"My family were excellent cooks. Even when money was tight we always ate tasty meals. But when I was around 5 and in pre-kindergarten I was briefly at a day care that served grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup EVERY DAY for lunch. I have always despised tomato soup (and raw tomatoes). They literally make me vomit. My mother had me tell people I was allergic to tomatoes (I wasn't, just loathed them). So I tell the day care lady that I can't eat the tomato soup because I'm allergic. She says I have to eat it. I say 'but it will make me sick!' She doesn't care, I'm forced to eat the soup. After a few bites, I vomit all over myself and the floor. The daycare witch is angry and makes me clean it up by myself. The next day the exact same thing happens. Day three is just a repeat of day one and two. On day four I sob hysterically as my mother gets me ready to go to daycare and I beg not to go. She finally gets me to tell her why I'm desperate to stay home. I never went back."
"Eggs. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it was one egg. Boiled, scrambled, or fried. For 3 weeks that was what each meal consisted of. A single, solitary egg prepared one of three ways. On Sunday things would be a bit better; we got a single piece of dry, white toast to go with our egg at dinner. Being poor as a kid sucked. This occurred back in 1986. Back then you could get a dozen eggs for 87 cents without them being on sale. One day our local grocery store put them on sale for 35 cents a dozen. So each day we ate a dozen eggs; 1 egg per person per meal. A loaf of bread was around 50 cents for the cheap stuff. So for 3 weeks our grocery bill came out to less than $15 total. No, it wasn't healthy, but it kept us alive."
"Moose meat stew. Let me tell you something about moose meat. Firstly, it comes from a moose. Have you seen a moose? No, not a Canadian or Northern lower 48's type of moose--an ALASKAN moose. They are massive. By god they are horrifyingly large creatures. Perhaps twice the size and weight of a horse. Bringing down a single moose can feed a family for quite a while, so when someone goes hunting, a lot of that meat is going to get shared, and oh boy, our family sure was shared with a lot. SHARING IS CARING, THEY SAID, but this kind of sharing is the sort that puts a little bit of hatred in your heart and dread of the future. The dread of that too tough, too tasteless moose meat stew. Moose meat stew multiple times a week. The meat is tough, it's really hard to chew. More bites than not you're just spitting out the wad of chewed up material because you can't chew it anymore and your jaw is tired. Ever tried running a chewing marathon? No, because that's not a thing except when you're eating moose meat stew. Even in my 20s my jaw still clicks sometimes, but nooooo, I BETTER NOT BLAME THE MOOSE MEAT, NOT THE PRECIOUS MOOSE MEAT. MOOSE MEAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. MOOSE MEAT CAN DO NO WRONG! The worst part is that my mom was an amazing cook! If only she cooked something other than moose meat stew. Want to go to a friend's house for dinner? BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MOOSE MEAT STEW? YOU WANT TO EAT TATOR TOTS? NOPE, MORE MOOSE MEAT STEW FOR YOU, KIDDO! And I get it, I truly do--when in Rome, yada yada yada. But give me king salmon, halibut, clams, trout, reindeer sausage, man, I'd even eat marmot (which is not a thing we eat, don't worry), over moose meat any day of the week. I will cannibalize my family before I eat moose meat again. I will go full out Donner Party on them before I allow myself to endure that pain another moment. I will subject myself to the week old gas station hot dog food borne illness nightmare if it means avoiding more mandibular trauma, JUST PLEASE NO MORE MOOSE MEAT STEW."
"'Chocolate oatmeal.' This solid grey-brown mass of chocolate flavored sludge made of mostly cottage cheese and soggy oats was something my dad dreamed up during a health kick he decided to take my brother and I on. He would take raw oats, plain yogurt, cinnamon, applesauce and heaping amounts of cottage cheese then mix it all together. As the final ingredient, he would work in several servings of chocolate protein powder all in a big bowl. He'd then split it up into individual tupperware containers and refrigerate it. By the time we got to eat it it was mostly solid and had turned the color of how it tasted. I hated it as a kid and dreaded the mornings when I had to spoon feed that vaguely colorless gloop into my mouth, but funnily enough, I have now developed my own variation with more banana, honey and almonds and eat it every morning, really helps with regularity. So thanks dad, for making my poops nice (not aesthetically mind you)."
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