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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing Prompt: Veggie Tales

By Marilyn Friedman

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Writing Prompt: Make a list of 3 foods that you or a character from one of your projects hates with a passion. Pick one and write for ten minutes. Make sure to include a sensory detail (smell, taste, sound, touch, sight) in your piece. Tell us the story behind why you or your character hates it or make up a scene that includes this food item. Then post the results of your write in the comments of this blog for a chance to win a free class!

Comment on this blog! Write about a food that you hate with a passion. You could win a free class!

1 comment:

Writing Pad said...

My Aunt Manya and Uncle Mayer served meat jello or haladets whenever my parents and I came to visit. It was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. A cloudy, brown glob on a plate in a kitchen full of foreign smells—a noxious mix of onions, sweat, vinegar, and beets. Manya and Mayer were from Russia, barely spoke English. The only thing that I liked to eat at their house were these rectangular white fudge candies that had a cow on the wrapper that they got from the Russian store and kept in a small crystal bowl for me.

Jello should be red with cling peaches inside of it and eaten for dessert. It shouldn’t be made of pigs feet or cow haunches. It shouldn’t leave grease stains on a plate. It shouldn’t have globules of fat suspended throughout it like a weird taxidermy culinary horror show.

I didn’t want this life of boiled chicken and relatives who didn’t speak English and always yelled at me, “Why don’t you speak Russian?” I didn’t like their hairy moles and badly died hair that was trying to be brown or red but looked magenta. I didn’t like their baggy, polyester house dresses, and the fact that they drank borshct with a hard boiled egg in it, or the way that they spit when they talked. I didn’t like the way that they left their lipstick all over my cheeks when they kissed me too hard. I didn’t like their gold teeth and the way that they used their hands wildly when they talked.

I wanted to be all American. I wanted to dine on Domino’s pizza and backyard BBQ’s and Country Time lemonade. I wanted to go for bicycle rides in the park and have picnics at the beach and live in a Norman Rockwell painting.

And so, when I got trapped at my Aunt and Uncle’s house it felt like being tortured. I never ate the haladets. I just watched my parents spoon the wobbly brownish goo to their lips. I squinched my face up in disgust. This was the dish of immigrant shame. If I filled my tummy with Cheez Whiz and hot dogs and pizza and Count Chocola instead of haladets or boiled chicken, well then, maybe the kids at school wouldn’t be able to tell that my family was strange or different.

I am more open minded now. I eat all sorts of strange things like salt and pepper shrimp with the heads still on or fish ball soup or a dish called a pork pump. But I will never try aspic. I will never eat haladets. It is still the most disgusting food on the planet.