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Apr 10, 2008 01:41 AM

What was the worst food you HAD to eat as a kid?

Mine was mom's chicken noodle soup. After she made the soup, she didn't bother to remove the skin and bones. She also refused us crackers because she didn't like them. I still gag thinking about it and to this day refuse to eat chicken noodle soup. I make it for my husband but I don't touch it! (and mine doesnt have stuff floating in it)

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  1. Fortunately my parents seldom MADE us eat things. If we didn't like what was being served for dinner, we could make ourselves a peanut butter sammich. My mother was generally a really good cook, and I liked the things she made, but there was one dish of hers I couldn't stand and came to dread the nights she was cooking it. Liver and onions. For some reason (I dunno, maybe because she liked it that way) she always scorched the heck out of the liver. I mean it was like blackened liver. That meant scorched onions, too. I couldn't STAND it. I hated the smell, and it stunk up the whole house. I have to assume she liked the burnt flavour because she just didn't scorch things in general, she was a much better cook than that.

    However, I now adore liver and onions. :) I just don't scorch it, I put a little sage in the flour I coat the liver with, and I fry it with bacon. :) Nummy

    50 Replies
    1. re: Morganna

      My mom was a pretty good cook too except for her fetish with the entire chicken being served in her soup. As the soup would cool (cuz I just couldn't eat it without gagging) it would congeal and get even nastier. She had this rule that you had to eat what was on the table regardless if you liked it or not. When I had my daughter and she didn't like a particular food I would always make her a hotdog instead. I would never force anybody to eat something they didn't like.

      1. re: Morganna

        My mother did the Weight Watchers diet in the '70s and it was required back then that you eat liver at least once a week. Fortunately my mom didn't make the rest of us eat it, but she burned the heck out of it too - on purpose. She said that was the way it 'tasted the least bad,' lol. The smell was indeed horrendous.

        The one gag-worthy thing I had to eat as a kid was canned beets. Blech. And no getting up from the table until you've eaten them all, missy! I was so glad when we got a dog and I could sneak some down to him.

        1. re: romansperson

          my mom put me on WW by the time i was nine so i had to eat the liver and onions also; i think i'd rather have had it burned than "pink in the middle" yujk... we're still here and catagorize ourselves as chowsters, right. whenever i'd tease my sister about being a lousy cook she'd rejoinder that she had 4 kids and they all grew up to live full and active lives, didn't they? I should say that mom redeemed herself the 1st time i came home for a visit from college; she made all my favs, antipasto salad and veal parmesan; this was quite amazing for a woman of German/Irish descent who had quite a time "sourcing" the ingredients in our small town.

          1. re: betsydiver

            But did your mom make the WW recipe "ketchup" to go with it?? Mine did- i still can't think of it, or liver, without gagging. Fortunately, that was a short-lived phase, and my parents basic rule was that you had to try a bite of whatever was served. If you didn't like it, you didn't have to eat it, and were on your own. Both of my parents were very good cooks for the most part, thank God, and exposed us to many, many different types of food at a young age. One of the things I didn't think about then, that I'm thankful for now!

        2. re: Morganna

          I'm lucky enough that when my grandma makes liver and onions, the people who don't want it get steak instead lol

          1. re: Morganna

            That's funny - the one meal of my mother's that made me gag was her liver and onions. Gross. She didn't scorch it - i just thought it smelled horrible and the texture of the meat was disgusting.

            1. re: flourgirl

              Bacon, liver and onions.....thank god for the family dog under the table.......and my dad tried to get creative with a Smithfield ham after an Xmas.....I think he attempted some sort of a hash.......out of respect the rest of the just sat around the table, pushing the creation around the plate, mumbling things like interesting....all with a slightly glazed look in our eyes until he finally relented and said enough already and we 86'd the mess and mom cooked up something edible..........everytime I see one of those clothe filled bags I get flashbacks.....

