I always loved to try new foods when I was a kid. I wasn’t a picky eater at all. I’d oftentimes try whatever was on my parents’ plates at restaurants and surprise them that I actually liked what I tasted. Sure I loved your typical kid foods like mac ‘n cheese and peanut butter and jelly too. The only thing I can think of that I didn’t like was green olives and black jelly beans. I’d give the green olives off my plate at daycare to the daycare lady’s husband named Wally. He was happy to help clear my plate of those. The black jelly beans at Easter were given to Dad of course. Oh, and at Halloween, my sisters and I’d give him any of those awful orange and black wrapped candies nobody ever seemed to like. Remember those?
My sisters and I’d oftentimes play make believe school, church and dentist. For dentist my mom would let us take a few ingredients from the kitchen to mix random concoctions. We’d use a plastic ice cube tray to make our various assortments of weird random things to taste. For instance, mix a bit of toothpaste with cinnamon, or peanut butter, or brown sugar, or this and that. Many times it was really gross but we’d pretend it was part of the dentist experience and challenge ourselves to taste it all. No matter how odd or icky it tasted we’d just do it.
But most often we’d play restaurant. Right under the basement steps was our favorite spot to set it all up. There was a little picnic table to sit at and we had all sorts of plastic kitchen items that made it tons of fun. Though one particular day of playing this wasn’t quite as fun and is the reason why I don’t like crackers in my soup.
This memory is stirred up by, pun intended, from looking at some of the toy kitchen items I still have. My kids have been enjoying playing with them recently. Here’s the small matching cup and bowl set made by Tupperware. The soup kettle was a part of a set I believe my mom said she got at a garage sale in the 1980s for super cheap. We loved them!
My favorite bowl and cup was the yellow.
My sister Sarah took my order that day as I was playing the customer. I ordered the soup. Now, just like how we sometimes were allowed to have real food for playing dentist. Mom sometimes allowed us to use water in our pitcher and soup kettle and pour it into our cups and bowls. This day she gave us Oster crackers too. Heard of those? They’re like Saltines, but round and about the size of a nickle.
Sarah thought it would be more realistic to put Oster crackers in the bowls full of water that we were pretending were bowls of soup. This would be like what we saw our parents do at restaurants. I guess I thought it was a good idea too because we loaded them up in there.
But the problem was that the crackers just dissolved into a nasty, pasty mess that was really gross. Sarah made me eat them anyway. She really wanted me to play along. After all, I liked eating anything she reminded me, right?
So I ate it up. Might of even had to have seconds. It was all part of the play that day.
But this is why I don’t like crackers in my soup. It was really gross.
The rest of our kitchen items we played restaurant with
I loved the salt and pepper shakers. I remember mom having used those in our real kitchen. Here’s a close up:
The metal measuring cup was from my Mom’s Mom, my Grandma. We’d play with that in her bath tub and pretend the bath water and bubbles were soup. Guess we liked soup. But the copper bottom on that is super cool. Take a look:
The garage sale set I mentioned my Mom got are these three below. Never really noticed they all had faces on them.
Here are close ups of some of the fake foods. I loved these little can foods because they had actual paper labels. A lot of them nowadays are all plastic. Pretty realistic too I think. The butter and cheese were favorites of mine too being from Wisconsin, the dairy state.
“White or chocolate milk?” we’d say.
Now the carrots were from a fabric stuffed Easter bunny my Grandma made I believe. There are metal snaps sewed on to each of them to show where they would have been able to attach to it. I guess we thought they were better suited to be a part of our play food collection. Not sure where that bunny ever ended up.
I think the red apple bucket was from my Mom’s classroom. She was a special education teacher for over 30 years and we had a whole stack of these. Some were green, some were red. I kept one red one.
When I got the play food, it came with a shopping cart
I found a picture of me from when I first got the play food. It was a Christmas gift of mine when I was not quite two yet. You can see the pieces of wrapping paper in the bottom right corner of the picture. It came with a shopping cart I also still have. I loved that little cart.
My Grandma and Grandpa had bought the shopping cart for me. I remember them telling me years later that I just pushed it around and around all evening and was very entertained. Looks like Grandma gave me a few empty boxes to add to my cart too. A very inexpensive toy that I loved for sure.
Here’s it today:
Looks brand new.
Lastly, is the plastic measuring cup. There’s one side that’s blue and one side that’s yellow. Kinda don’t remember where it’s from, but I think it doubled as a pitcher. At that age we didn’t really understand measuring things yet. Guess that’s why we put a few too many Oster crackers in our pretend soup.
Have I had crackers in my real soup since? Sure. Have I changed my mind? Nope. Still don’t like crackers in my soup. Now I’m reminded why.
Is there a food you hated as a kid and still don’t like? What’s the memory you associate with the reason behind it? I’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment below.