Hmm...I still haven't acquired a taste for an eclairs. In fact the other day, I stopped at a bakery that used to serve heavenly lemon filled doughnuts. I hadn't had one from that bakery for several years, and was pretty sure they no longer made them. They weren't your standard fair lemon doughnut, but rather, several notches above. So that day, I eyed the doughnuts they had on display--twists, maple bars...and I was about to order a glazed twist when I instead found myself saying, "do you have any lemon doughnuts?" "I think we have one left," was her reply. Wow! What luck! The lemon dougnut had truly returned. It turned out it was not a true lemon round dougnnut, however, but a bar lemon filled doughnut. No matter, who cares about the shape--it is the ingredients that count. Mold them how you wish! It was only after I left the bakery, though, that I realized that the doughnut not only had the wonderful lemon, but also the dreaded custard. Friends, Romans, fellow countrymen, any time you buy a doughnut that does not have a hole in the middle, always inquire to whether it has the dreaded custard hidden inside.
There was a dish my Mom made that consisted of diced ham, peas, and carrots, all cooked together. It was called Skillet Supper. Now, I love ham. I like cooked carrots. And peas, while not my favorite vegetable, are still tolerable. However, there is something about mixing these three ingredients together that creates something truly abhorrent. It is not a 2+2=5 situation. It is more like a 1+1+1=-10 And the bad thing was that when Mom "discovered" this recipe she thought it was the greatest thing on earth and proclaimed it so. "I'm so glad I found this recipe!" It was delicious. It was easy to make. It was fast. Soon we were having it ALL the time. You can imagine my dismay.
Once there were three construction workers, a Mexican, an Irishman, and an American. They were building a skyscraper and would have lunch together sitting on a girder far above the ground.
One day the Mexican opened his lunch box and said: "Burritos? I'm suck of burritos for lunch every day. If I get burritos again, I'm going jump off this building." The Irishman opened his lunch box and said: "Corned beef? I'm sick of corned beef. If I get corned beef again, I'm going to jump too." The American opened his lunch box and said: "Baloney? If I get baloney again, I'm jumping."
The next day, the Mexican got burritos again, so he jumped. The Irishman got corned beef again -- and he jumped. The American got baloney again -- and he jumped too.
At the funeral, the Mexican's wife was in tears. "Why didn't he tell me he didn't want burritos any more? I could have made him so many other things." The Irishman's wife said "Why didn't he tell me he was sick of corned beef? I could have made him something else." The American's wife said "Don't look at me. He packs his own lunch."
My mother used to make wonderful custard. It's hard to do custard well -- you have get the proportions right or else it's all runny and awful, and you have to know how to test when it's done. She also knew how much nutmeg to sprinkle on top, so that the skin is nice and tasty.
We ate a lot of custard because she typically made it whenever we had baked potatoes, since they required the same oven temperature.
She also made wonderful chocolate pudding from scratch using Droste cocoa. Very different from Jello pudding, to be sure.
Mother is still with us, but is no longer able to cook.
When I was at Telecomms college, back in the mists of time in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) I lived in a police hostel (I was a conscripted trainee police radio tech at the time), The canteen there gave us a packed lunch which consisted of 3 sandwiches. Two of these were inevitably polony - which was a large sausage-type thing made of some kind of meat, by a process I dare not even guess at. So I grew to loathe polony. We'd complain occasionally and we'd get wonderful sanwiches for a week - cheese and tomato, beef and mustard and sometimes even ham. Then it would revert to the two polony and something else regime.
So we used to throw the polony ones away. We had a guy in our class on whom we played a great practical joke during our training on teleprinters. He used some of our retrieved polony sandwiches as his revenge - you can read more here:
That chocolate eclair story is wonderful illustration of the value of the experimental method (taste before deciding). By the way, as fried foods go, fried green tomatoes are pretty good. [On the other hand, I spent an entire afternoon in grade school detention for refusing to eat my tapioca.] A year later I witnessed the first effective student protest (around 1962) when some kids who disliked the vanilla pudding climbed up onto the balcony above the food serving area and sprinked staples into the serving containers. Since the school couldn't be sure there were no residual staples in the pudding, it was pitched out and the students were spared. From then on, the vanilla pudding was known as staple pudding.
@rcurl: ...before I actually had a clue as to what they were...
Your tale of woe brought tears to my eyes ... I cannot imagine the pain you felt watching your parents and brother scarfing down those yummy-scrummy, cream-filled delights. I will make sure to have some on hand the next time you come to visit my office.