              1. re: Saddleoflamb

                My mom's horrible liver and onions which was ALWAYS served with spinich. Even the family DOG didn't want it. The smell was just awful and I'd cry when I heard that was our "dinner". Used to beg my friends to ask if their moms would allow me to eat with them. Mom wised up to that and wouldn't allow me to go anywhere those nights. Wasn't till I gagged and threw up at the dinner table after eating that when she re-thought her forcing issue. To this day, I cannot be in a room where that is cooking!

                1. re: buggybabe

                  Now that was a funny story, lol!!!

                2. re: Saddleoflamb

                  Liver indeed. For some reason it was always brutal. Tough as nails and dry as the dessert. I couldn't chew fast enough.

                  1. re: Saddleoflamb

                    Just had to pipe up, even at this late date.

                    I'm laughing at the anti-liver and onions litany.

                    Our mother died and because A. my older sister was/is a disinterested -- read, "negligent" -- cook, B. our dad was "traditional" i.e., gender-bigoted and C. anyway, my three brothers were self-centered and undependable; at the age of ten, I had the job of making dinner for the whole family.

                    In the seven years until I left for college, the ONLY comment my father made to me re: the meals was the demand that I make the liver "that way" all the time. Not, that was tasty, I enjoyed it, or good job.

                    My daddy had a warm and loving personality . . . to everyone except his family. XD

                    1. re: meowzebub

                      I hear you, meowzebub. Thank god that you know now that you are a better person, and have peace in that knowledge. It takes effort but it can be done. Ask me in a few years if a daughter can get over a nasty father completely. I think the right path is to find a very kind man that takes care of you very nicely and shows you how sweet and nice life can be. I hope you can find that. Trust me, those good men are all over the place. Just run away from anyone that makes you feel weird inside. Go for happiness, you deserve it.

                      1. re: meowzebub

                        You remind me of a story of a couple of generations ago, Inland South of US, where a mother died of pelagra and dad had to get a surviving child daughter to cook.
                        It sounds like your father was a lot more patient and tolerant, and when you hit on something that you did right, he made sure you knew about it.
                        It's hard to break in a child who's filling in the shoes of a grownup, and it sounds like he had to put up with a lot of awful, awful meals that he dared not say a word to you about because then you'd both be crying over how what you made wasn't like your dear departed Mom's cooking! (And your sister proved herself hopelessly inadequate to the task)
                        Some people can cook, some people can't.
                        Half my brothers and sisters want only hamburgers and french fries PERIOD. The other half is so adventuresome we've had to take them to poison control for trying out things like Clorox instead of vinegar to poach eggs in.
                        Your sister sounds like the first, and you sound like the second, and your father sounded like he was long-suffering and patient.

                        1. re: PeteSeattle

                          My father was also a single father, who also put the burden of cooking (cleaning, too) on his children. Laundry, window-cleaning, dishwashing, cooking as per his recipes, and more, all done under his magnifying glass of perfection. I beg to differ: in such a situation, it is the child who is long-suffering and patient.

                          1. re: Full tummy

                            It's been a while since this post, but I want to say I'm sorry for your father's behavior, Full t. I hope you're living life according to your own rules now.

                          2. re: PeteSeattle

                            Wow. You seem to read a whole lot in meowz's post than I did.

                          3. re: meowzebub

                            My mum was like that. She had her reasons - a very brutal upbringing that I wasn't aware of until much later. I didn't understand why she seemed to hate me so much and dote on my slightly older and much blonder cousin. Perhaps I reminded her of her brutal father.

                            That said, unloving as she was, she was able to produce nutritious and reasonably tasty (by postwar standards) food with very little money, and she made everything from scratch. Also taught me table manners that were very useful later in life when I had to work at conferences and eat with my (gasp) "betters"...

                            1. re: lagatta

                              Gosh, what stories this thread brings up. My regrets to you and your mom. Also to meowzebub.

                        2. re: flourgirl

                          Despite what my mother says, liver isn't the reason I became vegetarian - but it sure as hell makes me glad I am.

