My parents made some pretty awful food for dinner when I was a kid.
It affected me deeply.
To this day.
My sister would disagree. She liked it.
Stewed tomatoes, Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and a sleeve of crushed Saltine crackers mixed together was one delicacy. I called it puke-in-a-pan. My dad called it dinner.
My mother liked to make something she called, Porcupine Balls. The main ingredients were, Rice-a-Roni and ground beef .
We never invited anyone over on the nights we were having Porcupine Balls.
It was a family secret.
The only thing I liked about Porcupine Balls being served for dinner was getting to say the word balls as many times as I could get away with without being slapped or sent to my room.
I used to invite myself to the neighbors house for dinner whenever I didn't like what we were having.
One night I saw liver, bacon, and onions cooking on the stove.
I was desperate to eat anything but that. No amount of ketchup, pinching your nose with every bite, or the promise of a root beer float with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert could make that crap taste good.
My friend across the street told me her mom was making a roast.
I invited myself for dinner.
We sat down to eat and my friends mother took something out of the oven and placed it on the table.
I took one look at it and said, "Shouldn't that thing be dead first?"
I was sent home.
Sent to my room without dinner.
And I didn't get that root beer float with vanilla ice cream.
I don't like root beer or ice cream.
The next day at school I told my teacher our family's dirty little secret.
"My mother makes us eat Porcupine Balls."