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Friday, November 28, 2008

SOOC Smiley Saturday - cornbread and other poisons

Slurping Life

I first came across cornbread at the age of 35 when we first arrived in America and enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with our pals.

Cornbread is a traditional accompaniment on this occasion but uncommon, relatively speaking, worldwide. Since I am, was, and always will be, a big bread fan, I was keen to sample this new type of unfamiliar fare. I was less keen to try the sweet potato pie but my pals were already aware that I am pudding averse. I would be more than happy to consume every morsel of bread whilst other’s poisoned themselves with sweeties.

As we gathered at the table, gave thanks and shared, I beamed around at my pals. I could already tell that this holiday, Thanksgiving, would become my favourite holiday. We began munching and chatting with bon homie until I took my first welcome bite of cornbread and promptly froze. My mouth was invaded with …….what was it? Cake! I had cake in my mouth and the remnants of gravy. Gravy and cake. Turkey and cake. This could not be. Whichever way I looked at it, this was the worst case of "cognitive dissonance" I had experienced in a long while.

I checked the faces of all the other pilgrims, some foreign, some native and some American. Everyone else was just fine and dandy, with no doodles and a few Yankees. I was perplexed. Could it be that I was the only person who realized that dessert was being consumed during the main course. Could it be that I had the dud, that all the other cornbreads were made of corn and I had the only cake? It seemed unlikely. I made sure that my expression registered ‘yum’ and resisted the urge to spit.

Thereafter I forswore cornbread, once experienced, forever changed. Another American pal advised me that I had been subjected to Jiffy which was not deemed to be authentic. Because I am also an open minded type of a person, I submitted to a second sampling several years later, because it was homemade, because it would be delicious, because it would be quite different from my first experience, although it wasn’t.

Thusly, I confirmed my first instinct, just so no, politely, to the cornbread.

Years have passed since that daunting first flush and second supping, when my son returns home from school. During his day at school, the last day before Thanksgiving, some awfully inspired person had the wherewithal to organize a thankful gift to the family in the presentation of a cornbread mix, beautifully and artistically presented I might add.

He presents it to me.

I peer for a closer look.

“We can……….make it…….together……for tomorrow?” I look into liquid eyes of gentle innocent enquiry.
“Er…..do you like cornbread?”
“I don know.”
“Ah…..well……I’m sure that we’ll squeeze it in somewhere,” I offer as I envisage my oven already overflowing with a turkey and "thirteen accompanying vegetables." The finely tuned countdown schedule, carefully honed over the last decade.

Maybe it’s time for a shake-up? What is the purpose of cooking thirteen different vegetables that no-one eats? How much better to serve cornbread and turkey, which should have a fair to middling chance of consumption?

So it’s probably true to say that some people have to endure a life time of eating humble pie, but I swear it’s still a lot better than cornbread.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and investigate the scream, “O.k. bullet butt, come and get some!”

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