                        3. re: Morganna

                          A little late to be posting I know, but reading this thread I was amazed at how many folks mentioned the same things. When I read the OP, immediately I thought of Liver and Onions, Lima Beans and Creamed Corn. The latter two we _had_ to finish before we could be excused from the table.

                          Limas I have come to love, but the creamed corn – brrrr! I can’t take it by itself, running all over the plate don’t know what!

                          The liver...Mom knew we didn’t like it so she would offer us some, but make us a hamburger or hot dog if we declined. I still won’t eat it.

                          1. re: cuccubear

                            My father used to put out his after-dinner cigarette in his leftover creamed corn, and that's what it always reminds me of. Who cares what it tastes like, all I can imagine is an ashtray. But I do buy it to put in my cornbread, so no permanent scars.

                            1. re: coll

                              Wow, that's funny. Did he ever eat any of it first, or was that his not-so-subtle condemnation of creamed corn?

                              1. re: cuccubear

                                Oh no, creamed corn was his favorite vegetable I think. Mom would force us to eat all sorts of things, but the man of the house got only his favorites. Don't get me wrong, he deserved it! I don't remember, maybe there was no room on the table for an ashtray (we were sort of a big family) or something like that.

                                Actually my husband loves creamed corn too (not that I serve it that often) but if he ever put out his cigarette in it, I would kill him!

                                1. re: coll

                                  It seems to be a guy thing, my two older brothers could float away on the amount of it they've consumed. I think it;s a terrible thing to do to corn myself.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Well, I guess at a crowded table, one has to put the cigarette out somewhere, might as well be the creamed-corn! :-)

                                    1. re: cuccubear

                                      My Dad would stub his cigarette out on his plate too- maybe Mom did as well. When doing the dishes it made the dishwater stink! Finally my outspoken sister, (there was one out of six) demanded that they use an ashtray. And they did!

                                    2. re: coll

                                      Most people I know don't even smoke any more, let alone at the table. I remember it (I've done it!) but it still sounds so '50s to me. Almost nostalgic if it didn't stink and affect the taste of the food.

                                      1. re: chicgail

                                        50s, 60s and 70s mainly. Til he died of lung cancer, unfortunately. Husband still smoking away, but not during dinner at least, well he probably would if I wasn't there . Never smoked myself, except for all the secondhand stuff. Not much I can do, except complain!

                                    3. re: coll

                                      I want you to know that I've been traumatized by the mental image of this act -- don't know if I'll ever be able to eat creamed corn again.

                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                        Sorry! (Welcome to my nightmare)

                                      2. re: coll

                                        My mom did that too. No matter the food. If the food was gone - into the drink it went. Vile.

                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                          Ha, the cigarettes into leftover food dishes trick. I still do it, regularly. When I have a friend over and were sitting at the dining room table I always smoke immediately following the meal, and my ashes get dumped into the remaining food dishes, the butt gets crushed out on my dinner plate. I do the same thing when it's just me, by myself. At restaurants, I unfortunately need to walk outside directly following my meal.

                                      3. re: cuccubear

                                        Our next door neighbors had a huge garden so every summer night we'd find zucchini left by the back door; very kind gesture but mom would cook the hecjk out of it til it was a mushy, tastless mess... yuk; eventually she started cooking it with a fresh tomato, a little onion and som oregano; finally palatable to me. i even started to like it. also couldn't stand beets or lima beans...

                                      4. re: Morganna

                                        spam spiked with cloves and a brown sugar and oj glazeeeeeeeeeee....ewwwwwwwwwwwwww

                                        1. re: phelana

                                          Wow that sounds so familar....

                                          1. re: Morganna

                                            There's a story that's still told about me. I hated beef liver, and I had to eat it. Apparently, my mother was reading me a story in bed, after I had finished dinner and had dessert and brushed my teeth and put my pajamas on. I was chewing liver! It was the grisly bit. I had kept it in my cheek throughout pudding and minty toothpaste, and it was still there. I think that was the last time I remember my mother serving it.
                                            Now and then I make my children eat chicken livers, gently sauted in butter with onions and paprika and served on toasted rye bread. Not so bad.

