Mushy Peas Please
If any of these look appealing to you, I'm sorrynotsorry to say, but you might have more in common with Mr. Gray than you think! Mr. Gray (most of the time) totally digs these softer delicacies--- and shocker here-- but I just happen to LOVE them too, the gloppier the better *fist pump*. Flan, yes 'mon. Tapioca and Bread pudding, lay it on me. J to the ELLO.
My grandpa, the OG, ("original gangster" for you anti-slangers) hated al dente veggies, particularly asparagus and would constantly complain at restaurants and specify how he did not want them cooked. I was confused by this as a teen, but fast forward to today--- I totally feel ya Gpa. I don't know when barely cooked veggies became on trend, but if I wanted to be a panda eating bamboo, I would have let the server know.
Look, I get it, I'm probably in the minority here alongside me and my senior peeps; I know mushy food is not everyone's cup of tea and you are likely one of those people who's totally grossed out by weird or slimy textures, but maybe they are onto something here. Soft/well-cooked food is definitely easier on the digestive system. Convinced you yet to switch teams? No, okay fine fine....stay basic...it's cool.
I don't mean to generalize seniors, but they do gravitate towards soft food for an array of reasons: they simply like the texture/taste (like me), the food is nostalgic and elicits fond memories, and/or for those with dentures, sensitive teeth/jaws, it's just plain easier to chew.
But the main takeaway here is, whether Mr. Gray fits the senior mold, or whether he's a crunchy-food rebel, LET MY PEOPLE CHOOSE.
Tell 'em Moses.
Let them eat their food mushy if they want. Let them eat it al dente if they like it that way. Let them eat it on a train, or a plane, medium rare or well-done. As adults, we all have CHOICE. Sadly, due to skilled nursing facility (aka nursing home) constraints and other systematic issues, our society flops with food choice for Mr. Gray. Sadly, we treat seniors like children:
A few weeks ago I ran into Mr. Gray at a bar (no this is not the beginning of a joke). Ok, we didn't "run into each other." He was sitting next to me and after the football game ended, I started up a mildly forced conversation when he was about to leave. Lucky for meeeeee he stayed and we talked.
We started chatting about about his mother who recently passed away and her experience in nursing homes. What struck me most about the conversation was how he focused on the meal she ate before she died -- a very bittersweet story for me; he talked about how excited she was to have a lobster roll since she was often served rubbery chicken. Now, look, lobster rolls are melt in your mouth delish, but no wonder she was elated -- this poor woman (and one of many thousands mind you) was STUCK EATING DRIED UP NASTY ASSSSS CHICKEN ON THE REGULAR ('scuse my French).
Mr. Gray said his mom had so much trouble chewing it that he nicely asked the staff to fix it (yeah good luck with that one). So not only did she have to eat tasteless cardboard food, but then it was like passing a kidney stone to just to try to eat her darn dinner. Forget the food police, this should be plain illegal! Come on man---elderly folks have EARNED the right to eat what they want and to eat well....not the old rotisserie chicken scraps that I feed to my cat. If anything, seniors should be served more flavorful food to make up for desensitizing taste buds.
Look, all I can say is if after years of experiencing delicious cuisines - sushi, truffle pasta, etc., and I'm forced to eat that crap, this will 100% be me:
I'll be starting a revolution up in dat assisted living- BELIEVE THAT.
You might be thinking, is this post really all about food? Yes, yes it is. Why? Because food is a big DEAL. We love food so much we post pictures of it, we blog about it, we plan dates around it. It's something that matters a lot to most people- and not just because it sustains us or we try to use it to maintain our health, but because we just plain enjoy eating. It's one of life's most simple pleasures!
Mr. Gray is no exception. In fact, old age is the time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor (literally!). My nanny used to eat the you know what out of Nutty Buddies, and I didn't get it till now. You know what? She was enjoying herself, and she earned it. I'm not proposing seniors eat junk all day, but I'm simply highlighting food choice. To force grown adults (extra grown) to regress to childhood roles where mom forces us to eat all of our brussel sprouts, well that's just not cool. I'm def not okay with that and when you're 85, you won't be either.
So today's moral of the story, kids, is this--- mushy or not, Mr. Gray should be able to his peas (and anything else), just the way he PLEASE. SAME AS YA'LLLLL. *Drops Mic*