes with homemade compost, take a moment to watch celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, as he asks a classroom of first graders to identify some common fruits and vegetables:

My only consolation is that the child pronounced potato as po-tay-toe, instead of like some Downton Abbey Lord of the Manor. That and the knowledge that if the little moppet had been sired by an immigrant farm worker, he would’ve known the difference. You may be thinking to yourself, “These children are merely six years old.” Yeah, well those six year olds know how to write binary code, count to 1,000 in Mandarin and recite the entirety of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows verbatim. The reason they can’t tell the difference between a potato and tomato is because everything they eat comes out of a can or a box – and not their phone. If kids were forced to identify a fruit or vegetable in order to access their text messages

How would a non-breeder like myself know this? Because these processed food-eating garbage disposals kids eventually grow into the teenagers who work as cashiers at my local Super Walmart – the same cashiers who inevitably hold up the line for twenty minutes as they scan page after page of laminated, illustrated produce printouts because they’ve never seen a butternut squash in their entire lives. Or an avocado. Or spinach. Or a tomato – or was that a potato?

Despite my attempts to assist the cashier by saying, “Erm, that’s a butternut squash,” the confused teenager will call for manager assistance – probably because customer-perpetrated produce fraud is sooooooo rampant these days – and then me, the cashier and the twelve shoppers in line behind me will all wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually, the overworked Walmart manager will arrive and declare the foreign substance in the cashier’s hands to be a butternut squash.  Before I can say, “Hah! Don’t tell me that I don’t know my gourds,” the manager has raced off to another checkout stand to announce that baby carrots are coming through (no, they don’t wear diapers), and to a third aisle to identify a bell pepper that had the nerve to be both red and green at the same time. In the end, it doesn’t matter because the manager will have to revisit my aisle multiple times because the cashier has confused cabbage with iceberg lettuce, and doesn’t know the difference between a zucchini and a cucumber. Which means Hubby’s ice cream has melted and my almond milk is warm. Grrrrrr.

Mmmmm! 'Sketti!
Honey Boo Boo Eating Her ‘Sketti! Zimmern Would Rather Eat Live Worms Drenched In Fresh Pig’s Blood.

Of course, the larger issue is that if a teenager old enough to work at Walmart can’t identify most vegetables and fruits just by looking at them, he or she probably isn’t going to buy those fruit and vegetables for the children that he or she will one day spawn. Within two generations, we’ll be surrounded by millions of Honey Boo Boos, who eat nothing but roadkill, ‘sketti and cheese balls. For those of you who have wisely resisted the urge to tune in to watch Honey Boo Boo and her talking belly, ‘sketti is spaghetti noodles served with a sauce made from ketchup and margarine. I’m pretty sure that Bizarre Food’s Andrew Zimmern, who, incidentally, follows Miss Snarky Pants on Twitter (I know…OMG!), just threw up in his mouth. And swallowed it again. It’s Andrew Zimmern.

Much in the same way that we describe alcohol as being distilled multiple times, the fruits and vegetables of the future will be processed again and again until they no longer resemble their original selves. The only way we’ll be able to distinguish pureed carrots from pureed sweet potatoes will be by reading the printing on the frozen, cardboard box they come in – because, Lord knows, our kids won’t be able to tell by looking at the photo. If we don’t make changes now, our fresh produce will be molded and shaped by technology, becoming –  in the process of being, erm, processed – as unrecognizable as that chick from “Dirty Dancing.” What was her name again? Jennifer Grape?


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What foods did you hate when you were a child? Do you eat any of them now?

269 thoughts on “I Say, Tomato; You Say, What’s That?

  1. First and foremost – I’ve missed your snarkiness terribly.

    I work in the homes of others sometimes, and as such, I occasionally get to see what passes for food in some quarters. I’m a firm believer that if Kraft Macaroni and Cheese suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, a substantial number of Americans would starve to death. On another issue, if the local supermarket doesn’t care to educate their employees in produce identification, then they deserve to have me “accidentally” convince the clerk that my $4.99 bundle of lemon grass is actually a 99 cent bunch of scallions. Ooops, my bad.

    1. I’ve missed you too! But you’re hilarious…as if I could buy lemongrass at Wal-Mart. First, it’s way to healthy for them to stock. Someone in corporate would have an aneurysm. Second, I’d never get lemongrass out of the store because the cashier and I would be arguing for an eternity. You think they filibuster in Congress; you ain’t seen anything until you see me shouting at some teenager because she keeps insisting that the green stuff in my hand can’t be lemongrass because everybody knows that lemons are yellow and not green. Third, I’ve never actually bought lemongrass – except in candle form and somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.

      1. I’ve never bought it either, mainly because it’s 4 or 5 bucks and you only get 3 spears. Sooner or later I’ll buy some because the recipe will call for it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  2. Now hold on a second there Miss Snarky Pants, my particular child is a lover of all fruits and vegetables, and she personally tends to her own organic garden and orchard which she fertilizes with homemade compost (made by her), so…oh hold on a second, there’s a video here…

    (Liking the butternut squash reference as I’m currently going through a butternut squash phase…)

      1. Ah, called my bluff on that one eh? Well…umm….you see…I…would love to show you the video. Of course I would. But…it’s…on my phone…and…I…can’t find the cable that connects it to my PC! Yeah that’s right! The damn thing’s gone walkabout you see. So I can’t get the video off my phone. Yeah that’s it. That’s the god honest truth. I swear. What about Wi-fi, you say? Umm…no, I can’t use that because…I…dropped my phone…and…it…landed on the Wi-fi bit. Completely wrecked it, you see? It’s never worked since. I was very angry at myself, very angry indeed. I’m such a klutz. So, that’s not an option I’m afraid…Bluetooth? Uhh…same bit as Wi-fi that is! So that’s broken too. But, I shall DEFINITELY look out for that cable for you…

  3. You have disgusted and appalled me, before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee. I’m terrified for the future of our country, largely because Honey Boo Boo is in it. And now I’m going to go get my toddler, who cannot yet say words, and force him to play with flashcards of fruits and vegetables. I only wish that I could make you listen to the whining that will ensue.

    PS: Why are you shopping at WalMart? Are you poor?

    1. Ahhhhhhh. My favorite Kathy V. is here. I’ve missed you, dear one. Sorry to have disgusted and appalled you. I warned you on my FB page to read this WITH your coffee (as I secretly hoped everyone would spit it out as they read, requiring all of you to buy new computers). But seriously, I thought of including flashcards in my post. And I mean that I thought of buying up all the fruit and veggie flashcards and selling them from my blog because kids NEED them. And I NEED cash.

      Why am I shopping at Wal-Mart? Back in my non-vegan days, I used to buy a fancy pants brand of bacon. It was expensive, but when it comes to bacon and toilet paper, I don’t skimp. One day, I wandered into a Wal-Mart and discovered that the same exact brand and kind of bacon that I was paying over $7 for at Publix (i.e. the nice grocery store in town) was available at Wal-Mart for just under $4. No, it wasn’t on sale. It was regularly $3 bucks cheaper than when I bought it at Publix. Then I discovered that their lunch meats and cheese and other things were also cheaper…all the time. Now that we’ve moved, my love affair with Wal-Mart is waning. First, the cashiers take 14 months to ring up my groceries. Second, the stores where I live are Miss-Jackson-If-You’re-Nasty. Third, as a vegan, I have to hit stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market and our local Greenwise Publix in order to buy the various foods I need for one week of dining in. By the time I added Wal-Mart in to the mix (great place to buy inexpensive canned goods like beans), it took half the day just to buy groceries. Plus, for whatever reason, the cashiers at Publix seem to actually know their produce. This means that it doesn’t take me forever to check out. Why do you think I haven’t posted much recently? I’ve been stuck in line at Wal-Mart.

      1. Ah, I tease because I love. And I don’t dare read your posts with coffee. Our computer is still suffering after the great Coca Cola incident of 2011. If my Loving Husband comes home to find me shamefaced and his beloved computer doused yet again, he may divorce me.

