Every person has his or her own eccentric eating preferences I suppose, some more unusual than others. I was a picky eater as a child, a challenge to my mother who knew the importance of a balanced diet. Also, I did not want any food serving on my plate to touch another even though I liked all of them. Maturity helped me to outgrow that choice problem.
My father preferred to eat one thing at a time until it was all gone rather than to take bites of what was on his plate in a rotating manner. Away from home or among guests he practiced the more conventional routine, but at home he indulged in the method that made him happiest.
One of the most animated angry responses from one of our young daughters that I remember was when I, unthinkingly, spread peanut butter on the “wrong” side of her cracker.
Some people like biscuits that rise high, are soft on top and have lots of fluffy insides. Others, as my husband did, want them thin and crunchy. I would look at the pretty pictures on the flour sacks and try to figure out how to make my biscuits not look like that.
Sliced bread suffers from the same difference of opinion. Some people prefer the crust part, grabbing for the end piece of the loaf; others pull off the crust or eat up to it, leaving the other fellow’s “best part” on their plate.
Really brown versus lightly golden pancakes; thin or thick custard; mashed or slightly firm turnips. There’s no end to the differences between what you and I think is the best. We’ve allowed ourselves to be rather choosy when, if we were genuinely hungry, we would care not.
Think of the pettiness of our complaining about cold coffee or soup that is too hot in the grand scheme of things.
Yet, I can’t help noticing eating habits that are different from my own—sprinkling pepper in strange places, covering tasty food with catsup, buttering or not buttering. Have I tried it? Probably not. Might be good.
During the Depression recovery years, a neighboring family received a large box of grapefruit through the food assistance program. They had never seen grapefruit before and did not know how to eat it. They told us that they sliced open the fruit and put salt on it. We used sugar, and lots of it when available, but my mother tried salt and from then on we enjoyed a whole new eating experience.
How great it is that we don’t have the same preferences. Take it from Jack Sprat and his wife.