For better or for worse, some of my childhood memories are intensely vivid. Up until quite recently, I’d feared one experience in particular had scarred me for life: my mother forcing a very young me to eat half a corn squash before I would be allowed to have dessert.
Throughout most of my young adult life, the trauma from that night could not be overemphasized when exploring the reasons for my abhorrence of squash. How dare my mother insist upon literally force feeding me – I mean standing over me, shoving fork-fulls of such a grotesque vegetable onto my sweets-craving taste buds!
OK, so perhaps that’s a bit hyperbolic. Still, as a child, in that instant, I remember feeling a unique sense of having been wronged, not only by my mother, but by the squash itself. It would be years – this time literally, for real – before I would ever allow squash the dignity of sharing space on my plate again. When I did, it was a complete accident…
Fast forward a few more years and here I am, a squash-liking, veggie-eating mostly grownup who still loves her dessert, but in a crazy twist of fate actually self-imposes “eat my veggies or no dessert” rules.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I go out of my way to eat squash; I just don’t avoid plates that contain it either. Generally, it has to still be mixed with something else I like to be appealing to me. Which is why this new dish was an absolute win in my book: