I'll admit it: though I'm definitely a foodie, I am a picky eater. A few years ago, my mom said to me, "Leah, you're the only person I know who's gotten more picky as she got older." That's certainly true. As a kid, I ate a lot of stuff I can't imagine putting in my body today. Spaghettios with meatballs. Kraft macaroni & cheese. Chicken McNuggets. Gross, gross and gross.
Like every kid, I was always afraid to try new foods. It was a battle to get me to take a bite of anything that I thought looked yucky. Especially yucky-looking to me were any foods that were brown. I just didn't dig brown stuff (exception: peanut butter, of course).
So, one Thanksgiving, when I was four or five, we were celebrating with my grandparents like we always did, and my family was feasting on pumpkin pie after the meal. My dad tried to feed me a bite, and I refused. After all, it was brown! It looked weird! Surely it would taste weird, too! My dad tried to persuade me again to take a bite, and I was uncooperative. Because he's determined, and because he knew I was a whiner, Dad tried a new tactic. Ready with a fork full of pumpkin pie, he kept badgering me to try it until I started whining about not wanting to. Then, when my mouth was open (mid-whine), he shoved the fork in my mouth.
To my dismay, I liked it. Oh no, I thought. This is really good, and I want more! But they will laugh at me if I ask for more because, just five seconds ago, I said it was yucky and I hated it! I think it was at that moment that I decided I would never let embarrassment keep me from enjoying pastries or baked goods of any kind. Sheepishly, I asked, "Can I have a piece?"
My family roared with laughter, but I didn't care. Dad was proud of me. (I think he was also a little proud of himself for discovering his new force-feeding tactic.) And that pie was de-licious.
It's still my favorite pie.
How many days until Thanksgiving?