        I love Whole Foods. It’s a passion that’s largely unrequited. I can’t afford to shop there regularly.

      2. I feel your Whole Foods pain. I come out of there with only the top half of one of those mini-carts full and it costs me nearly a hundred bucks…but where else can I buy my almond cheese and Field Roast?

      3. I go for fragrance-free soap and shampoo. And I come out with organic blueberries, fresh ricotta, and all-natural frozen waffles. It’s a dangerous place, at least for my bank account.

      4. Tell me about it. One of the cashiers noticed that I was buying three packages of Field Roast for $6.99 each. She said that she loves Field Roast, but it’s just too expensive for her to buy. I felt like such a shit with three packages in my basket…not to mention two more at home. I nearly gave her one package, but I figured I’d only embarrass her and the Whole Foods mgr. would prolly have to approve the whole thing. So I bought my ridiculously expensive vegan food and drove home feeling guilty that we can afford to shop at Whole Foods. I wish they’d build a Trader Joe’s here.

  4. Hi Miss Snarky Pants, I thought I would share my English opinion. Please excuse the way I pronouce my words. I work in a supermarket, actually on the produce section and have to agree. The average age of the shopper is about 60 in my section. When I work on tills the amount of crap that people buy astounds me.
    The seeds thing is weird though. Why can’t we eat them? They are mean’t to be scattered in this way with our built in fertilizer (I spelt that one your way). I don’t crap in the garden, but I’m told there can be a good crop of tomato plants found at the sewage works. I hope that not where Walmart get them from.

      1. You would have to stop flushing the toilet, but maybe Walmart would buy them from you. There are better uses for hydroponics, and you could make cookies from the results.

    1. We pronounce everything right! Especially to-mar-to and po-tay-to…hold on that’s a bit inconsistent….what were we talking about? Carrots? They come in tins no?

      1. I’m a bit late to this party but you’re spelling it wrong, girl! No wonder you Americans can’t say it properly, you’re missing the final “i”. Aluminium. Aluminiiiiiiiiium. Definitely agree about watermelon though. Not worth the effort.

      2. You’re right; there are two accepted spellings for aluminium (spelled your way here in deference), so I’m sure that does affect our pronunciation. Also, we pronounce it with a soft A, as in hat, as opposed to a hard A, as in able. I recant my previous statement; we both say it correctly. As an agnostic, I support the concept that nearly every religion has elements of truth; likewise, your pronunciation is true and common for you; and ours is for us. Who’s to say who is right or wrong? We certainly can’t ask The Duchess of Cambridge as she has been spending most of her time lately with the throne – specifically, the porcelain throne.

    1. Haha! I was just going to throw a diatribe at somes inconsistency I perceived, and then I pressed “reply” and that big red sentence came up… well done though 😉
      All in all, congrats on being FP’ed, and thanks for discussing society’s growing ignorance on fresh produce. Because no, it is not evolution or the times changing; I shudder to think that most youngsters can’t quickly match their schitzel to a cow.
      Anyroad, a little more relaxed now, yet still in need to enquire about a couple of issues. Firstly, is it me or you’re still way too picky? Well, that may be simply prejudiced tongue-in-cheek indignation, but yet I am sad you are deprived from so many items because of your “texture disorder?” Too bad! Secondly, it is aluminium (with that “intruder i”, yes Sir!); the fact that Americans call it “aluminum” and stress it differently [ ] does not make it less aluminium, hehe. Finally, just keep it up! Your writing is both fun and informative in a number of ways; interesting to learn what seems to be (no longer) happening, where to shop if in America, etc.

  5. I hope that in my lifetime I get to see a lil moppet sired by a migrant farm worker. I could die happy. I can’t f-n believe that Zimmern follows you. Well, I can, but seriously that’s awesome. I gotta get on that thing. But I’m aiming for Bourdain, because I like bad boys over rolly pollies.

    And you were a smart jr. Miss Snarky Pants- gristle is carcinogenic. I found that out because my mom likes to eat it- by scraping it from the pan. Yep. This is the same mom who would make homemade hamburgers so thick that I would have nightmares that burgers were being made on a conveyor belt in a dark, empty, sinister factory and I had to consume them all.

    I concur your friend’s expert diagnosis- it’s a texture thing with you. I’ve come across many texture people who get their sammies sans ‘maters, and they all have been rather sensual. Where is it that you reside…

    And I think that the vid presents a slightly skewed presentation of kids’ produce knowledge. Those chitlins are from the south- they’re naturally a lot dumber than the rest of us.

    Great post- you done good!

    1. Oh, Anna…where to begin. Yes, Zimmern is following me. And so is his right hand woman. I have no idea why, but it makes me want to kick my heels together like a leprechaun. No, I’ve never seen one and they might be chubalicious and non-heel-kicking, but I still like leprechauns and I like me my Andrew Zimmern. Of course, I adore Bourdain, but some people see the light before others – and Zimmern jumped on the Miss Snarky Pants train first. So who’s the bigger bad ass right now? I’m gonna have to go with Zimmern!

      As far as those kids being from the south goes…I am from the south. That kid should have known tomatoes because they grow all over the south. Drive five minutes out of any city in Florida and you’ll hit a farmer’s market or a U-PICK field just chock full of beefsteak tomatoes. I used to teach a lot of migrant farm workers’ children and they are awesome. They know their veggies, they want to learn English if they don’t know it already and they’re uber adorable. If you’d like to see one, just take a trip on down to Ruskin and visit the local Wal-Mart. The kids are everywhere and, thank god, because they’re going to run this country one day and they already appreciate the concept of hard work and caring for your elders.

      1. Plus, the migrant kids are bilingual, so they are one up on our “regular” American kids. And you are so right about them knowing the concept of hard work and caring for your elders. Their families regularly send money to relatives back in Mexico.
        I am stranded in a town that only has a Walmart and a Harvey’s grocery store (uber expensive, but no cool foods). I would think I’d gone to heaven if a Publix or Whole Foods showed up. Those are over an hour away from my town.

      2. You poor thing! There’s nothing worse than not having a good grocery store nearby. Don’t feel bad about not having a Whole Foods…they are pretty pricey too! I’m hoping that we get a Trader Joe’s soon. They’re supposed to be inexpensive, but they’ve got great food.

        As I hail from Florida, I’ve known many migrant farm workers (and their children) over the years and they are hard-working people. Most of the “illegal” Mexicans I’ve met work two or three jobs just so that they can send money to their relatives back home. I’d trade 30 Honey Boo Boos for one hardworking immigrant who wants to become a citizen.

        Anyway, thanks again for reading my blog. I hope to see you again here soon. 🙂

    1. Bloody Marys are just V-8 dressed in vodka and horseradish. Definitely a food in my book. Hello, it comes with a celery stick and olives. It’s a freakin’ salad when it arrives at your table.

      1. Truth be told, I ordered a Bloody Mary the other day at brunch and had to give it to one of our friends. My esophagus wasn’t having it. If getting old means that you can’t drink like a fish anymore, what’s the point?

  6. Great post. My son and I eat fresh produce, often raw, and organic meats. We try to keep our food consumption limited to actual food. This means many puzzled faces from his friends when they come over to visit. I often wonder if this is the first fresh, non-fat food, that they have ever eaten.

  7. I haven’t watched Honey Boo Boo, but I’ve heard about her ‘sketti and cheese balls. And it makes me weep for her nutrition…

    Over 10 years ago, I read a Robin Cook novel–can’t remember the name of it–but it was about the beef industry. I haven’t eaten red meat since. I was so grossed out. I know if I read something about poultry manufacturing, I’d be just as disgusted, and then I’d be a vegetarian which would be to hard to do with my kids. So I’ll stay away from poultry books for now. But I’ve never once missed red meat, and my colon is much happier, too.

