Please, don’t pass the squash.

When watching contestants eat strange animal parts or bugs on the cancelled show Fear Factor, it seldom made me flinch. Bear Grylls boiled a mouse in urine and ate it. I nodded my head and said, “I could do that.”

But hand me a plate of acorn squash with its savory steam rising up to fill my nostrils and I gag.

fear factorWhen I was a kid and my taste buds were all fresh and new, a lot of flavors were too strong for my virginal palette. I’m an adult now. My tongue has gotten around. Years of burning out taste buds by accidentally eating hot peppers, or tasting hot soups and stews still bubbling in the pot, has made them less sensitive. About the only foods I won’t eat is something that tastes spoiled….or squash.

Let’s get something straight. I’ll try anything and have even eaten bugs, some inadvertently, but there’s something about stringy mustard-colored squash that makes my face twist. My tiny olfactory internal muscles attempt to pinch my nose shut and I purse my lips in a tight frown. My shoulders tighten up and my stomach screams, “Please. Don’t do it!”

I’ve tried it with brown sugar, with melted butter and disguised in casseroles, but I just can’t.

Give me a plate of zucchini, crooked neck, turnips, or rutabaga and I’ll lick my plate clean. Patty pan sliced up with fresh herbs and fried in olive oil is delish. Autumn is the time of year when I can’t get enough pumpkin. I bake bundt cakes and pie. You see, I love all of acorn squash’s kissin’ cousins.

pumpkin cake

It’s September which means squash season. They are piled high in grocery bins and farmer’s markets. They are offered as a side dish at farm-to-table restaurants. I should keep trying it until I like it, but even I have limits.

acorn and spaghetti squash

For two decades I’ve bought acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash. They sat in a bowl on my countertop throughout the fall season. When Christmas rolled around, I tossed their hard as rock carcasses out in the compost. This year I’ll do the same.

If I had been a contestant on Fear Factor and a plate of slimy squash had been placed in front of me, I would have attempted to swallow the putrid portion. Heat would have rushed to my spastic face while my stomach screamed. Perspiration would have broken out on my upper lip. Not relying on those tiny internal muscles, I would have pinched my nose tight and swallowed enormous gulps to get it over with. Afterward, while wiping sweat from my brow, I would suck big deep breaths to calm my stomach and keep from retching the nasty vegetable.

But I’m badass like that.

Is there a common food you won’t eat? Do you like squash?

74 thoughts on “Please, don’t pass the squash.

  1. Bear Grylls boiled a mouse in urine and ate it. I nodded my head and said, “I could do that.”– No thank you hahaha

    It used to be potatoes salad for me and I wrote about it too — but that’s all over now.. liver.. internal organs and a lot of meat.. blah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Note to self: do NOT read Susie over lunch…

    (But for me it’s okra. The mere thought of consuming the slimy stuff has my stomach attempting to evert my toes. Maybe if a child’s life hung in the balance… a really adorable child…)

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  3. I actually do like squash. Ha! but the one thing I cannot eat are peas. Ewwwww. Something about their texture — little green balls that mush when you chew them. Blech. I can eat snow peas though, go figure.

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  4. Yes, I like Sasquash. He is a good friend of mine. Sometimes we scare the bejesus out of Bear Grylls when the sun starts to go down. By the way, if you run into Bear please tell him he spells his name incorrectly; it is Grills (as in ‘grilling’ mouse parts).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Al!
      Beets are so different from every other vegetable. I grew up with them, but hate how they stain the sink and cutting board. I have some, fresh from the farm, in my vegie drawer. 🙂

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  5. Liver. I just can’t eat something that performs a bodily function. Ack. Have you tried squash as a substitute for pumpkin in pumpkin bread? It really works well – you can’t even taste it’s there! Trust me… 🙂

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    • I trust you and yet pouring it from a can is so much easier!
      I can’t believe how many times I ate liver as a kid. Nasty and yet I could gulp it down. I overate liver sausage in college, and only ate it a few times after. Never thought of how bad it was for me. Ha!

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  6. If your squash is slimy, it is not cooked right. It should have the same texture as cooked pumpkin.
    My husband had an extreme aversion to acorn squash cooked with the usual butter and brown sugar. But when I cooked it for him with savory herbs and topped with Gouda cheese, he liked it.

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  7. I am so with you Susie. I was at a church dinner when I was young and my parents had to help with something and left me next to this huge man who insisted I finish my squash. I ralphed under the table. Never touched the stuff again.

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  8. Tomatoes (except ketchup and tomato sauce). Mushrooms. Onions (except fried to death, like for fajitas and rings). Broccoli. Cauliflower. Squash. Squid/octopus. Sushi. *checks everyone else’s lists*

    *Liver is fine…I used to call it “cakey-bakey” when I was little. (No idea why!) Now I have to have onions with it. 😀
    *Been a long time since I’ve had venison, but I liked it. Moose summer sausage was delish.
    *Oysters have to be smoked.
    *Haven’t had beets in a long time, so I don’t know if I still like them.
    *I LOVE peas! I read a while back that peas have the same serotonin-increasing chemical in them as chocolate, so now I love peas even more! (Not quite the same as eating chocolate, though. 😛 )

    The one thing I see in the comments that I’ve changed my mind about is spinach. When I was younger, my parents used to serve it up cooked (probably from a can) and covered in vinegar. It looked like monster vomit!