                                            1. re: Morganna

                                              Second to my great aunt's bird and chitlin stew its liver. My great aunt (may her soul rest in peace) made a stew from birds and chitlins and simmered it until it was tender. On days she would cook the stew she would invite folk over for dinner. We (mom, my aunt and any other wise relatives) would send my little cousin over to see what was for dinner because he would eat anything. He would come back and say "that bird stuff" and we made ourselves scarce for a few days until the leftovers disappeared. My stomach still flips when I think of that dish!

                                              1. re: Misslady30904

                                                That's one of the funniest, greatest posts I've ever read on Chowhound- such close family and not wanting to hurt any feelings but watching out for one's best interests. Thanks for posting that!

                                                1. re: Misslady30904

                                                  Those old timers had to get by on some awful things. My grandma told me they used to snare robins to eat when she was a girl; bullets and shot cost too much to use. Children were served last, after the men and (secondly the) women. And when the meat was gone - it was gone. She said you don't know what it is to see the last piece of chicken being picked up and know you won't get any that day.
                                                  I guess once you go hungry, you're never as particular again.

                                                  1. re: weewah

                                                    My Dad was from a very poor family of 13. I've never seen any one eat as fast as he did, and he claimed it was from childhood: those who ate fast, ate. Those who didn't stayed hungry. Sad.

                                                    1. re: weewah

                                                      I've never forgotten the story of a friend's Italian immigrant grandma, with a husband and 13 kids to feed during the depression, sitting on the porch with a bowl of bread crumbs, enticing sparrows and pigeons into her lap. Then she'd twist their necks and cook them up in spaghetti sauce for dinner. I was both grossed out and impressed by her resourcefulness. Having butchered my own homegrown meat chickens, what really gets me is how she managed to pluck and gut all those tiny birds!!

                                                      1. re: klutzygirl

                                                        And now it would be a gourmet treat!

                                                        I had a friend from Wyoming visiting here on Long Island once, and I took him to a state park to show him we have some beautiful places here too. I rented a boat to take him out on the lake. Then I had to stop him from grabbing a goose and twisting its neck right then and there, he told me it would be a good dinner for us that night. It was amazing to him how they swim right up to you, in the boat (looking for food themselves). I understood, and was horrified at the same time, just like you.

                                                  2. re: Morganna

                                                    Every time someone tells me they love liver and onions, I want to slap them...liars!

                                                    1. re: ptrichmondmike

                                                      Slap away if that floats your boat, but I love liver and onions and I'm not lying. Only chicken or calf livers, though. Tasted beef liver and hated it.

                                                      I would not _ever_touch liver and onions growing up (my mom made it all the time). In my 20's I was on tour with a show and in a restaurant in Chicago for dinner, I saw a plate of it go by, and it just looked good. To this day I don't know what made me order some, but I did...and loved it. been hooked ever since.

                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                        We lived on a farm and my father raised beef. When we butchered, the liver was on the table until the liver was gone. We liked it- I still like liver but I do believe it may be a bit genetic- you either like liver or you don't . No-one ever says that they sort of don't mind liver. It's all or nothing.

                                                        1. re: Epicuriouser

                                                          I was just talking about this with my mother the other day. She used to fry liver and onions for herself when we were kids, and we would all gag. She did it very infrequently because she knew how much we hated the smell. What surprised me during our conversation is that she didn't like liver herself when she was growing up, but came to love it as an adult.

                                                      2. re: ptrichmondmike

                                                        The reply to that is ... lamb's liver! (with onions and garlic).

                                                        1. re: ptrichmondmike

                                                          I loved liver and onions growing up...maybe my mother just made it right or it could have been the bacon that goes with it. I also liked spinach, it was a Popeye thing.

