While all of that is well and good, not everything that we ate was so wholesome. Let me elaborate.
- Chinese food. The only thing I knew of Chinese food growing up was La Choy. You remember them. They made "Chinese food...swing American!". I hated it. Loathed it. Went hungry on Chinese nights. When I was in college, my boyfriend's parents wanted to take us out for Chinese food. I was petrified. What would I eat? I hated Chinese food. They ordered family style. Oh. My. Gosh. I was such a deprived child! I had no idea of the culinary delights that had escaped my palette. We went out for Mexican food, pizza, cafeterias, and what not, but we never went out for Chinese. I ditched the boyfriend and kept the love of Chinese food.
- One of my favorite side dishes when I was a child was half of either a canned peach or pear with mayonnaise - MAYONNAISE - where the pit was and the grated cheddar cheese on top. I don't know if this was unique to my household or a Southern thing, but we ate it with some regularity. I loved it. Probably still would if I could get around the idea of eating a mound of mayonnaise or eating canned fruit.
- Speaking of mayonnaise, I didn't do this often, but my dad would get a jar of the stuff, a fork, and a pan of cooking pot roast. He would stand over the pot, scoop the fork in the mayonnaise, and then rip off a piece of the roast. Bite after bite. It is amazing that the man is still alive.
- Sweet breads. I can hardly write it without gagging. Sweet breads are not breads that are sweet. Sweet breads are gross. Sweet breads taste like fried fat. They are the thymus glands or pancreas of a cow. I only remember eating them on one occasion myself, but it was a vivid enough memory that I never did it again. My dad and uncle still eat them every Christmas morning and seem to enjoy them. They are sick and deranged men. Probably from eating sweet breads.
- Or it could be from eating brains. Yes, brains. Brains and eggs to be exact. I'm gagging again. This was a treat usually reserved for Christmas breakfast. While the adults swore they made you smarter, I am leaning to the contrary. I only remember eating them on one occasion myself, but it was a vivid enough memory that I never did it again. (Have I heard that somewhere before.) Thankfully, my dad has had trouble finding them in recent years, probably a result of all the mad cow, so we don't have to suffer through them being cooked at Christmas.
- And one of my personal favorites: fried eggs and donuts. But not just any donuts. No. We took leftover donuts and sliced them in half like a bagel. Buttered them. Yes, b-u-t-t-e-r on a donut. Then placed them in the oven for a few minutes to toast them. Then we'd eat them with over-easy fried eggs dipping the crunchy, buttery donut into the runny, yellow yolk. Can't you feel your arteries hardening as read about it? Man, that was some good eating.