Such was the comment I made here in comment #60 about split pea soup.
I suppose there is good split pea soup made in this world. I know some people love it. But for me, it is something I cannot abide. And why is this so you may be asking? Actually, you're likely not asking and don't care one way or the other. But I will tell you anyway.
It all goes back to a hazy childhood memory. I don't even know what year it took place, but I'm guessing it was sometime around 1969 or 1970. The Timmermann family, Dad, Mom, and four sons, were on a weekend drive up the California coast.
One of the stops was in Buellton, California, which is now much more famous for its appearance in the film "Sideways", but at this time it was just a place on the way to the more famous Solvang.
Buellton's principal claim to fame in this era was one thing: split pea soup. In particular, Pea Soup Andersen's, a restaurant that actually specializes in serving split pea soup.
My parents must have really wanted some this soup and they dragged all four of their sons, who likely ranged in age from 4 to 10, and wanted them all to partake in the gustatory glory of split pea soup. But they didn't count on one thing: none of us had seen split pea soup before. Once my brothers and I saw what it looked like, we apparently decided, in a show of solidarity, to refuse to eat any. We insisted on eating off of the children's menu, which at the time consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Here's a dessert menu from sometime in the 1970s.
Just why my parents thought their sons would, sight unseen, ride in a car for two hours and then get subjected to the green horror of pea soup, is still mind boggling. But what also surprised is how upset my mother was over the fact that we wouldn't eat the pea soup and how expensive the PB&J sandwiches were. I can't remember the exact price, but they were likely over $1 each. Throughout the years, the prices of the PB&Js were adjusted for inflation in my mother's retelling of the story about the trip to Buellton. Eventually, the sandwiches were served on solid gold plates and cost $50 each.
I actually ate split pea soup once when my grandmother (who lived with us and was the regular cook) made it at our home. I recall it as being one of the longest dinners of my life. A bowl of smelly green slop was tossed in front of me and I was told that my options were: 1) to eat it or 2) reconsider option 1 carefully. I was around 10 at the time and I believe that the moaning and wailing that I made as well as those made by my brothers put the kibosh on any future split pea soup dinners.
For all I know, if you like split pea soup, my grandmother might have made great split pea soup as she was a very good cook. But to this day, I associate split pea soup with a rare time that my mom tried to play hardball to get me to eat something. And also trying to make us feel bad about making them spend money. It was quite unusual on their part.
Now we can fast forward to early in 1993 and I'm with my parents at the Pasadena location of California Pizza Kitchen. My mom gets her order and realizes that it comes with whole slices of tomato on it. She peels them off and tosses them aside. I asked her if she had trouble eating them as she was suffering from colon cancer at the time.
She said, "No, I hate cold tomatoes."
"But you always made me eat them."
"You grew tomatoes in the backyard."
"And you told me to eat the tomatoes."
"And it took you this long to realize that I was bluffing?"
Despite these clever mind games, I will still not split pea soup. And one day, I hope that Hap-pea finally hits Pea-Wee on the hand with his mallet.
Thanks for indulging this disgression from the usual offerings of obituaries and updates on whether or not Barry Bonds is ever going to sign his contract.