      1. My kids will eat them in my sauces–they love my chili and my spaghetti sauce in which I put chunks of tomatoes–but they don’t like them fresh and raw.

      2. I think a lot of people grow into their love of tomatoes. At this time in my life, there isn’t much that I love better than a plate of salted tomato slices or those sweet cherry tomatoes.

    1. Poultry manufacturing is super horrible. It’s WAY worse than beef ever is.

      But that’s also it. It’s the difference between “manufacturing” poultry (which is a live animal) and raising it.
      Animals that are “raised” as animals intended to be eaten, that walk and eat and breathe, is much MUCH different than the manufacturing of a chicken breast with genetically modified chickens that can’t walk and have their beaks chopped off.

      I think we’d have a lot less issues if the “manufacturing” of food was replaces with the growing and raising of food. It makes a HUGE difference.

  8. OK, hold on, Bestie.

    You’ve rebranded yourself as a “Humor Blog for Horrible People.” What happened? This is, in fact, not at all for a horrible person. I was expecting an as-yet-unseen nude picture of some Dancing with the Stars D-List guest pulling a red, ripe cherry tomato from her Who-Ha. Instead I get something that I could (and will) forward this to the Nutrition Czar of our school system?
    What’s happening here?

    Incidentally, my favorite after-school snack growing up was fried bologna. Even today, whenever I’m in the processed meats aisle of my grocery store (which is as long as it is wide) I have to restrain myself from grabbing a plasticized carton of Oscar Mayer. That shit was awesome.

    Love you, love this, and soooooo happy to see you back at it.

    1. My blog has been rebranded for quite some time now, Bestie. Hmmmmmm. How did you not notice this?

      Re: fried bologna, I had the great honor of trying bar-b-qued bologna while in Oklahoma. I thought it would be deep-fried, but it was just a slab of bologna smothered in bar-b-que sauce. Sigh.

      1. Oh, I noticed the rebranding, it’s just that you’ve had so few posts I thought one of your stalkers, errr, readers had kidnapped you for false advertising.

        As for fried bologna, you have to pan fry it until the middle rises up and practically levitates off the teflon. Then you know you’ve got it jjjuuusssstttt right. =)

  9. Embarrassed to say that for a long time (in my youth) I didn’t realize that mashed potatoes were made by MASHING POTATOES and not just rehydrating dried potato flakes from a box. It’s sad.
    Glad to see your blog again. I can always find something to relate to.

  10. I love vegetables, thanks to my mother. I’m also a carnivore, except for innards, things made from innards and most fish. I can blame that on a family that could afford the better cuts of meat but lived in fear of another depression.

  11. Welcome back – just the other day I was just wondering where you were and now you are back!
    I enjoyed the post. The only thing I hated in childhood was brussel sprouts – I still don’t eat them – nasty little bitter things.

    1. You know, I didn’t like them either until I had them roasted. They’re actually delish that way. In fact, I made them as part of our Thanksgiving feast and my mother – a lifelong Brussels sprouts hater – enjoyed them. Let me know if you want the recipe. It seems like most people don’t like them as children, so you’re not alone.

      1. LOL No, I didn’t, but perhaps I should have. That’s hilarious. I don’t think she did, but it would be funny as hell to ask my mom if she did the next time I see her. Thanks for the terrific idea!

    1. Yes, food and I have a strange relationship. I’m glad that someone picked up on how horrific this problem is…and I promise you that this is NOT an isolated incident. It’s happened to me at two different Wal-Marts in my area with at least four different cashiers. Everytime, I feel like inviting them over and teaching them how to prepare some real vegetables.

    1. Yay! Yeah, I was pretty challenging, but I did always like most veggies and would prefer them to nearly anything else. At a very young age, I loved broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, squashes, lettuce, spinach, celery, beets, radishes, bell peppers, potatoes, carrots and more – vegetables that most self-respecting child would refuse to eat on principle. Is Son 1 pro-veggies?

  12. I’ve watched Jaime Oliver talking to youngsters about veggies before and it is shocking. I think a lot of it has to do with poverty. Fresh vegetables, fruit, and the better cuts of meat are expensive. It is also more time consuming to cook and requires more frequent grocery shopping. As a country we don’t prioritize the well being of our people and allowing these young children to suffer is just one of the many tragedies out there. The military industrial complex (we are constantly in a state of war), tax breaks for multi-national corporations come first seconded by the right to hate and persecute various “other” people and the right to keep guns. The right of our children to grow up healthy probably doesn’t make the top 50 list. Most wouldn’t even consider it a right. Its a sad state of affairs, the end of which is nowhere in sight. Too bad the zombies didn’t get us back in December.

  13. I had a neighbor in her 20s who ate her spaghetti with ketchup. It was so tragic that her colon fell out. Actually I’m told that was due to a hereditary disease but I’m not entirely convinced that it wasn’t due to the ghetti & ketchup.
    My kids are picky too, which I can’t figure out since both Hubs and I love food with a fervor usually seen on TLC reality shows.
    BTW, I missed you too. Were you hospitalized for “exhaustion”?

    1. Nope. Just took some time off with the holidays and all. But it’s nice being missed. I missed you as well. Am in the process of getting caught up on my fave blogs, like yours! It seems to me that kids are getting pickier and pickier. Most of our friends who are breeders have at least one picky eater. I don’t think the school cafeteria helps the situation. When a kid can eat pizza and chicken fingers every day at school, they aren’t going to be interested in fruits and veggies at home. When I was growing up, lunch came in a brown bag or a lunch box. Pizza wasn’t an option and nearly everyone preferred a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the cafeteria’s mystery meat of the day.

      1. I have a lot of theories but in the end I think the key to a happy childhood is lowered expectations. Sure they’ll be underachievers but they’ll be happy about it and I bet they’ll eat whatever they’re given too.

  14. I also hated tomatos and oranges. I actually used to have nightmares about eating and subsequently chocking on them. I used to hate mushrooms too. Now I eat all of them. My family just didn’t put a lot of emphasis on eating whole foods.
    But I don’t think 6-year-olds not correctly identifying potatoes and tomatoes means much. 6 year-olds have strange gaps in their knowledge. I had a conversation with a child where he told me that Barack Obama (he used his full name) was black, just like him. I asked him what job Barack Obama had. He had no idea, and when I told him that he was president of the us, he didn’t know what that was either. Sometimes naming vegetables in their whole form is something that kids can do. Sometimes not. That’s just not a big part of some little kid’s lives. I bet they could name whole fruits, something they see more often. Also, tomato and potato simply sound very close. It’s an easy mix-up for kids with only a few years practice speaking and hearing. I bet a quiz between carrots and lettuce would go much better.

    1. You make some good points, Beholdconfusion. I don’t have a lot of contact with young kids at this stage in my life, but I can assure you that some of them grow up clueless…and then get a job at my local Wal-Mart, where they remain clueless. I’ve never encountered so many people who aren’t familiar with really basic vegetables – and it’s really sad. Plus, when you consider that 1 out of 3 children are overweight or obese, I doubt they’re getting that way because they’re eating too many tomatoes or cucumbers. Growing up, there were never more than a couple kids in my class who were overweight; now it’s a pandemic.

      Thanks so much for reading my blog – and I really do appreciate your insight and thoughts on this.

      1. Oh, I agree we have lots of collective food issues as a nation. I just don’t think preschoolers identifying abilities prove it. You want to hear a funny story about misidentifying produce? When I was in elementary school I had to bring in guacamole for a class party. My dad went out to buy avocados and came back with a can of artichoke hearts. Needless to say my family didn’t eat a lot of either and my dad must never have laid eyes on a bowl of guacamole in his life if he thought he could make it with artichokes!
        Now I only have to explain the differences between squashes (no, a spaghetti squash looks like a canary melon, what you have is a delicata squash. A delicata squash looks like an elongated acorn squash) and leafy greens (no, mom, I don’t think you want a recipe that calls for raw kale. Just use spinach, or maybe chard. Yes, mom, chard is a leafy green, not a type of sausage.)

