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By John D. Pierce

BeetsMuch of the food my family consumes now had no presence or even awareness in my childhood home: quinoa, orzo, sushi, kale to name just a few.

Words, nor foods, like couscous, arugula, chipotle, fennel, pesto, feta, balsamic, mascarpone and gorgonzola ever passed our lips. Shiitake was never uttered around our house — exactly.

Fruit didn’t go on a garden (“tossed”) salad except for the ever-confusing tomato. Anything blackened was due to distraction. And a grilled bologna and cheese sandwich, even with if imprinted with griddle marks, was not called a Panini.

The only tuna and salmon (with an emphasis on the now-silent “l”) came in cans and made the kitchen smell funny.

We knew not of ancient grains, but were highly familiar with two-day leftovers — preserved in green Tupperware or “tin foil” as if the 38 percent salt content was not preservative enough.

None our dietary options was known as a “super food” even though we consumed the now highly-praised sweet potato. However, we did know “supper foods,” and counted breakfast-for-supper as a welcomed treat. (Dinner was the noontime meal.)

Now some of the familiar items that tickled my taste buds long ago have gained renewed prominence. It’s especially pleasing to see (and taste) the resurgent popularity of radishes (which disappeared from most salads decades ago) and beautiful, beloved beets.

My more-sophisticated foodie family members who long turned up their noses at my fishing pickled beets from a jar — to bring needed color and flavor to the lovely spread of pinto beans nestled on my plate — now confess that I was ahead of the times.

Today trendy restaurants are offering delightful roasted beets with goat cheese. They are even better than the sure-to-stain pickled ones in a jar.

With the current affirmation of sweet potatoes, radishes and beets, I’m pondering what other trends might grow out of my earlier dining experiences that have been judged so harshly. What long-familiar items could be next on the chalkboard menus of overpriced dining establishments?

Red-eye gravy?

A mayonnaise and banana sandwich?

Fried Spam?

Crumbled cornbread in a glass of buttermilk?

Candy cigarettes?

Is there a market for organic beanie-weenies?

The possibilities seem endless for upcoming opportunities to say (with my mouth full), “That’s not new!”

John Pierce

About John Pierce

John D. Pierce is editor of Nurturing Faith Journal — the signature publication of Baptists Today, Inc. He is also publisher of Nurturing Faith Books and Resources. Previously he served as managing editor of The Christian Index and as Baptist campus minister at Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University. A native of Ringgold, Ga., he is a graduate of Berry College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He speaks frequently in churches, consults with congregations concerning communications and holds interim pastorates.