We Found a First!

August 2, 2018 3:24 PM

A momentous event happened in our house last night. It was more than momentous, it was a first. When you’re fifty-one, it’s not easy to have a first of anything, or at least a first of anything you that haven’t already wanted to try.

What was the blessed event that moved to me write a blog post today, when I haven’t written one in the past week? (Sorry about the limited posts of late, but I’m spending all my spare time working on my novel, which is now at 56,800 words. My goal is to get the first draft done, which will be about 75,000 words, by the end of the month). Anyway, I digress. Back to the blessed, momentous, first-time event that rocked our world last night.

Here it is. Are you ready? Dennis ate this last night as part of his dinner.

coleslaw

Yes, it’s a bowl of coleslaw. Nothing special, just plain coleslaw with a few sunflower seeds, almonds and crunchy ramen noodles thrown in. This can’t be the momentous, first-time, earth-changing event, can it, you ask?  Well, no. I never said earth-changing. It was, however, a momentous, first-time event in our house because Dennis does not eat raw cabbage. Ever.

In fact, when I met Dennis back in 1995, he didn’t eat much of anything other than pepperoni pizza, grilled chicken breast sandwiches plain, sweet and sour chicken (but no peppers or pineapple) french fries and hamburgers with ketchup.  If he ate spaghetti, it was with a canned sauce with no hint of vegetables in it. Anything with an unidentified chunk of anything was dismissed an inedible and very likely to kill him if he tried it. Onions were, and still are, the bane of his existence.

Gradually, as the years passed, I noticed that Dennis was making an effort to expand his palate. He tried an egg roll when we were out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and he liked it. (I didn’t tell him there was cabbage in it for twenty years).

He began to accept chunks of tomato in his spaghetti sauce. He ate my Swedish meatballs with relish (there were tons of grated onion in them). Around the time we got married, Dennis warmed up to the idea of eating something green. We started with iceberg lettuce which is a very pale green. That went okay, so I tried Romaine. Still good. We’ve branched into all kinds of baby lettuce now, although purple lettuce and spinach are still verboten in our house. I can live with that.

Last night, as I was making the coleslaw salad for myself, Dennis saw the almonds and the sunflower seeds out on the counter. Dennis loves sunflower seeds. I tease him that he adds a little lettuce to his sunflower seed salads.

Sunflower seeds AND toasted almonds got his attention. How bad could coleslaw be, he asked, with those as the ingredients. I suggested he give the coleslaw a try. After all, I reasoned, he’s been eating cabbage in egg rolls for years. This isn’t much different. I even offered to make him his own salad sans the green onions. (I didn’t want to push my luck.)

To my utter shock, Dennis agreed. Dennis agreed to eat raw cabbage. And he liked it! The man who, twenty years ago, ate nothing but a five or six different foods, none of it green or raw or a vegetable, actually enjoyed a coleslaw salad.

Hurray! I thought. Now I have a reason to make it more often. The last time I made that recipe was around 1998, for an office party. It seems like a lot of work to make for just me. If we both enjoy it, however, it becomes much more feasible.

While it was only coleslaw, it was a momentous occasion in our house. (And it possibly illustrated the fact that Dennis and I need to get out more if his eating coleslaw is a momentous event. But that’s a whole other blog post.)

Unfortunately, the coleslaw-high was short-lived. Dennis woke up with a migraine this morning and his migraines are often triggered by food. The coleslaw was the only new thing Dennis ate yesterday, so he’s blaming the coleslaw for the migraine. I’m holding out hope that it was just a fluke.

Unfortunately, I expect it will take another twenty years before I can talk Dennis into trying coleslaw again.

3:56 PM

 

2 comments

  1. Sandy Helgerson · August 5

    Jackie – Thank you again for sharing part of your life withe Dennis with us. I remember growing up, he usually had to make his own supper as he wouldn’t eat what Grandma Jane (Mom) made. Lots of pizza, burgers and fries.

    Like

  2. Jackie Mellem · August 5

    That’s so funny. He never told me about that. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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