      2. I have yet to conquer kale myself. I’ve juiced it and it’s alright, but when I’ve tried to cook it, I’ve not been satisfied with the flavor. Kale chips, on the other hand, are awesome, but I purchase them pre-made. The ones that I like are considered “raw,” but they’ve clearly spent some time in a dehydrator. They’re tasty though!

  15. “I couldn’t understand why tomatoes insisted on encasing their precious seeds in something the consistency of snot.”

    I’m still like this, and I’m Italian. Happily, I’ve discovered that one can make damned fine tomato gravy (only non-wops call it “sauce”) by buying good Roma tomatoes and scraping the snot out of them before you cube and cook them. Tomato gravy without tomato seeds. Hallelujah.

    I hear ya about texture issues. And bananas (revolting). And gristle. And gross veins and other body parts hiding in steaks, pork chops, and chicken breasts that your teeth will bounce off of. I can turn an 8oz filet mignon into something the size of a piece of sashimi. I think this is one of the reasons why I like vegetarian foods overall — with the exception of a few things like the aforementioned tomato seeds, I like knowing that it’s a plant. No repulsive body parts or fat globules waiting to ambush me. For the most part, you can just stick a piece of asparagus or a brussels sprout in your mouth and just chew.

    I don’t knock texture issues, though. I think they are part of why I don’t eat processed crap, hate fatty food, and weigh what I weighed in high school (130lb at 5’8″). Texture issues are what kept the smart neanderthals alive, and they will probably be common among the few Americans that survive our current diet that seems fated to burn out almost everyone’s pancreases.

    1. You crack me up! My dear friend, Anthony, who is a wop also calls it “gravy.” I’d forgotten all about that until I read your comment. I’ve gotten to the point where I can tolerate tomato and cucumber seeds, but I usually de-seed them before chopping them up for a recipe. Like yourself, I was never a huge fan of meat (except for crispy bacon!) and that helped when I decided to go vegan-lite. I, too, could turn a filet mignon into something the size of a postage stamp, but I never have that problem with vegetarian food. It just feels safer. Glad you could relate to this post. Hope to see you visiting my blog again soon. 🙂

  16. Great blog! Congrats! For the most part, I was okay with textures, although I still struggle with eggplant and ricotta cheese. Oh, and custards of most sorts. I now watch my 4 year old nephew, who won’t eat “chicken” but will eat “nuggets”. In his case, it’s about distraction! Thanks for your humor!

    1. Thanks so much. I just found out that I was Pressed today. Eggplant is such a toughie. It was one of the few veggies that I never liked – in any form – growing up. As an adult, I’ve eaten it in restaurants, but I can’t say I’m a huge fan. Now that I’m vegan-lite, I feel compelled to buy one and try to master cooking the purple sucker, but I haven’t worked up the energy yet. Yeah, it’s funny how much kids love “nuggets” of any kind. I’m the opposite. I don’t fully trust anything called a “nugget.” Nuggets are supposed to be made of gold and buried in a metal safe outside of a Doomsday Prepper’s house.

  17. I can so relate to your qualms on eating! though i am much better now as an adult I still have issues with bananas(only eaten in desserts/cereal), onions(must be finely chopped or pureed otherwise NO!), jalapenos and peppers as well…then of course I would much rather eat most veggies raw instead of cooked (never a cooked carrot lover). Unless they are mushrooms which when sauteed are so much better. my kids both were raised with lots of fruit n vegs, even eating raw spinach regularly! However, one loves everything and the other prefers only to eat soups, unless there is a steak ready to be eaten. He has issues with chewing instead of texture, as soon as something takes too long to swallow he stops eating.

    I have progressed to eating many fine foods, more exotic than when I was a kid, but I still will not eat any pretty animals(deer,rabbit goose) or baby creatures ever. Fish do not have feelings so they do not qualify, but if its chicken it must be unrecognizable as being part of a bird or its a no go.
    I am also sensetive to soy so I cannot eat it but in tiny amounts, and any chemicals/preservatives like MSG or chicken spice kills me (or at least makes me feel like I am dying) and so its a pain to eat out, especially chinese food!

    I adore your blog so far and cannot wait to read more, just started here myself…also a HUGE fan of all foodies, Zimmern, Bourdain,Ripert and the like. Thank you for making a day stuck in my truck, off the hwy in Virginia a little more tolerable:)

    1. Thanks so much for all your kind words! It’s great to discover that I’m not the only one with food or texture issues. I know soy can be tricky for some people. I’ve heard that too much of it can affect your thyroid gland, so I’m careful not to eat too much of it. You know, I just read an article about carrots the other day that said that they are slightly healthier if they are blanched for a couple of minutes. I couldn’t find the article that I read, but here’s a link to another one I discovered on the topic:

      My hubby is funny about onions, too. He’ll eat them cooked in some things…and keeping track of which things can be a challenge. I agree with you on bananas. If they aren’t baked into bread or pureed in a smoothie, I’m not eating them! Thanks so much for your comments. Hope you come back and visit soon!

  18. Miss Snarky pants your post was very interesting compared to the other 125 I read daily on this site and I have to say that your view on how disgusting tomatoes are is so true. Another way I found them disgusting is the fact they resemble a heart on the inside if you cut it crosswise which is kinda of gross if you think about it. Hope to read more from you.

  19. I am enjoying your posts immensely and will be learning a bit as well on blogging with style 🙂 My sweetie will just about eat anything, he thinks I am super picky but makes sure I get my weekly dose of mexican food so I don’t lose my mind. I am devouring all your stories right now, instead of something cheesy because its way too cold to leave the truck! I do like blanched veggies yes, just when they start to get too sweet or soggy..ew! I am not tall, 5’3 but very curvy as of late since trucking doesn’t afford much gym time and sitting still burns no calories I assume. Its always been amazing to me that something can taste so good but look horrible or feel even worse, so unfair! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy some fine fare so you can make me even more jealous in the future. Though I do plan on checking out some of the restaurants when in the Tampa area (just went there for the first time last week for my bday) that you have previously mentioned so thanks!!

    1. Wow! You’re a trucker. That’s friggin’ awesome. That’s gotta be a tough job. You should blog about it; I bet you’ve got tons of stories you could share. You should check out Pizza Fusion the next time you’re in town. Thanks again for dropping by. Please visit again soon!

  20. First, what in the world DID you eat?
    And why in the world are you buying produce at Walmart?
    And, last, you are right about everything. Everything.

    P.S. I love your comment prompt.

    1. You know, I loved most vegetables, grains and dairy. Actually, I was a tad obsessed with dairy. Okay, if I could have mainlined milk, I would have. And cheese. Oh, I miss cheese. When I was a kid, I would melt cheese in a Dixie cup in the microwave and eat it with a fork…just plain melted cheese. As an adult, I melted it in a bowl, mostly because my bowls are ten times bigger than a Dixie cup. So to answer your first question, I ate a lot of cheese.

      The Super Wal-Mart in Sarasota, FL – where we used to live – was awesome. The prices were great; the produce was fresh. When we moved, I discovered that all Wal-Marts are not alike. Now that I’m vegan-lite, I buy most of my produce at our Greenwise Publix, the farmer’s market and a wonderful little Asian grocery in our neighborhood. Obviously there aren’t many people buying produce at Wal-Mart; otherwise, their cashiers would know what scallions look like.

      Thanks so much for your kind compliments. Hope you visit again soon!

