I was a finicky child, which might be surprising to anyone who knows the strapping adult I’ve become, or seen the way I now eat. My parents tried many approaches, ranging from nonchalance to “just one bite” to “you will CLEAN your plate.” The latter rule was in effect when it was decreed on the day after Thanksgiving that I would not be allowed to skip the sweet potatoes again.
On an impulse, I mixed them with my white rice, soaked in turkey gravy. This did not improve either dish. I sat at the round wooden table in my family’s dining room — we had a Lazy Susan, which I thought quite wondrous — choking down mouthfuls, tears running down my cheeks until someone finally took pity on me and let me leave the table.
I eat almost everything now. (Kimchee is one exception, and I’m not crazy about the texture of octopus.) I eat sushi and organ meats and spinach in almost every form. I have a well-developed tolerance for spicy food, to the point where an absentminded spoonful of wasabi really didn’t bother me that much. I eat sweet potato chips. But I never, ever eat sweet potatoes.
Feel free to share bountiful helpings of leftovers and force feedings. Happy Thanksgiving!