    But then I learned people eat it fresh in salads and I tried it…much better! (As long as I can throw my usual toppings on it, of course. 😀 )

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  9. Squash? Can be great, usually at least OK.

    Lima Beans? Hurl-o-rama.

    And that is my little brother’s favorite veggie. On your birthday you got to choose your meal at our house, within reason, so at least once per year I had to try to gag them down. There was no such thing as “Thanks, but I don’t care for any of that.” for a kid in the 60s/70s.

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    • Right? I haven’t seen Lima beans around for years. I think they rotated that crop out of existence. I can’t believe he loved them that much! You’re right about us kids, but we had a choice. Either clean our plate or go to our rooms….

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  10. For me it’s pineapple–just can’t bring myself to eat it. I also can’t eat any seafood. But I can do squash, especially the way my stepdad makes it where he whips it up with cream. Something tells me that’s not the healthiest way to eat it…

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  11. I happened to have watched that episode of Bear Grylls. And no, I could NOT eat a mouse cooked in urine. Yet, I love squash. Zucchini, yellow, it doesn’t matter. Hubby and I love Spagetti squash in lieu of grain Spagetti. It’s much lighter and easier on the old digestive system. And these days, we’re all over that one. Lol. To each its own my friend. ((hugs))

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  12. Fish sticks, the worst kind of fried. Also can’t stand the rubbery texture of calamari. Love squash pie, though, the New England version of pumpkin pie, with lots of sugar and spices.

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  13. I’ve been told (and seen pictures) that when I was a baby I ate so much squash my nose turned orange. Since then I can’t stand it. I think I used up my squash quota in my first year of life! 🙂

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  14. Would you try buttercup squash just once? Or do you like cream of butternut soup, with it’s bacon, thyme and nutmeg hints? I am a squash lover and would love to win you over.

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  15. Bear Grylls boiled a mouse in urine and ate it. That was OUT THERE I have to say! I get hangry, so I probably would have to suck it up and go for it. Otherwise if I am with any people they are just likely to shove me over the cliff to not have to deal with my grumpy self – ha!

    I can thank my mother for not liking liver – it was cooked tough and leathery – no thank you! Have not tried it again as an adult. I did give head cheese a whirl as an adult and actually liked it. I cannot do hoofs, chicken feet, tongue, etc. I get grossed out if a chicken and/or turkey is not processed correctly. I grew up on a farm and know how to clean a bird – did it from age 9 to 19.

    Here is one for you that surely will have you on the ground laughing! I worked, yeah right, more like I made it a 1/2 day in the Creamed Corn Division for Green Giant. It was the smell that did me in – I kept running to the nearest trash can and could not get it under control. I have a hard time with the smell of corn, especially cooked corn still today.

    Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

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    • Wow! I am so grossed out by raw chicken and always buy it already cut up. It’s the germs that get me. I’m so impressed that you cleaned them.
      I know all about the hangries, so boiled mouse would be on my platter.
      My sister hates creamed corn. I bet the milky smell was nasty! Anything soured or spoiled is hard to breathe. I used to buy organic beef and had to pick it up at the processor. Talk about rank! Eww!

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      • I had no choice growing up and it was part of being raised on farms. My girlfriends from the town I grew up in did not like coming out to the farm because they would get put to work – ha!

        It was HORRIBLE! Plus the safety video was a real eye opener as well as gross and violent! Picking up beef at the processor is a gut wrenching experience on a different level! I have been in those places and have checked out meat markets in different places while traveling.

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  17. But I’m badass like that…HA! I LOVE THAT LINE! Awesome way to end the post. I would have never thought you were scared of any food, but I feel you. I’ll bungy jump and jump out of a plane, but eating crazy gross foods…duuuuuuuuuude I can’t handle that stuff. My people always have interesting mixtures I’m not a big fan of the tacos de lengua (cow tongue tacos). People put salsa on them and eat them up … they totally gross me out. Can’t handle it.

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  18. Ha! Too funny! I guess even badasses have their limits. I can eat anything, and I can even enjoy most of it, but the one thing that really doesn’t want to go down my throat is black licorice. I can… if I have to… but… bleah! *makes hairball-retching noise*

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  19. As long as I can remember, I have always been adventurous with food, willing to try anything. At least once. As a child I would eat foods that my peers would not touch… and yes, acorn squash was among those. I love squash in all its permutations and prepared all manner of ways.

    What won’t I eat? That’s a tough one, Susie. I would have to say tongue. Can’t do it. Don’t even like to think about it.

    Rather ironic when you think about it, but there you have it.

    A girl who “likes girls” but doesn’t like tongue.

    *wink*

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