Tag Archives: food

Raw and Wriggling

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When I was little I stumbled across a book in our school library called “How to Eat Fried Worms” by Thomas Rockwell. How could I resist a title like that? I took it home and devoured it (metaphorically speaking) in a single afternoon, wincing in delighted disgust at the account of Billy’s bizarre gastronomical odyssey as he ate his way through fifteen worms in fifteen days to meet the terms of a hideous bet.

I hadn’t thought of that book in years, until this weekend.

Katie ate a worm. On purpose. Actually, she ate several, live and wriggling, while I watched with the same revolted fascination I had previously reserved for Billy.

After all, this is the girl who won’t eat a banana if it has even a single speck of brown on the peel, who inspects each and every french fry for irregularities before consuming it, who meticulously picks every last unacceptable green pea out of the stir fry before eating it. Worms? Really?

We were visiting Paul’s Grandpa and Grandma on Saturday, playing in the yard, and I was picking late cherries off of the cherry trees to nosh on while I read my book. They were delicious. I ate a handful before Grandpa appeared to make sure I knew that they were wormy. “Wormy?” I repeated, as the juice dripped down my chin. Grandpa split open a cherry and shoved aside the pit to show me the tiny white worm swimming around in the sticky pulp.

I stopped chewing.

“It’s no big deal,” Grandpa explained, seeing my expression. He flicked the worm away with one practiced fingernail and thumbed the cherry into his mouth. “We don’t spray the trees with pesticides because we don’t want to poison the birds. You just take out the worms and they taste fine.”

I believed him, I really did, but the mental hurdle proved too high for me to overcome. I’d lost my taste for the cherries, probably due to the disturbing knowledge that I’d already eaten six or eight of the little white worms without realizing it.

Katie was listening to all this with undisguised wonder. She popped open a cherry to see the critter for herself.

“Mom, is eating worms bad for you?”

“No.”

“They won’t hurt you?”

“No. They’re just a little extra protein, that’s all.”

And before I knew it, she had picked up one of the crawlies and swallowed it down, a thoughtful look on her face, an astonished one on mine.

“Not bad,” she said.

I gaped.

“Tastes sort of sweet,” she said.

I goggled.

“Is it okay if I eat another one?” she asked.

I nodded weakly.

Frankly, I’m still amazed. And a little repulsed. However, I just realized that The Worm Incident has given me new ammunition in the ongoing battle to get my picky eater to try new foods. After all, once you’ve had worm, what could possibly be left on the yucky list?

Over the Teeth and Through the Gums

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The illustrious Sarah has tagged me with another meme, and about a subject that is near and dear to me–food. I actually have quite a bit to say on the matter, reams and reams worth, but the meme is very specific:

1. Name and link to the person who tagged you.
2. Name the state and country where you reside.
3. Name your five favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag others.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the most beautiful town in America, boasts several eating establishments of note, and narrowing them down to five is no easy task, but I’ll try anyway.

1. Hudson’s Hamburgers. No discussion of CDA eateries would be complete without mentioning Hudson’s. When I flew up to visit Paul the first summer we were dating, I was introduced to it with great pomp and ceremony. In business since 1907, Hudson’s is pretty much the same as it’s always been. The menu is simple: hamburger, double hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger; your only other decision has to do with pickles and onions. And the burgers? The best. Truly.

2. Takara. When I came back from Las Vegas with a new and fervent appreciation for sushi, my heart wept within me, for I knew of no restaurant in the city by the lake where one could lay hold of some tasty raw fish wrapped in seaweed and rice. Fortunately, some friends set me straight and turned me onto the path of enlightenment (also known as Lakeside Avenue, the address of Takara, where the fish is fresh and the edamame is perfectly steamed.) I could go for a rainbow roll right now, actually.

3. Tomato Street. If all they served was Tomato Basil Soup and their famous crusty garlic bread, Tomato Street would still be a haven of gustatory delight. But wait, there’s more! I’m sorry to say that the dishes at The Olive Garden are mere shadows and reflections of the savory pastas and golden-brown calzones of Tomato Street. And bonus: the servers wear silly hats, Christmas lights are strung up all year long, and kids are encouraged to color on the tablecloths.

4. Mongolian Grill. You’ve been here, right? Fill a bowl with raw meats and veggies, choose some sauces, and watch the talented chefs light it all up on giant hotplates. Food and entertainment in one! For a side game, play Who Can Stack the Most Stuff in Their Bowl. I kinda stink at that one.

5. Costco. Yeah. I know. Not exactly gourmet. But sometimes, a buck fifty for a hotdog and soda can go a long way toward making a bad day better. My favorite: the $3.79 chicken caesar salad–it’s the best fast food salad in town.

Now, let’s see…I think I’ll tag Jennifer, Amy, Shell, Sarah, and Jen with this one.