  21. i do have a blog..just started on here and its called twodogsandatruck or, I used to blog mostly short stuff and poetry, but now since becoming a professional driver I decided it was time to share our crazy adventures. I can never ever have enough cheese. Never will be vegan either of course, but I could possibly be a vege as long as I had enough vege refried beans and such to make my tacos…haha. I love meat though, and being anemic an intolerant of iron supplements I would have to eat a ton of spinach and avacados! right now I am trying to get my hands on some more amino acid/enzymes so I can even digest any food with regularity. A few years back I lost my gallbladder and my liver and pancreas decided to wage anarchy on my body, abandoning any hope of ever being able to eat normally. However, I did find while I have eaten mexican food all of my life(seriously, I must have it since age 2 and consume bottles of salsa like milk) it doesn’t make me sick like most foods do.

    What do you find yourself snacking on the most now that you are a vegan?

    1. First, I can’t wait to read your blog. Consider me a follower (even though I haven’t visited your blog yet, but I WILL).

      Second, I can’t believe I’m going to bond with someone over the fact that we are both missing our gall bladders, but I am. However, I didn’t really notice much difference in my digestion after I had mine removed, but it was a bitch in my side (literally) for a few months before I had it excised.

      Third, great question! I’m not a huge sweets person, but I love salty foods. However, many brands of chips are not vegan, so I’ve been exploring lentil chips, kale chips and black bean chips. All yummy. I also make several different kinds of homemade hummus, guacamole and a mean edamame dip. I’ve found that I don’t snack as much as I used to (cheese was my go-to for years), but I don’t miss it. With regular workouts, I’ve already lost 14 pounds – even though I don’t count calories, carbs or fat. I bake for my hubby a lot these days so I will occasionally have a slice of homemade banana nut coconut bread or a few oatmeal cookies.

      I wish I could consume salsa like milk. It’s really good for you and so yummy. I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that I can’t tolerate as much spicy or acidic food as I used to. Sucks!!!!!! Especially considering that a lot of Indian food is naturally vegan and I want to inhale bowls of curry whenever I catch a whiff of one. Everything in moderation. Grrrrrrr.

      Okay, off to visit your blog!

      1. cool beans literally! I love curry, and spicy is my middle name…my biggest haters are mayonnaise, eggs, and preservatives. Coffee hates my guts, and anything really greasy or loaded with soy. I am dying to try some Kale chips..have to keep an eye out for those, but unless they have them at walmart I will have to wait until next month when were at home for my sweetie to go to drills with the Army Natl. Guard.

        I will never ever give up my cheeses. My grandparents are/have lived to a very ripe old age eating their good cheese and bacon. I don’t smoke or drink much so cheese and salsa are my true addictions in the intake realm.
        I wish someday to maybe have a little cafe/diner where we will serve delish Italian(his)and mexican(mine) foods along with wonderful breads and desserts.
        hope you liked the blog, its pretty simple right now as I am figuring out this wordpress thing.

      2. Loved it. Will revisit and read more posts once things slow down at this end. Let me know if I can help you figure out any wordpress issues. I’m no expert, but I’ve managed to survive a year in the blogosphere and been FPd twice to boot. I’m sure you’re going to have some great stories to share. 🙂

  22. ps thanks! it is pretty awesome starting a new career at age 39 and being able to travel 24/7 has its perks. I look forward to more of your posts as they will keep my brainpan happier while on the road with old crusty dudes.

  23. The first person to cultivate tomatoes I am told was a man named Thomas who had two less than the normal ten pedal digits. You will because of this never find tomatoes used to make the jam you put on your toast at breakfast. Loved the post.

  24. I once had the audacity to try to buy fennel while going through the u-scan self serve lane. I couldn’t get the machine to scan it, so I had to get assistance from the cashier. She yelled across the room, “What IS it? Feeee-nil? Bob (the cashier in the next lane) what’s the number for feee-nil?” When that didn’t work, I tried to helpfully suggest that it’s also sometimes called anise. That prompted “What? Anus? Bob! Do you know the number for anus??” This went on for quite some time before poor Bob had to go over to the produce aisle, inform me that it was indeed fennel, and type in the code. My teenage son, who knows all his vegetables, still thinks this whole thing was hillarious 🙂

    1. You’re living in a sitcom, aren’t you? Write it up as a script in which your characters compete on a show like “The Biggest Loser” and bring them into the store and let ’em lose it a little when they discover that Publix doesn’t carry foie gras.

  25. I incorporated “cray” into my shortlist of exclamatory phrases I could utter in quiet whisperance in anonymous passing under overpasses while wrecks announced themselves amid mired traffic, until it was scrubbed clean out by the unrelenting mockery of a friend, who took it upon himself to abuse it in high-pitched mimicry over any instance – and I finally said, “Okay, I will never use it again. That there was craZY. Okay?” And he would be satisfied for a second, and then exclaim, “Yaw, bro – that CRAY.” Augh.

  26. As a child I would never eat peaches because they were furry, just like our gerbils. I have never gotten over this. I would also never eat carrots or oranges because I didn’t like the colour. I have managed to make peace with them, although try to avoid them whilst my mother is anywhere nearby as she cannot reconcile herself to my change of opinion. Cue cries of “but you never ate carrots when you were a child!” As if some miracle had taken place in the intervening thirty or forty years, rather than a change in taste. Great blog, I am going to follow you. Be afraid.

    1. Yeah, well I’m going to visit your blog in the next few days…so I might just follow you as well. Do two people following each other just cancel each either out? I hear you with the peaches. I still won’t eat them under any circumstances.

  27. Dear Miss Snarky Pants,

    I thought I was the only one! It would be 35 years before I would allow a fresh tomato to pass my lips. And only then because my girlfriend at the time gave me a pasta dish with that in it. Up until then, I had been able to hide not eating the tomato slices in my salads without a problem. And yes, I like tomatoes now.

    Ahhh, the things mere males will do. However, as YOU are my witness (you are an attorney I believe), no brussel sprout will ever enter my digestive system (pureed, mashed, whole, cooked, fresh, whatever). No matter the reason. Ever. Ever!!!

    1. My mother said the same thing. And then I served her some roasted Brussels sprouts and now she’s a fan.

      That said, I’m curious. Would you eat to avoid eating Brussels sprouts? A slug? A cockroach? A live fish? A fried scorpion? Milk and Pepsi?

      1. Fortunately, I’ve never found myself in a position where anything on the plate was “worse” than a brussel sprout. Actually, apart from that one time as a child when brussel sprouts were on my plate (painful memories of that meal), they have not been on my plate. So I have no idea what I would eat to avoid eating a brussel sprout (By the way, is that some evil college dare/trick that you’ve been involved in?)

        Until then, De gustibus non est disputandum.

    1. Or I could simply take you at your word that pomegranates have snot-like innards. Is it that the seeds are encased in snotty stuff or is it that the seeds are filled with snotty stuff? Or is it both?

  28. This is the most hilarious (and depressing) thing I’ve read in ages. I am completely with you on the sketchiness of most fruits…most foods even. But there is hope! I am a teenager who can still identify the majority of fruits and vegetables. 🙂 Unfortunately, I do not work at Wal-Mart, so this will not help you at all.

    1. Since you can identify most fruits and vegetables, any hopes you (or I) may have that Wal-Mart will hire you as a cashier are in vain. Clearly, you’re overqualified.

      Thanks so much your feedback on this. Now go design fruit and vegetable themed flashcards and sell them. You’ll make a mint.

  29. No way. I don’t believe that 6-year-old kids have never eaten fresh tomatoes. Maybe that was just for the show, seriously. Okay, maybe kids don’t know what eggplant and cauliflower is, but carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes? Latvia, where I live is pretty much meat and potatoes nation, but I have never met a 6-year old who didn’t know what tomato looks like, also in my school they give free carrots, apples or pears for kids as snacks everyday, so everyone knows what carrot looks like 😀
    I am just genuinely shocked…

    1. Free food…at a school? For snacks? Yeah, that could be the problem. I’ve never seen a school that gave out free snacks that weren’t cookies. When our states have to pass laws requiring schools to provide healthy lunch and snack options – for sale – you know the system needs improving. You’d think the school districts would do it automatically.

