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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
Mom would drive home after a long day of editing stories for the county newspaper and put together a meal which often included a bowl of fruit cocktail for dessert. As a child, I ate my serving systematically, from least to most favorite fruit. First, the pears. Then, grapes, because when canned they were squishy and unappealing compared to fresh. Next, pineapple. After that, the peaches, and then finally, the maraschino cherry.From time to time, I might mix this up a bit, eating the grapes before the pears, say, or saving a bit of pineapple to add variety to the peach portion. But that was more or less my order of consumption.One day, not long ago, I turned down the canned fruit aisle to pick up applesauce and asked my daughter if she had ever eaten fruit cocktail.”No. Never.””Really? I’ve never served it?””No.””You’ve never eaten it at someone’s house?””No. I don’t even know what it is.””It’s fruit.””But what’s the cocktail part?”I decided the kids should try fruit cocktail.I bought the slightly healthier version “in pear juice from concentrate” instead of heavy syrup and served the concoction in clear dishes my mom gave me the other day.I offered some to each of the kids. Two shook their heads. “No, thanks.””Try it!” I urged them. “I told you I grew up eating this stuff. It’s fruit. You like fruit.”My husband agreed they should give it a try, so finally two of the four let me set one of the bowls in front of them. My son stared at it. “What’s this?” he asked, pointing to an unfamiliar, square tidbit.”I think it’s a piece of pear.”He made a face.”Try it,” I encouraged him. “It’s a very simple flavor.” He hesitated and then stuck it in his mouth. He chewed slowly, making evaluation faces: raising an eyebrow, squinting his eyes, sort of looking up as if thinking.”It’s okay,” he concluded. “It’s not bad. But it’s not great, either.””That sounds about right,” I said. “Those weren’t my favorite. I liked the peaches and then the cherry. I always saved that for last.””What’s this?” he asked.I leaned forward and looked in his spoon. “Maybe another pear. No, wait, it’s a piece of pineapple, I think.” The fruit loses its individuality when canned. He took a bite and deemed it tolerable; better than the pear. He stuck his spoon in to the mixture and lifted out different bits and pieces, growing less and less interested. Finally, he set down the spoon and slid the dish toward me.”You can have the rest, Mama. I think you like this a lot better than I do.””You’re done trying it?” I asked.”I’m done,” he said. “I think I had enough to know what it’s like. And look, I saved the cherry for you, because you said you liked that best.”I picked up a spoon and worked my way through the cocktail, ending, finally, with the cherry, which I saved for last.Credits: Cocktail serving photos by S. Kroeker; can photo by Ann Kroeker.