My neighbors introduced me to grape pie three years ago.
The neighbors are Barb and Walt. They're from Missouri. Their tradition is to make a grape pie once a year, like they had as children. Making grape pie isn't easy. It requires boiling the grapes and squeezing the pulp out of the skins and getting the seeds out.
I loved the grape pie. (Full disclosure: I love pies, and dessert in general.) Now, part of Barb and Walt's annual tradition is to send me a piece.
My wife and I told other friends in town about the grape pie. People have different reactions about it. I have one friend who said, "Grape pie? Sounds gross." People from Missouri and some from Iowa react, "Grape pie, oh, yes, I love grape."
Another friend wanted to try it. She has concord grapes in her backyard. She brought us five pounds of them. When she gave them to us, she said, "I would really like to try grape pie."
I was horrified. I think it's poor manners to suggest to another that they make grape pie for someone they don't know when that other person isn't sick or dying. But Barb and Walt are better than me. They made the pie. They sent all except two pieces over to us. My wife removed half and took it to the other friend, who finally got to taste grape pie. She loved it.
So this morning, I opened the refrigerator to get out my fruit to put into my oatmeal, saw the concord grapes and thought, why not? They're about the size of a large blueberry, almost the same color. I ate a few grapes and found them sweet and juicy. Why not put them into oatmeal. So I did that and they were great! Yes, you need to figure out what you're going to do with the seed. I eat them.
Mom would be apalled. "Oh, you shouldn't eat seeds."
"Why not?" I asked. "We eat tomato seeds."
"And cucumber seeds."
"They are different, too."
"Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds...."
That's about as experimental as I get with food, grapes in oatmeal. I won't eat chitlins or brains. Whenever I think about eating brains, I hear Bill Cosby saying, "Brains and eggs, bleah. I ain't eating nothing somebody's been thinking with."
Thank you, Bill.
I add tongue to my list, too. Never had it, don't want to try it. Yes, it's very narrow of me. I don't want to eat nothing someone else has been licking things with.
These food prejudices are peculiar. I enjoy chicken but I don't want to eat cats or dogs. I've had squirrel, rabbit and Bambi. I passed up the chance to eat rice bugs in Southeast Asia and fish eggs in Japan.
I did try marinated squid in Okinawa one New Year's Eve, and I was right: I did not like it.
Of course, the hot saki and Jack & Coke probably did little to enhance the experience.
I do recommend concord grapes in oatmeal.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com