                                                      3. liver
                                                        dad's tomato, and bean laced "chili"
                                                        canned butter beans
                                                        mom's boiled(blasphemy), and then grilled baby back ribs
                                                        salmon loaf
                                                        cream tuna on toast
                                                        frozen spinach

                                                        38 Replies
                                                        1. re: swsidejim

                                                          Funny, I'm the 3rd liver voter. Do that many moms really make liver? Is it a generational or ethnic thing or what?

                                                          I'm 37, grew up with East Coast–raised Jewish parents, and can guarantee you none of my friends' moms in Oklahoma circa 1978 were making liver.

                                                          1. re: tatamagouche

                                                            38, chicagoan. calves live once a month. I wouldnt eat it after trying it once or twice, I'd rather go hungry.

                                                            1. re: LabRat

                                                              woops, darn posting at work, made me leave off the (r). calves liver, not calves live. ;-)

                                                            2. re: tatamagouche

                                                              It must have been generational rather than ethnic or regional. I'm a 41 year old WASP from Los Angeles, and in the 1970s my mom used to make liver and onions for dinner. I detested it. That and lima beans (frozen) were the two dishes she made that I refused to eat.

                                                              1. re: DanaB

                                                                add frozen lima beans to my list as well.

                                                                Many a night there was a power struggle with those nasty beans left on my plate until I would finish them.

                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                  Red or lima beans for me. Nowadays, I don't seem to mind refried beans in mexican food.

                                                                2. re: DanaB

                                                                  I was very fussy, but I liked my mom's calve's liver w/ onions and potatoes. I hated kielbasi and saurkraut and almost everything else. Loved her fried chicken(except when my brother was eating my southern fried pet rabbit, w/ a broken leg, when I was in 3rd grade.) w/ white rice and frozen sweet corn.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    your family fried your pet rabbit and served it to you for dinner??? thats just wrong.

                                                                    1. re: asiansensation007

                                                                      My husbands brother had a rabbit and when it died they cooked it up for supper. It wasn't until after he ate he realized it was his former pet. Is that gruesome or what??? But their grandpa raised chickens and geese, and would kill them for supper, so I guess they figured meat is meat. I would have starved at their house.

                                                                      1. re: danhole

                                                                        Wow. Real life and all that, I guess. I can still see the chickens at my grandmother's house (no, she wasn't in the country) running around with their heads cut off. My cousin and I ran screaming into the house and closed ourselves in the bathroom.

                                                                        <-----------city mouse.

                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                          His grandparents weren't in the country either. Smack dab in the heart of Houston! My DH has told me the stories, but thank heaven I never experienced it!

                                                                          My daughter worked at a summer camp in Marble Falls one year, and they raised pigs. She told me all about this pig "Babe" that she would feed, and help take care of. At the ending ceremony we went up there and they served us lunch. The meat tasted a bit odd to me, so I asked what it was. She cheerfully said "Oh, that's Babe!" Discreet gag, dropped fork and went for some chicken, after asking if it was also named (it wasn't). Talk about a city mouse!

                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                            My SIL and her ex lived in Maine and one year they decided to raise hogs for meat. They bought three of them and promptly named them after three of her brothers - one of them being my husband. I know she and her husband thought it was hilarious but my husband - not so much.

                                                                        2. re: danhole

                                                                          Dani, I know this an old post but, that's horrible. It brings to mind when I was a kid, and we used to get baby chickens for Easter. They were dyed different colors, blue, red, yellow, etc. When they got bigger, and their natural colors were coming back, our parents would take them to the edge of town, less well off folks, and give them a "better home." I'm certain the better home was a pot or frying pan. Now that I'm thinking about it, we had rabbits when I was a kid. I never knew what became of my Benjamin Bunny or my brother's Pinky.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            I too brought a chick home from school. Dad built a pen for it and we kept it in the garage, fed it well and it thrived. Only problem was that it turned out to be a rooster and crowed at sunrise without fail. We always had chicken on Sunday and one Sunday we had an especially delicious bird.Dad was the nicest man I ever met but he wasn't a morning person. I cried when I figured out what happened but it really was the best fried chicken Mom ever made!

