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Column: You finish everything, even the cabbage rolls

When I was little, my mom did a fantastic job incorporating many vegetables into dinner. While the veggies were undoubtedly good for me, there were a few that I could not stand.

As is the case in many households across the country, I had to take everything that was on the dinner table and finish it. If there were my arch nemesis of Brussels sprouts or another hated foe in cauliflower, I would still have to finish everything on my plate. I was not allowed to take a tiny portion, either.

I’ve heard horror stories of children who sat at the table until bedtime, only to return in the morning to finish something they did not like. I never tested this theory and would usually gag down what I needed to so I could go play Nintendo or ride my bike. I figured it was better to finish it while it was hot. I can’t imagine that broccoli and cheese would go very well with a Pop-Tart.

There were also a few other things I did not like as a kid. For whatever reason, I was not too fond of pork chops, and it seemed like my mom made them at least twice a week. Looking back, I’m sure we did not eat pork chops that often, but it felt like it.

As I’ve gotten older, I have found that many of the things I did not like as a child I enjoy now. Of course, tastes evolve as you get older, but it may have also been that I went in with a bad attitude with certain meals and never gave them a shot.

We now have pork chops a lot, maybe not twice a week, and I don’t mind them. I put them on the grill, in the smoker, in the oven, and fry them in a pan. I’m not sure why I hated them because they are pretty tasty.

At my house, Melissa is known for cooking fantastic breakfast dishes and turkey while I take care of most of the dinner duties. When she does cook dinner, it is always a real treat, and a while back, I was super excited when she made cabbage rolls.

As a child, it seemed like cabbage rolls could be found at almost every wedding and numerous family functions. I would not touch them, and if I was forced to, I went in with a bad attitude and hated every bite.

I missed out because I thoroughly enjoy them and have been known to eat five or six at a wedding.

The night Melissa made them, Shayla, who is 16, was not enthused. She went in with a bad attitude and did not finish one. I could not be too mad at her because I had the same philosophy at that age, but I tried to encourage her to try them at least. You never know how good that might be if you don’t try. Sometimes I get frustrated dealing with a 16-year-old in the house who knows more than a contestant on Jeopardy, but I always remember the terror I was at that age.

However, I have tried to like a few food items I grew up hating, but it just doesn’t happen.

When living in central Washington, I had access to some of the freshest produce, and it was a treat to bring home vegetables from one of the many roadside stands. During this time, I tried again to eat cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus, but finishing what I put on my plate was very hard.

I try to cook vegetables that other people in the house, like broccoli or asparagus, but to this day, I will not let cauliflower through the front door.

I would not be surprised if, one of these days, when Melissa makes the shopping trip if cauliflower makes its way to the table. She should make me sit at the table until I finish it, which I probably would do. I don’t think coffee and a bagel would go well with cauliflower.