Good For Me

As a small child I remember certain things that were supposed to be ‘good for me’. Back then I wondered if it was only me that these things were good for, I don’t remember any other children I knew that had these ‘good for you’ experiences. The earliest GFY was Cod Liver Oil, teaspoons of it. I can’t remember the taste, more the idea of it. I mean it hardly sounds appealing does it? Surely it might have been easier to swallow if it had been called Golden Smile Squash or something, any other ideas? Even as an adult – well outwardly, the idea of extracting oil from a cod’s liver is gruesome and quite strange. Who first thought of such a thing and how and when was it decided that it was GFY?

Next, when I was in infant school, a third of a pint of full cream milk in a glass bottle was thrust upon us every morning at play time. No doubt it was the government’s attempt to keep the countries children well nourished. Well it was wasted on me. The fact that I was made to drink it was guaranteed to make me rebel, but aside from that it made me sick. Luckily a willing victim grateful recipient in the shape of one of the Henry sisters was waiting for me to sneak it to her as soon as Miss King’s back was turned. I’ve never been able to drink a glass of milk and can only tolerate skimmed milk in hot drinks.

Also in school, where the classroom was converted into a dining room at lunchtime, ready to serve the dreaded green vegetables. I don’t think anyone liked them but everyone but me managed to eat them anyway. I would move them around my plate until they were stone cold and eventually teacher – who was probably desperate for her own lunch, took pity on me and let me out to play. That is until Miss Dunn arrived and saw me as her personal challenge. She would stand over me with a very stern face and a sharp tongue insisting that I would sit there until I had eaten it, or until class resumed. On one lovely sunny day I really, really wanted to play with my friends so I stuffed my cheeks, hamster fashion, with a couple of Brussel sprouts, smile sweetly and she let me go. Sadly for me she caught me just outside the door, spitting them down the drain. Headmasters office for me, but I’ve never, ever, eaten a sprout.

Medicine is GFY and when I was about ten with an ear infection; it was bright yellow anti-biotic pills, big enough to choke on. I’d never taken a pill before and these tasted nasty. The doctor suggested mixing them with something to disguise the taste, and at the time I had a craving for oranges. Tucking a pill into the flesh of my orange should do the trick it was thought. I cried and cried because all it did was spoil my orange. I suppose I must have taken the course of pills but I can’t remember it or imagine how.

All these memories were triggered by this evenings GFY experience. Green tea. A few years ago at the end of a Tai Chi class, green tea was served from a punch bowl, I tried a sip to be polite but as I wasn’t a tea drinker I didn’t expect to enjoy it. Since I had swine flu a few years ago I haven’t been able to drink coffee and so I have become a tea drinker, not bog standard tea, but Lady Grey or Earl Grey, and lately I’ve braved out and can do the odd Rooibos, all poncey stuff, according to most people. So perhaps I would now like green tea? Perhaps my palate has acquired the necessary degree of sophistication to appreciate its beneficial properties. Uh, no, I won’t be drinking that again. Good for me? Someone is having a laugh.

21 thoughts on “Good For Me

  1. Oh the cod liver oil! Marginally better with malt, but not much. I came across an unopened bottle at Mum’s. I will take anphoto tomorrow, just for you 🙂

  2. Well, I do feel for you —- having grown up with Cod liver oil myself.
    OTOH — as a tea drinker, I must say various green teas are among my favorites. (Lest you think I’m declassé, I hobnob frequently with the royalty, like Lady Jane and Earl Grey.)
    But hojicha and genmaicha have more substance (one has toasted brown rice in it as well) and you might, just might! enjoy one of them.

  3. Give me HIGH FIVE, Gilly! Not a big fan of milk or tea as well. Whilst, I can drink it, I just don’t get the big fuzz about them. I eat my cookies alone, and people exclaim partnering it with milk. Uhm… not for me. Chai Tea tastes good but it’s expensive. 😀 I prefer the regular one, even that I rarely drink.

  4. Oh, I must have consumed gallons of cod liver oil and malt, as well as castor oil. My mom still swears by the former, and takes it religiously. Brussel sprouts always seemed like a punishment….yuck!

  5. Oh you poor thing – bitter Brussels sprouts as a child! I cook them sometimes because my husband loves them (go figure), but they’re one of the few vegetables I really dislike, even now. On the other hand, my mother insists that when I was a few months old and she apologetically gave me my first spoonful of cod liver oil, I licked the spoon clean and whimpered for more. Born to eat fish, I suppose 😉 Or else I’ve just always been a little strange. (I think the idea of cod liver oil was to make sure babies got vitamin D, back before it was routinely added to milk.)

    And green tea? Well, I’ll drink it if I have to, but I strongly prefer tea that doesn’t taste so much like plain hot water.

  6. what horrid memories of school milk assail me now … all warm with congealed cream on top … yuck, no wonder i was often home sick with asthma!!! however as a green vegetable fan all i can imagine was that yours were cooked english style, stewed to death, and there was no goodness left to enjoy … and i can’t stand fish oil, especially flavoured with orange or lemon as they do now … shame it is good for my joints! i can’t drink coffee either … or black or green tea … the caffeine is too much for me… so i stick to rooibos and herbal … quite safe that way 🙂

  7. Erk! Poor you. I hated vegetables when I was young and used to be left at the dinner table, trying to force the horrid things down. Now I love them and I learned to love Brussels sprouts after learning how to roast them Neil Perry style 🙂

  8. Delightful post, Gilly. My grandmother lined us up at the door on the way to school each morning tipping a teaspoon for each from the dark blue bottle of Milk of Magnesia. Chalking stuff that clung to tooth and tongue …

  9. Wasn’t it an evolutionary theory that we humans, and even the rest of the animal kingdom, back when all of us were hunters and gatherers, our instincts for self-preservation was perpetually stronger than anything. When we encountered an unfamiliar plant in the wilderness during our fits of hunger, we knew to steer clear of the bitter tasting ones. More often than not, they were poisonous or to a lesser degree, they may not be but they would make us quite sick (dizzy, gastric upset, diarrhea, tingly, even hallucinating). But, not everything fit into this rule, we found out along the way. People, and even other animals, do adapt, out of necessity, to certain foods over time. Even the GFYs. We may not be totally convinced of the merits of some though. So our “deep withins” may not be so accepting unless our lives depended on it. In this age of less have-tos and shoulds, some of us could not keep these down even if there was a gun cocked to our heads.

  10. Too bad all the things that are “good for you” are not really very good at all. Especially over-boiled brussels sprouts, cod liver oil, and pills big enough to make you choke. Funny and cute post, Gilly. 🙂

  11. That school milk used to make me gaga. I have never liked milk since I was weaned. My mother gave us cod liver oil in malt extract which disguised the taste.
    I am interested that your tastes cahnged after swine flu. I couldn’t drink alcohol or coffee for several months two years ago after having ordinary flu. They tasted horrid, then one day the smell of coffee had me salivating and I was back to normal!
    But I have never liked tea.
    I do love sprouts though! Maybe because I took a packed lunch to school…

  12. Wonderful post my friend. I’m a coffee drinking but lately been into tea. I hope tone my caffeine for health reasons. Thanks for sharing a post that makes us smile. Have a blessed day.

  13. I never had to drink Cod Liver Oil and boy am I grateful for that. And I’m not a huge milk fan–the thought of drinking a glass gives me the willies. I was a picky eater as a kid and I remember having some battles over veggies.

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