                                                                          2. re: danhole

                                                                            Yes, like many children in the country (and very small towns; my mum's parents weren't farmers), mum had a pet piglet as a little girl, who later became roast, ham and bacon...

                                                                        3. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                          And did the rabbit, your brother or you have the broken leg?

                                                                          1. re: Glencora

                                                                            Glencora & 007, sorry, I was in a rush. My students were coming into class. I teach the grammar error I knew I made and was curious if I'd get called on. Good for you two.
                                                                            I had a pet rabbit, Thumper, in 3rd grade. A neighbor's dog got to him and chomped his rear leg in half. In retrospect, we couldn't afford a vet and my mom said he ran away. I was eating fried chicken. My older brother was sitting to my right. I'm sure upon pain of death, he was told not to tell me that he was eating southern fried Thumper. But as older siblings often do, he ignored the threats and turned to me and said, "Mmmm, mmm, Thumper, sure is good". It suddenly hit me, I jumped up started crying and hitting him. I won't watch Bambi, but I hunt and fish and my brother is my best friend today.

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              the power of disney at work...our first-grade class also had a rabbit named thumper - i imagine kids all over the world used that name. but i'm pretty sure that in our suburban north jersey town no one thought to fry him up for dinner when he passed.

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                Hey, this was in Sayreville and my mom was a 1st grade teacher in Spotswood! I lived on a dead end st. and hunted every day after school.
                                                                                NJ is still a popular hunting and fishing spot. In Sayreville they have problems with bears and Bon Jovi
                                                                                I live in Maine now (As close to NJ as I want to be.) and just bought new fishing licences for my wife and me. But, know what's funny? Due to coyote predation and habitation loss, the eastern cottontail rabbit is about to be placed on the Me. endangered species list. We have one cottontale behind our house and I don't hunt him. But Bambi, on the other hand, is nothing but a long legged rat that eats my garden and commits suicide on my car bumper (twice). Umm, Umm finger lickin' good.

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  pdk: don't hate me for saying this, but i always thought of sayreville as being out in the boonies :)

                                                                                  mea culpa!

                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Yes, and I wish it still was. My "boonies" have been cut down and turned into infestations of row upon row of god awful ugly McMansions. It was a great place for a boy in the fifties. Now the same thing is happening to the small town in which I live in Maine. We are being beseiged by the big box store attack! Go away, corporate America!

                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    When did coyotes come up here anyway? (I live in Montréal, but it must be just as strange in Maine).

                                                                                  3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Once in a Disney World restaurant, they had a venison steak with rabbit sausage. I told the waiter I wanted the Bambi and Thumper plate. He laughed quite hard, as did my companions....

                                                                                    Worst food I had to eat was split pea soup. HATED it. Probably one the only food wars I won with my mom. Still hate it. YUCKY

                                                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                      in Norway , I served a rein deer roast, w/a a Marrachino cherry stuck on the end, at a Xmas Eve dinner.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          We eat caribou, when we can get it, from colleagues in Nothern Québec. Caribou is a delicious, highly nutritious and very lean meat, but its very sveltesse can make it challenging to cook. Caribou and reindeer are the same animal, though there are some variations between North American and Northern European stock.

                                                                                          Up north, "healthy food" is "food with blood in it". This is definitely true, as the prepared food from the "south" is usually almost devoid of nutrition, and full of unhealthy sugars and trans fats that are very harmful for Inuit and Northern Cree people.

                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  A widow, my mom brought up five of us by herself. There was little I didn't like and I think pickled beets was about all she wanted us to eat that I didn't care for. Once my brother puked when she made him eat one bite of beets!
                                                                                  We had pet chicks one easter and as they matured my mom said it was time to eat one. We ate it, but none of us had much of an appetite.

                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                    Hey, we got cases of pickled beets left over from my mother-in-law. Want some? Canned yams too. Sorry, no okra, she was a Yankee Boston Brahmin.