  30. “customer-perpetrated produce fraud” What a wonderful sounding phrase. You have writing skill as far as I am concerned.
    I hated barley soup. The barleys were never cooked well enough for my liking. Hard little bodies hiding inside soft mushy exterior. I sat on a few barley filled tissue in my day.

  31. Another Brit here! Tally ho, pip pip as we say in downtown Brixton…..
    Just because Jamie is giving it large in that there Americkee, don’t think we don’t have the same problem here. In my neighbourhood kids wouldn’t know an onion from an olive and live on cheap chicken and chips, usually eaten upstairs on the bus where they hurl the bones on the floor which means we have to watch where we put our kitten heels when commuting to work of a morning. Not only that but there are special ‘constipation’ clinics for them to attend where they are somehow parted from their fortnight old, dessicated, impacted turds, quite how this is done i don’t know, but would imagine that it is quite an unhappy experience for all concerned.
    I don’t have Sky (primative I know) so could you explain who or what is a Honey Boo Boo? Sounds like something you buy in Lush and bung in the bath…..

    1. Constipation clinics? We have those here too, but they’re calls “spas” and the treatment is called a colonic. Oh, and silly, rich people who take too many Vicodin go there because they’ve destroyed their bowels after alternating between laxatives and pain pills that pack the poop as a side effect.

      I’m going to do you a favor and not answer your question. As you have not yet been exposed to Honey Boo Boo, to do so now would be like shoving a man who has just narrowly missed being hit by a bus in front of a speeding truck – or lorry, as you would say.

      1. Miss SP, you are all heart!
        I am on quite a bit of medication but still manage to ‘drop the kids off’ every morning, and despite my obvious predisposition to self loathing, do not consider a cold pipe full of water up my jacksie a treat worth donning a white robe and flip flops and paying for.
        Still, different strokes, different folks as they say….
        Incidentally did you pay that child to mouth the cats head, or is she just enjoying herself? Either way, it’s clear the cat had no say in the matter, given its ‘I want to speak to my agent/lawyer/momma’ expression.

      2. No, I didn’t pay the cat-eating model. Frankly, I wonder if she’s still recognizable. If I’d tried to pull that trick with any of my three kitties, I’d be in slices right now.

    1. I think you can can change the banner in most themes. I didn’t realize it for some time, but then I noticed that a lot of other blogs had customized comment banners.

      Yes, the plight of the migrant farm worker is one close to my heart. I’ve actually protested on their behalves in the past – and I’m hoping that Obama’s proposed immigration reform will help bring more attention to the cause. Unfortunately, as a vegan, the tomato is a major staple in my diet these days. I might starve to death without it, but thanks so much for posting this link. Dear readers, if you are perusing this particular comment, please do click on The Life of Mosaic’s link regarding the plight of the migrant farm worker in Florida. Thanks so much for your thoughtful insight! Hope to hear from you again soon. 🙂

  32. I’m not understanding the problem, I fear. Tomatoes come in a box labeled “tomatoes”, right? Farm workers used to pack them in boxes (Their specialized knowledge for identifying them is why they got paid the big bucks.), but now they’re genetically engineered to grow with the boxes already on. So what was the problem with your butternut squash? Ah, maybe it was grown in Finland and only you and the highly educated Wal Mart manager could read Finnish? Another reason to buy American, where the mac&cheese tree was invented.

  33. You hit the nail on the head with the consistency of tomatoes. I hate everything about that, but I do enjoy tomatoes. I don’t care too much for gravy. I don’t like my food to touch. I do a very good job at having things on the side. I abhor soggy bread. But that sketti business that Honey Boo Boo-Doo Doo eats….I can do without. Love your blog and your style of writing. Congrats on Fresh Pressed!

    1. I learned to love tomatoes too, but I often de-seed them. I’ve heard that many people don’t like to mix their food and don’t like their food to touch. Please tell me more about this. What is it about food touching that grosses you out? Do you only eat one food at a time? It’s fascinating to me.

      Thank you so much for the nice compliments. I’ll keep writing if you promise to keep coming back!

      P.S. Do you watch “American Horror Story?” One of the characters is called Lana Banana by the head nun in the asylum.

      1. I’ve never watched American Horror Story, but I may have to check it out. I’m not sure when I decided to be such a freak to not let my food touch but I’m sure it’s because I’m a poorly closeted control freak! If I’m eating scrambled eggs and hash browns I may mix them and add ketchup. I don’t like syrup on my bacon or sausage; kettle corn is probably my favorite salty-sweet combination. I don’t “sop” my bread with sauces… I also have issues with texture. Poached eggs look pretty but once you cut them and they bleed out I just can’t take it!!! I know I’m too emotional about all this, it’s part of what makes me the aberration that I so pleasantly am!!

      2. I get it, girlie! I don’t like sopping up sauces with bread either. That’s what my index finger is for….hello! Poached eggs with runny centers make me gag. I always ordered them cooked “hard.” I miss bacon that’s been dipped in a little syrup though. Hell, I just miss bacon. Kettle corn is amazeballs. I haven’t checked to see if it’s vegan or not. Will have to look into this immediately.

  34. I absolutely LOVE this. Like yourself I too was possibly the pickiest eater, as a child, that I have ever come across. In fact I’m still conquering the fruit and veg world one product at a time. Luckily for me though I’m from Ireland where, thankfully, most of the produce is still free so I actually can distinguish most veggies by sight 😛

    1. Produce is free in Ireland? You make some of the best beer and whiskey in the world. Oscar Wilde, Bono and Liam Neesom were/are all Irish. Is there anything wrong with the Irish (other than their penchant for blowing things up)? Thanks so much for your kind words!

      1. Ah I meant to say manufacturing free, as in actual vegetables and not cans or frozen bags of the stuff 😛 No worries, thanks a million for your reply 🙂

      2. We’d love to travel there. I just discovered recently that our family is part Irish, but I’d like to go because it seems like a beautiful country. My hubby would like to go because he’ll be able to drink a Guinness on tap at every pub we visit!

  35. Hilarious! Good to have you back.
    I agree, watermelons are too high-maintenance. I can eat raw tomatoes. What I’ve never been able to swallow are eggplants. I hate them with a passion. I don’t enjoy okra either. Never have. Not a big veggie-lover.
    But I see your point about kids and teenagers today. Most of this Gerber generation probably won’t cook for most of their lives, what with food being cheap and plenty. They probably won’t recognize a raw fruit or a vegetable.

    1. Okra is such a confusing little vegetable, being both a tad hairy and extremely slimy. When I don’t like a vegetable or fruit, I try to find at least one way in which I can tolerate it – and okra is no exception. Try buying chopped, frozen okra. Then, toss a couple handfuls into any veggie or chicken-based soup. It can take awhile for okra to lose its sliminess, so I will usually add it to the crockpot a couple of hours before the soup is ready. However, it will lose all of its sliminess and hairiness; and, thereby, it will become edible.

      Glad to be back. I’ll be over to visit your blog very soon. Am recovering from a nasty cold right now. Ugh!

  36. Hey great post right there! I am following you now, if you ever want to know about Ocean Paddling then follow us back. Cheers!

      1. That is called SUP, Stand Up Paddle, but yes, it is inside Ocean Paddling, together with Surfski and Outrigger. And you are welcome, I hope you visit our website once in a little while or follow us, you are very welcome to our page 🙂


  37. Such a fun post! I have two young nephews and it is apparent that they cannot find the difference between the various green leafy vegetables; they love pasta in all forms though. I may not be a good role model in this case either because I am not a big fan of many vegetables like squash or pumpkins, things that I never buy and cook but I can identify them. Yay for me!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, it is really exciting to FPd. I was starting to think it would never happen again, asking myself, “Where did I go wrong?” Sob. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad.

      I’m curious what it is about squash or pumpkins that make you dislike them. Is the flavor, the consistency or what? Will you eat pumpkin pie?

