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10 June 2011

5 Foods to Steer Clear Of (...until next time)

There are several foods that I've repeatedly eaten and tried to like, but I've found that I was generally right in detesting them or being apathetic toward them the first time. "What's on your list, Dean?!" you ask? Well, let's explore together, shall we?
  • Grits -- Apathetic. I wouldn't care if all the grits on earth suddenly disappeared. They are a waste of mass that could've been used for something like pork skins. Anyhow, in the Battle of Runny White-ish FoodsCream of Wheat wins hands-down.
  • Rice -- Yes, rice. I completely don't care about rice in many forms, detest it in some, and love it in only one -- when it's fried, at Mikato Japanese Seakhouse. To think that 97.4% the world lives off of rice (according to some statistic that may or may not exist) is a little unnerving to me.
  • Sushi -- The thought of raw seafood doesn't faze me, but I've mostly been exposed to California rolls -- raw fish wrapped in pasty rice. What?! That's a way to kill a potentially good food. "Hey, let's wrap this delicious fish in cold, sticky, tasteless grain that looks like the inside of a tauntaun!"
  • Liver, liver and onions, and all liver-related dishes -- Liverwurst rocks. Liver is evil. (Remember that; there may be a test later.) For the sake of education, here are a few of the functions of a liver according to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford: 1) "conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea (Urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine.)," 2) "clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances," 3) "regulating blood clotting." Little wonder it's so anti-delicious.
  • Coconut -- I'm not sure there's a way to describe the grainy, cardboardy uselessness that is coconut, except to say that it's "coconutty." Or, I could say it's grainy, cardboardy, and useless.
I think those are the main commonly-accepted foods that I dislike. I didn't include things like pickled eggs, pork brains, cow tongues, clam "juice," etc., but since nobody really likes those they don't count.
You know what, though? In spite of the fact that I've tried to eat the above foods many times and have had the same results each time, I'm not going to stop trying them. (Except liver.) It's quite possible that either someone will finally invent a good recipe that disguises the taste, or I actually might start liking one or more of them! Unlikely, but possible.
Persistence can be a very good thing: "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." (Jesus, quoted in Luke 11:9-10, NLT)
Luke 18 opens this way: "One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up." (I'll let you read the rest of the story on your own).
Over the past few weeks I've prayed in a persistent and focused way over a few specific situations. I haven't prayed with selfishness, and I have prayed for the sake and honor of God. But I've noticed that, to be honest, I don't particularly like what's happened with every situation. I guess the tendency in those cases is to have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that somehow, God got it wrong, and if I were God, I'd have gotten it right.
But God mercifully gives me grace (after He's stopped laughing at that last idea). And I continue on.
By the way, you know what? I've noticed that I like far more foods than I dislike. The bad ones just seem to stick out in my mind. When we take stock of our lives and of our prayers -- how God has blessed us and has heard and answered us so many times -- we'll find the same kind of perspective to be true.


Ross Kirk said...

WHAT! i would like some coconut-crusted eel sushi with a side of cheese grits, please!

Enjoyed this post! Often, we do not receive what we are asking for, however. We simply receive what comes our way. Also, I'm sure that if we look for something long enough, we are bound to see it despite whether or not it is actually there.

Thanks for the thought-and-appetite-provoking wisdom!

Anonymous said...

GRITS - Girls Raised In The South. This is truly a "southern dish". Some like their grits with salt and pepper while others like them sweet with butter. On to better things...What I have learned over the years is to ask for what GOD wants you to have. You may not always like what you get but rest assured it is what you need at the time.

Chris Gambill said...

I've been reading for a while, but I think this is my first comment. Thanks for sharing and the insight. Very timely for some things going on where we are waiting for the next thing from God and wondering what it will look like.

And, in regards to the grits, perhaps you have not been fortunate enough to have them prepared and flavored correctly. By themselves, they aren't that good, but with the right stuff - simply wonderful.

Dean Lusk said...

@Ross, good perspective: "we are bound to see it despite whether or not it is actually there." Wishful thinking can be psychologically powerful. I don't believe it accounts for everything I'm talking about, but it definitely accounts for more than many people would like to admit.

@Anon, when the psalmist said, "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires," I believe he's on the same track you are. He will GIVE you your heart's desires (new ones, most of the time).

@Chris, thanks for commenting! In retrospect, many of the things I anticipated at "big" junctures were quite a bit different (and typically a lot more shallow and short-sighted) than the way they worked out. A couple were fairly impossible, too. Grateful that God saw fit to work things in a way that was far better than my ideas. I'm counting on that happening in your case.

Grits... I will try them again. I just need to find the right ones, I suppose. Cream of Wheat still wins in the meantime. :-)

Evil Genius said...

Loved your list of food aversions! But duuuuuuuuude... you really are missing out on some great sushi out there! And it's not *all* made with pasty rice, believe me. As a self-described Sushi Nazi (from the West Coast), I urge you to at least broaden your horizons and venture past the California Roll. It's not even an original form of sushi; it was invented to introduce Americans (specifically Californians - hence the name) to more exotic Japanese cuisine. There are really soooo many different concoctions and fusions of rolls available nowadays - and almost anywhere. You should come to Vancouver and try out some of our amazing local fish! (You can even skip the rice.)
Since I'm a vegetarian (or more accurately - a 'pescatarian' - I still eat fish/seafood, just no 'land-meat'), myself - I couldn't agree more when it comes to a liver aversion. UGH. But coconut? Mmmm.... delicious! Have you ever had a Mai Tai, or a Pina Colada? Mmmmmm.... my mouth is watering. Or how about Coconut Curry Prawns (a favorite in many Thai restaurants), Coconut-crusted Sablefish (sooo good!), or even coconut tossed into a Blizzard from Dairy Queen! I'm just saying that there's a plethora of tasty coconut options out there. Coconut flesh all by itself *can* be quite bland.
I have no opinion of grits, but in the 'Battle of Runny White-ish Foods', I'd choose Cream of Wheat, too.
The one thing I find so refreshing about your comments though, is that you seem completely open to trying new recipes containing your less-than-favorite foods (except liver, natch) to see if you'll eventually find one you like. So many people taste something that they dislike once, then forever decide that ALL foods made with that specific ingredient must be disgusting as well. But it's all about being flexible and open to change. And isn't that what life is all about?
But seriously... liver is just gross. ;)

Dean Lusk said...

EG, thank you for keeping my horizons broad! I'm going to grab some non-Californian sushi next time I go to the grocery store. For reals. Just never bothered before because all the rest of the stuff in the seafood case is so good. I'm a seafoodaholic (more accurately, a seafoodic, since there's no such thing as seafoodahol. At least, *I've* never heard of such a drink).

If KFC can't make a liver taste good, there truly is no hope.

I agree on coconut being not-quite-disgusting in liquid form. The texture is one of coconut's great evils. But since curry is a contender for a spot in the list above, a coconut-curry dish is right out. But I have tried a coconut curry soup at a local Thai restaurant, so I'm not totally closed-minded...

Thanks for the good words! If I ever make it to Canada, I'm going to take you up on the invitation (though you technically didn't invite me; just gave some good advice).

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