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Ok Passadumkeg, another response to an old post, but I can't resist. With regards to poor Thumper, my cat once brought home my neigbhbor's rabbit, with two neat, bloody holes in the neck that Dracula would have been proud of. Had we been more frugal, it would of gone the way of Thumper. Our food we didn't like was peas. My brother and I would throw them at each other. Funny thing, I love peas now.

                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                        Canned peas! Still can't stand them I have an aversion to canned food in general.

                                                                                3. re: DanaB

                                                                                  My hillbilly mom was making it in Saudi Arabia in the 70's!
                                                                                  Stunk up the whole house.

                                                                                  1. re: DanaB

                                                                                    I think my mother made liver cause me & my sister were alittle anemic and skinny. Think the doctor suggested it and a little port wine with dinner to build our blood. Also malted milk shakes to put some weight on us. That was also in the 70's.

                                                                                  2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                    I find myself craving liver. It has to do with being female and the time of the month. Liver is iron rich. I'm chronically anemic. :)

                                                                                    1. re: Morganna

                                                                                      I always thought it was unfair, but my Mom made all us girls eat liver once a month, while the boys got to have hot dogs or hamburgers.

                                                                                    2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                      I'm 42, east-coast raised jewish parents and apparently liver and onions was a big part of my parents' culinary landscape growing up. My mom didn't make it real often (thank god) but she still makes it to this day for my dad.

                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                        Agree it's generational and not ethnic or geographical. My (British born) mom made liver and onions too. In Salt Lake City Utah. And it was AWFUL. She also made steak and kidney pie but you could pick around the kidney and she didn't make me eat the organ meats for some reason. I had to TRY them, but not finish them.

                                                                                        But the worst thing was brussels sprouts. These I did have to eat -- had to sit at the table until I finished them. I'd never do that to a kid.

                                                                                        1. re: yumyum

                                                                                          Same here with the brussels sprouts. I had to eat them too. And I would never do that to a kid either. I have a 7 year old son and there isn't anything that he is forced to eat. Luckily he's a pretty good eater with a varied enough diet that I don't worry about his nutritional needs being met.

                                                                                        2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                          Tricked into eating liver in a restaurant from my dad's plate with A1 sauce. My dad's joke whenever the family couldn't decide what to eat was that we were going to the "Liver Emporium." Having to broil liver seems to give kosher cooks reason to cook the taste out along with the blood. My bubbe couldn't cook chicken to save her life either.

                                                                                      2. nothing. mom isn't the greatest cook, but i was never forced to eat anything i didn't want. even when we would go out to dinner, although they would encourage us to take just a bite of something new, it was always just a suggestion, never an obligation. i'm immensely grateful for that, because i'm pretty sure it's the reason i became adventurous about food as i got older, and learned to appreciate diverse cuisines.

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          Trying something new can come back to bite you in the butt if you are with the wrong relatives!

                                                                                          When I was very young (7 or 8?), I visited my grandparents in Chicago and they took me to dinner. They encouraged me to order the lamb, as it was something I never had. I was, of course, reluctant to do so, but they told me that I should order the lamb and then if I didnt like it, I could order something else. Sounded like a deal to me! So, of course, I take a bite of the lamb and I don't like it. I tell this to my grandmother and she leans over and says to me: "Melanie, I am very disappointed in you."

                                                                                          Ugh, I will never forget that, unfortunatley! I think I ended up ordering something else, but probably lost my appetite after that belittling comment.

                                                                                          (Oddly enough, I DO like lamb now :))

                                                                                          1. re: Melanie

                                                                                            oy. that's not exactly encouraging :)

                                                                                            fortunately for me, my sister was an impossible pain in the a** about food [and everything else, for that matter]. she would only eat three things - cold cereal, hamburgers [cooked medium], and french onion soup. oh, actually it was four - she would always eat mushrooms.

                                                                                            so compared to her, i was a pleasure to have at the table.

                                                                                            it's funny, even now she has a really limited and boring palate. she can't stand any sort of heat, spice, or herbs on her food. no pepper whatsoever, and heaven forbid there's anything green [e.g. cilantro, basil, parsley] on it!

