My mother taught me the “God-is-great-God-is-good-and-we-thank-Him-for-our-food” prayer early, so saying grace comes naturally. But as a child, I wondered about blessing food containing onions. Onions were poison. Yet, Mom persisted. Fearing death, I changed my prayer accordingly: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. …”
I picked out the onions, hid them in a napkin and sat on them, plotting secret disposal.
A prominent U.S. Senate chaplain dealt with similar issues. Reverend Peter Marshall’s wife Catherine, who later would write Christy, a best seller, tried to disguise leftover holiday turkey as hash. Reverend Marshall declared that God knew he hated turkey hash; therefore, he would not give thanks.
Lucky Reverend Marshall. He didn’t sit on a napkin full of hash.
Unblessable vegetables have cropped up in my poll. My husband offers theological treatises on why God never meant humans to ingest lima beans.
He also dislikes fried chicken, a lifelong passion of mine — and my mother’s. When I was dating age, she warned me about men like him. Mom never stopped frying chicken, but for 65 years, she cooked alternative pork chops for chicken-hating Dad.
Other poll participants have experienced similar disagreements, describing black-eyed peas, liver, mincemeat pie, marshmallows, sushi and tapioca pudding in vivid, unmentionable terms.
Some struggle to bless food in restaurants, especially at today’s prices. Others, like me, rate lukewarm soup as an abomination before the Lord.
However, I’m not always sensitive to others’ dietary abominations. When I went to college, my mom, who had German background, sent me a special treat: pickled pigs’ feet. Upon seeing the bones in our trash can, my Jewish roommate concluded I was a closet cannibal.
Missionaries struggle with related scenarios. A prominent Ecuadorian town official offered missionary friends roasted guinea pig. My sister-in-law in Honduras informed me that armadillo does not taste like chicken. Once a guest in a South American jungle home, I forced myself to munch mooshy strips of spoiled bacon. Later, I discovered they were baked bananas.
I have learned to eat onions — though they remember my early rejection and exact revenge.
Before leaving the subject of unblessable foods, we should address the elephant in the room. Not eat it, though some Asians and Africans consider elephant meat a delicacy.
I refer to elephant-sized appetites, including mine. Should we bless thousand-calorie-a-bite cheesecake?
God is great and God is good. He blesses us with cheesecake — also with bathroom scales, fitting room mirrors, high school reunions, and mean doctors/dieticians/trainers.
With tons of green salad, too … topped with a slice of onion.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What foods do you consider unblessable?