  38. For the second time today, without even looking into the specific subject, I come across a post related to kid’s nutrition. The first one was a post on Honey Boo Boo at and wow, look at that she’s mentioned here too! Before today I didn’t even have an idea who she was! After I read that first post I went to check videos on what that show is about and I couldn’t even watch one minute into a preview of it.
    having worked at a restaurant, I’ve seen how parents just stop being parents and give into their kids’ demands just to shut them up. Meaning you have a bunch of spoilt, bad-mannered, overweight kids, hyped up on sugar running around. And even though it might seem a tiny thing; this that kids can’t tell the difference between veggies, this kind of show how we as adults are shaping these kids, the next generation of leaders?

    And by the way, I fully believe that a six year old should know the difference between a tomato and a potato the same way they know the difference between red and blue.

    1. I agree with you, Angelique. I wouldn’t expect them to be able to identify a butternut squash or Brussels sprouts at that age, but tomatoes and potatoes are pretty darn basic. Kids know what they’re eating. I’ve never met a kid who couldn’t tell me what they ate for lunch or dinner. Perhaps if he had mistaken the tomatoes for something else that was round-ish and red (like an apple or large radish), I wouldn’t be as shocked. It seems to me that our learning institutions should also be teaching this kind of thing to children. Whatever happened to the food pyramid I grew up with?

      I feel for parents today. I think part of the challenge is that many kids have parents who both work full-time jobs; by the time they get home, cooking from scratch is the last thing they want to do. It’s easier to throw together some mac & cheese or toss a frozen pizza in the oven. Likewise, parents take their kids out to dinner more often than they did before. I would imagine that they’re focused on getting in and out of the restaurant as quickly and with as little fuss as possible, since they still have to drive the little buggers home, make sure they do their homework, get them ready for bed, and then deal with taking care of household chores.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your comments. I really appreciate your perspective!

  39. So true. My childhood aversion was peas from a can. Yucky squishy things. I still can’t stand them and so my kids won’t eat them either. I’m with you on the fat and the gristle too.

    I have had to identify vegetables to cashiers in a variety of stores and they still have to llok up the picture for the price codes. I think my kids were shocked one day when the cashier took five minutes to find the code for cilantro which she had thought was parsley. We eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and we garden (mostly tomatoes for canning), but I wouldn’t call myself or my kids experts. Living in a foreign country teaches you humility. There are LOTS of vegetables and fruits I’ve never even heard of!

    Great post.

    1. I’m so impressed that your kids know what cilantro is! It’s one of my favorite herbs. Sounds like you’re doing a great job. You’re right about “foreign” vegetables. When we moved to a larger city last year, I finally had the opportunity to shop at a real Asian grocery store. Who knew there would be so many fruits and veggies that I couldn’t identify? It’s been fun trying to integrate some of this produce into our diet. Thanks so much for comments and for dropping by!

  40. Great article. I too was a picky eater (and still am to a certain extent). My daughter was diagnosed with sensory issues. She will literally starve herself if you tell her she has to eat a vegetable or something else she hasn’t tried. Or she’ll throw it right up. People don’t understand the aversion and insist it’s because I didn’t feed her veggies as a baby. B.S. She ate everything as long as it was pureed. It’s when it got texture that she freaked out. Ugh.

    I don’t blame you for not liking McDonald’s burgers. They are not only made of questionable stuff, they are served by an evil clown! Congrats on the pressed biz by the way.

    1. Thanks, Alice. Yeah, the texture thing is a difficult one to overcome. I think it’s something that you’re born with. Still, as I have done, your daughter will need to figure out ways to eat foods she doesn’t like solely due to texture. It took me awhile, but I’ve conquered many of the foods I wouldn’t eat as a child. And by conquering, I don’t mean chewing them, spitting them out in a napkin and hiding it in my pocket. Pureed, huh? You may have something there. I do love a pureed soup.

      As far as McDonald’s goes, I don’t trust gray foods. Thanks for dropping by and for your comments. 🙂

  41. Hahaha. I can’t sympathize at all. I was not a picky eater, I loved eating everything. I have no idea why I’m not a balloon. I think the only thing that actually grossed me out was tapioca pudding because it reminded me of slimy boogers! Ewwwww! 🙂 I’d still eat it though. The tapioca, not the boogers. CAUSE THAT’S JUST NASTY 😉

    1. I used to love tapioca pudding, but when I would bring it to school, the kids would chant, “Fish eyes and fish eggs! Fish eyes and fish eggs!” They were ‘tards.

      No boogers? Are you trying to tell me that your childhood was booger-free? But how did you get your Vitamin Ewwwwwwwwww?

  42. I will eat a a banana RIGHT now.

    …There. Done.

    That being over, I find that children aren’t the only ones who have trouble with foods. We are SO far removed from our food that it is crazy. It is not like the NORMAL process from making chicken stock is that horrifying (not the processed factory farmed way), nor is the act of picking a berry.
    When I met the love of my life he would not eat anything off of a tree or the ground. It had to come safely from a store. He was a born-and-raised NYC kid and grew up in a big city where evrything was toxic waste. But my mom was a farm girl for a while and taught me all about how the cherries hanging thick and ripe off of our cherry tree were OK to eat without washing if they looked clean, but the dandilions by the roadside should never be eaten because of the chemicals they absorb. We also have a local market that makes it hard to seperate the idea of the meat from the animals as many of the stands have depictions of the animals live or bits that you don’t see in a normal store like a whole leg of lamb with the hoof attached or even an entire un-skinned pig lying in a display… Right at kid-veiwing height for when you are 6-7. I grew up very strongly knowing that a cow was beef and that it tasted very good cooked along side potatoes and carrots (which were roots) and some bread (which was grain which is just glorified grass-seeds).

    But it is only recently that my 23-year-old boyfriend has overcome his fear of a real, fresh food. This year he ate dandilions and wild garlic picked from our own wild-growing back yard. It’s no surprise to me that kids don’t know food when it’s clearly preferred that it come pre-packaged and sealed in squishy pink packages from a store.

      1. Have you considere container gardening? It’s stupid easy to do. 😛 My mom does it with tropical plants for fun; biggest most beautiful and long-lived plants ever!

      2. Yes, but I would have to store the containers on the roof of our building and haul water up, etc. Too much work! We can’t keep them inside because our kitties love to munch on anything green. At this point, the only plants to survive are two orchids and a succulent.

      3. Hmm, you could try netting them in to keep them away from the cats (deer netting is cheap), or keep them in a cat-free room, but I understand. :3
        This year I will have a big as butt garden in my yard. Hopefully it’ll go well.
        I hope someday you can have big, delicious, home-grown plants too!

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy them. My most popular post is “Why I Hate Witty People” and it’s was my very first post (perhaps it’s all downhill from there?), so it’s easy to find. BTW, I just posted again this morning: An Open Letter to Michelle Obama. Hope to see you again!

      1. Isn’t it remarkable how these differences mean nothing to us in the blogosphere, but they cause wars in the real world. Okay, maybe orange juice didn’t, but I’m sure it’s happened.

  43. I have come to terms with many of my old childhood dinner enemies. Mushrooms, whipped cream, butter and brie. I still can’t stomach bell peppers, raw tomatoes or milk… or celery, or pumpkin, or cucumber… I do eat veggies I swear!

  44. My husband and I just came across a Walmart worker who didn’t know how much the produce was, especially with the herbs we bought. She kept on asking my husband what the price was, bringing out the list, and asking my husband, “.99 sounds good, right?” for something that would normally be $4.99. It took him so long waiting I walked back and forth from where he was at to the door to get some exercise while we waited. Oh, and I can relate to being texture ly challenged with food, I have the same thing with certain foods I can get past the texture.