                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                            i thought of one.

                                                                                            the curly parsley [ugh] dipped in saltwater for the passover seder. we were always obligated to take one bite, and it made me gag & heave every time...more because of the salt than the parsley, but i can no longer stomach curly parsley on or in anything, and i now insist that mom use flat leaf when she does the seder.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              This is where I stand too! Both parents were terrific cooks, loved to try everything and always encouraged us to at least taste. There's nothing I didn't like....LOL Mother made the best calves liver with bacon and onions. I liked it medium rare...still a little pink inside.

                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                This is off-topic, but as someone who's never eaten liver, I'm curious. If something is "still a little pink inside", wouldn't it be medium well, not medium rare? Is it different than other meats?
                                                                                                This is an honest to goodness question, not a flame. Thanks.

                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                  Oh shucks IVTV.... I don't know what You would call it. To me, it was medium rare - still a little pink inside. Tasty as all get out. But let's see...
                                                                                                  the liver was about 1 1/2" thick. After frying the onion & bacon, the liver - uncut - was added and sauteed till the outside was .... I don't know - not quite the same color as it was when put into the pan. A coupla flips and it was taken out of the pan. Left to rest while the onions and bacon were plated, then the liver was sliced on the bias.... yup.... medium rare.... still pink in the middle. You shoulda been there!

                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                    I don't know what the technicalities are for naming the doneness of organ meats. My wife hated the liver she got as a child until i made it for her. A week ago I ordered it in a restaurant, and it was horrible ... tough as shoe leather and razor-thin slices. It should be thick, cut out the tough veins and skin before cooking, use a pretty high heat and cook it fast just to the point where it is not raw in the middle. Cook some bacon, fry the liver in about half the bacon grease and fry onions in the rest of it. One of my favorites.

                                                                                                      1. re: warrengwonka

                                                                                                        Bacon grease would not do for Jewish or Muslim cooks!

                                                                                                        I buy my lamb's liver at a Moroccan (halal) shop, of course it would be identical if bought in a Moroccan kosher shop, but that would be in a different part of town. With olive oil, who need bacon grease?

                                                                                                2. Canned succotash! Total gag! To this day, I can't eat anything that has the texture of lima beans.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: fershore

                                                                                                    yes lima beans a possibly boiled parsnips. canned peas are right up there too.

                                                                                                  2. My mom's homemade vegetable soup - she would grind up rutabegas and turnips, along with carrots, potatoes and onions, and I would just gag when she made me eat it. She would tell me 'it's really good - you'll learn to like it'. I've wondered recently if I'd like it now. I doubt it.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                      Borscht with sour cream. I'd probably like it now (though I can't even bring myself to try after years of watching the sour cream turn the soup a sort of bruised lilac shade).Ew.

                                                                                                      1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                        No doubt about it. Capuzella, or whatever the spelling is for this horror.

                                                                                                        Roasted lamb's head. Watching my father eat the eyes and brains.

                                                                                                        50 years later, and the trauma is still vivid.

                                                                                                        1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                          Canned vegetables. cooked to death. Nothing maked me gag like those grey, overcooked green beans. And I HAD to eat them. There was no "just one bite". No substitutions. No excuses. No dog under the table to feed them to. I think I would have preferred the liver mentioned above. Mom jokes about it now, but they were evil. Still not funny!

                                                                                                          1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                            OMG! You must have eaten at my house. Those canned peas were the grossest veggies in the world (besides creamed corn, of course). My hubby couldn't believe how my mother made peas - we still joke about it to this day.
                                                                                                            When I first saw GREEN ones on my plate, I was wondering if they had been injected with a dye!! Thanks for the memory

                                                                                                            1. re: taxi

                                                                                                              I don't even mind the canned peas as much as I minded the canned asparagus. Those are the worst!

                                                                                                              1. re: sophia519

                                                                                                                Canned asparagus? My mom made me eat it once, but never again. I gag at the memory.