When I grew up we ate home grown food. We had an orchard and we had a one acre garden. The relatives traded kid labor during the summer for beef. My mom preserved all the food she could get her hands on to last us through the winter. We did not have a freezer so meat was boiled and put in Mason jars along with the fruits and vegetables. Powdered milk was the drink of every breakfast. Now the memories of the food is, that's all I knew till I was in 6th grade. We had a Mexican family that I started going to school with the kids and their refried beans and tortillas was the best thing about school; trading lunch with them. My peanut butter sandwiches with or without jam was only a means to keep my stomach quiet in the afternoon. I never new what the kids saw in my peanut butter sandwiches but them tortillas and beans was the best thing I ever ate. Our food was simple and staple we always had food but we never got choices: we ate what was in front of us with out complaints. Now I have always had a taste for ethnic foods and love to try new foods. But if it looks totally unrecognizable or the least bit slimy, and absolutely nothing from inside an animal; I would rather go hungry, and have, rather than eat it. I will try the flesh of any animal but nothing that is from the inside. Where I came up with these dislikes I have no idea. What I have learned is most people I know are really finicky about the things they eat way more than I am.
I worked with exchange students for over 10 years and learned how hard it was on them to give up their cultural foods and think Mc Donald's is a food group. But even then they were all finicky about trying new things, most would give in when they became more hungry as time went by.
As my kids started coming I was aware how hard the food thing was going to be for them. Because they were not going home in 10 months to there country's cuisine. The kids from South America it was a little easier because we have many of the same foods and spices. But even at that two of them will not eat onions and we cook with onions, one girl saw an onion she would not eat anything more, the other would pick through her food to get every last onion out before one thing entered her mouth. Our meat and potato society and the fact that we want instant satisfaction and no time to do anything, we eat most of our meal out of a box, heat and eat food. This food along with hot dogs and hamburgers turn off every kid that comes here.So our family has learned to fend for themselves: tell me what you want and I will by it. You make it you eat it no wasting food. Same with eating out you take it you eat it. The 15$ meals that no one liked was squelched quickly. So buffet's was the way to go for us. They can see it and try a spoon of it before they heap it up. Now I have two girls who will eat anything as long as it has hot chili peppers on it. As time has gone by their taste has started to change and they are eating lots more American foods. Their chile consumption has lessened along with, they can now go a few days with out rice. I have one girl that has stomach trouble and can not eat fried foods or anything that is a stomach irritant. One girl that only wants her cultural food and has many religious food restrictions on top of that. So cooking and eating at our house can be difficult to say the least. They have come to like a few things that I cook and when I am in the mood I will cook them, if not everyone is on their own. Now out of all this food chaos is one kid that is so food motivated that she is thinking of her next feeding before she finishes the one she is on. The only thing I have a real hard time getting her to eat is spaghetti with red sauce. White sauces she will inhale. She has become the butt of almost every food joke we have ever made. She like the bones of most things and wants the bone in all her meat. She has two hallow legs and can put away more food than all of us together. When she was little she got kids prices on meals but ate more than all of us put together. She can put any American to shame at an all you can eat place. She eats almost non stop though out the day. She takes snacks to school so she can make it to lunch and she goes straight to the kitchen before she does anything else when she gets home, and ready to eat again when I get home. And will eat at least two more times before bed.
My oldest moved out of the dorms at College for the end of 2nd semester last night and has non stop complained of the food in the cafeteria at college. She says they serve the same stuff all the time and what she can eat from it is limited. She keeps telling me she is not going to pay for food at college next year because she hates the food and its a waste of money. I have not shopped for food for a week and the frig is empty and everyone was complaining last night about Mother Hubbard's cupboards being empty and the oldest wants some good food for a change. So we went to the all you can eat Chinese buffet tonight, and on the way there the oldest is saying what a waste it was paying for the 20 meals a week plan. When from the back seat we here "only 20 times a week, Ma I eat more than 5 times a day. The car broke out in a mass of laughter and then they all had advice on how to survive only 20 meals a week. Every suggestion from filling her bag up every time she went to the cafetiere to buying extra food and cooking it in her room. As she went back for her 4th time at the all you can eat place I suspected she was trying to eat away her worries of only 20 meals a week.