    1. Sorry to have not replied sooner, but your comment and one other ended up in my spam folder. Yes, I’ve had the same thing happen with herbs – and I’ve had cashiers do exactly the same and offer to sell it to me for 99 cents. The ethical side of me wants to argue with them and say, “No, I’m pretty sure this organic tarragon should go for $2.99,” but I’m becoming weary and resentful about the fact that I’m having to educate cashiers who are not employed by me. I try to pay attention to the prices so that I can help them out, but sometimes I just want to get out of the store. Time is precious – and if they want to sell me cilantro for 99 cents the next time I go to the store, I may just let them.

      1. I’m going to have to change stores. Cashiers at Publix and Whole Foods know exactly what I have! It is so uncool to be seen in a walmart that I would need a disguise.

    1. I’m sorry not to have replied sooner, but your comment went into my spam folder for some reason. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you liked the post. Hope you visit again soon. I write a lot about my struggles with being an unethical vegan.

  45. I can so relate to a lot of this. I was not just a picky eater when I was little – I pretty much never wanted to eat anything but eggs. And fat?! – forget about it! Anything that had even a slightly suspicious texture or color on a piece of meat would get picked apart, removed and fed to my younger sister (until she got old enough to understand). I am still that way with fat for the most part, but I’m a much better eater nowadays. My mother would have killed for me to eat this way when I was a kid!! But you are so right about kids not being exposed enough to food in its natural state – it’s kind of scary. My mom had foster kids who didn’t know what a tomato was until they came to her care.

    1. I believe that some of those foster kids didn’t have a clue about fresh food. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a supermarket spy. While waiting in line, I often take a look at what the person ahead of me has in their cart. Is it healthy? Are they clearly a single person or a mother with six kids? I think we all probably do it and I suspect the cashiers do the same thing. I’ve noticed that many people have virtually no produce in their carts at all – and their cart is full. It’s not like they just ran in to pick up a quart of milk. They’ve bought their groceries and produce is not involved. I’m so glad to know that there are other people out there who are grossed out by fatty meat!

      1. I do that ALL the time – spy on other people’s carts and then JUDGE them. Usually end up elbowing my husband and hissing in his ear something about “everything is frozen” or “there is no color” or “those fruit snacks don’t have any real fruit.” Haha!!

      2. Thank you for being so honest. I’ll come out and admit it; I JUDGE them too. Isn’t that horrible? And if, for some reason, I don’t have a bunch of produce in my cart, then I worry that the cashier will look at me and think, “Oh, this is why she could stand to lose a few!” It kills me because most of the junk food I buy is for my hubby, who could mainline sugar and fat and not gain a single ounce.

  46. I used to hate avocados because of their texture (ie. why put something slimy/soft in your food on purpose?), but I like them now. I hated olives and I STILL won’t touch them. Even a tiny bit of olive in something…nope.


    “Bits of curling, ginger, evil clown hair.”

    Dear lord. You’ve got me cackling (with laughter, don’t worry). I don’t usually shamelessly self-promote on other people’s blogs, but I just posted about clown-related horrors this week. If you are so inclined, here:

    1. Don’t worry about the self-promote. I loathe clowns and have ever since I saw “Poltergeist” as a child. I read a study recently that discussed the fact that children are universally afraid of clowns. Perhaps it’s because the only reason they hide their faces behind makeup is because they’re inherently EVIL. Bwhaahaahaahaa! Thanks for the link. I WILL check it out. 🙂

      1. Isn’t that convenient that we send clowns to children’s birthday parties even though children are inherently afraid of clowns? Is this how we begin the molding process? They learn that their parents have the power to hire clowns. That’s like paid fear. Their parents can buy fear. And that, my friend, is power.

    1. Heaven help you for answering all these comments. I do not expect a reply but do wish to thank you for your humorously explained psychology of being a picky eater. My husband and daughter are such kindred spirits and I find it a challenge getting them to try new things…The tiniest particle of foreign matter and …game over. Food is weird sometimes and you have helped me understand a lot just now.
      PS, my checker at WM the other day took quite a while to look up a leek…feelin’ your pain.
      PSS. If you decide to check out my blog, I must warn you my last entry is about making all natural tomato soup. I tried to smooth it out in the blender but seeds did prevail. My 10 year old daughter resembled the photo at the top of the page about half way through her cup. Thanks again for the psychology lesson.

      1. Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Homemade tomato soup sounds yummy. I’ll have to check out your recipe (and your blog), but I’ll be sure to de-seed the tomatoes first. 🙂

  47. This is hilarious!! But oh so true. Here in Germany we have a chocolate brand called “Milka”. Ever since I can remember, their chocolates have a purple cow on the wrapper. Rumor has it that from time to time children who grow up in bigger cities, who have never seen (or smelled) a real cow that, actually ask their parents why that cow on whatever TV-show they’re watching at the moment is not purple. What a sad thing.
    The other day the girl at the checkout in my local supermarket didn’t know what gunger was.
    I remember taking trips to the farmer’s market when I went to kindergarden. Maybe they should still do that nowadays.

    Btw, I was actually eating a banana while reading your post 😉 Guten Appetit!

  48. Love this, and saw this video the other day. I’ve seen this in person–the cashier in question could not identify garlic to ring it up. GARLIC, a staple of life. Not arugula, not carambola, not an odd variety of pear. GARLIC. I was flabbergasted, and yes, I died a little inside.

      1. Aw thanks!
        I was wondering if you could check out my blog and give me any tips? If you do read it, you can probably tell that I’m a first time blogger! Thanks in advance!

  49. From someone who used to work as a grocery cashier, I agree with you completely, they do not know a tomato from a potato. We had weekly quizzes about the produce in our store. We had to know the 4 digit number and the name of the vegetable/fruit.

      1. Yes, we had to know the fruit and the code. They had a plastic covered page with pictures and sometimes they would use obscure fruit. We would match code, name and picture. It seemed like a lot of work for minimum wage about 20 years ago ($6.00/hr).

      2. I had to learn the same kind of thing when I was 18 and working in a grocery store deli. This was before the grocery store sold prepackaged potato salad, beans, meat and cheese, Everything had to be sliced or scooped, weighed and packaged for each individual customer. I had to memorize at least a hundred codes, but there wasn’t a handy dandy photo chart for me to rely on. We also had to make fried chicken and sub sandwiches throughout the day, then completely empty the display coolers and clean them after the store closed. Cashiers had it easy – really easy – compared to what we had to do. And I made a whole $3.35/hour.

        If you’re going to do a job, you should do it well, no matter how little it pays or how menial you think it is. I remember just being grateful to have a job and to be making money.

  50. This is one of the greatest posts that I have ever read. I am one who does not eat the watermelon because of the seeds, I do not eat chicken because I refuse to eat something that you have to pick off of a bone. I laugh every time someone is not able to figure out what fruit and/or vegetable that I want to purchase. Fantastic post.

      1. I may not be able to do that, but I will pass your blog to my FB friends. I am sure that a good handful will check it out. Who would not read a blog from a person names Miss Snarky Pants, I mean really?

      2. A Humor Blog for Horrible People is great and I know a lot of people who will identify with it. Your welcome. Can’t wait to explore more posts.

    1. You are welcome! It just occurred to me that by subtitling my blog “A Humor Blog for Horrible People,” that I’ve inadvertently labeled all of my readers as “horrible people.” I feel like Lady Gaga when she named her “Little Monsters,” except I’m fatter, not famous, and, as a vegan, not likely ever to own a meat gown.

      Re: peaches shaving, do they call them nectarines if they shave?

  51. I remember when I was a kid, I hate eating tomato too, but I have liked the taste when I was growing up. I realize there are some foods I don’t like during childhood that I have learned to appreciate the taste when I reached my teenage years until now! Maybe hating foods during childhood is part of growing up ;-). I’m glad I stop by. Your blog is worth the read. Congrats getting in FP!

  52. brussel sprouts. hated them as a child. kinda love em now. especially when cooked in chicken broth. and shrimp… hated shrimp, now love it. it’s odd how taste buds change. and my new puppy ate a tomato the other day, which surprised me bc dogs are even worse at eating veggies than wal-mart cashiers. 😉 sm

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