September 3rd, 2010
Friday Four Cents: No Peas on Earth
Looking back on my youth, we didn’t have the most diverse dinners in the world. Most of that stemmed from being a swimmer and carbo-loading four nights a week. Pasta covered in red sauce with sausage and meatballs is my comfort food. You can keep your meatloaf or mac-and-cheese. I need not your apple pie or bonbons. But there was one thing that I hated that showed up without fail on protein-rich nights: Peas.
Mom’s serving roasted chicken… and peas. Meatloaf? Peas were right there with it. Chicken pot pie? Peas waiting to surprise you. Steak? Mashed potatoes and PEAS! Even on special spaghetti nights those little green pieces of hell sneaked in to the meal. Carbonara almost ended up on my hated list, which would have been a travesty.
It would be easy to point at the frequency of peas recurring in my meal as the reason for my malice against the vegetable. Not so. Every time we had peas we also had corn. Give me some corn and I’m a happy man. Green peas have a special place in my black, cold, loathsome heart.
What did peas ever do to me? Oh, nothing at all except arrive on my plate with their “strength in numbers” approach, looking smug and unattainable. “You’ll never get us on your fork,” they scowl up at me with their slightly shriveled faces. “I didn’t want you on my fork anyway, you pompous pieces of…” Where was I?
Besides tasting like ladybugs, the number one issue with eating peas is their obnoxious spherical shape. Do you expect me to bust out the spoon just so that I can eat my side dish? When a steak rests triumphant in front of you it demands only two things (if you’re not eating it with your hands as is the way God intended): a fork and a knife. Spoons are for soup, ice cream and scooping the still beating heart out of your foe. I’ll let the shrimp have their own fork, but there is no way peas are getting a spoon all to themselves.
So there I was, a child faced with a dilemma. Don’t eat the peas and you won’t be getting dessert. Try to eat the peas and they’ll roll off the grooves in your fork like carpet bombs over Dresden, wreaking havoc on your mashed potato volcano. When peas are involved everyone’s a loser.
Over the years I’ve learned to love my vegetables. Who knows, I might even make a move to vegetarianism one day. (HA! Not likely!) One thing for certain, I will always have an anti-peas stance. “No peas on earth.” Loopsters, are you with me?