Amanda Harter

One evening back when I was about five years old there was a small battle fought at our dinner table. The opposing sides consisted of me against my mom and dad. Why? Because I was having serious difficulty eating my dinner. The cuisine presented to me that evening was some concoction that most people call Salmon Loaf. Salmon Loaf's main ingredient is of course, salmon, but any number of different substances can be added to it. Usually bread is mixed in, along with some onions and celery or something, and it is all mixed together and baked. The result is a mass of dry, pinkish chewy stuff, which I found then and now extremely hideous.

After spreading it out as much as possible to make it look less obtrusive, I stared at this lump of pink on my plate, realizing that I had three options. I could take miniscule bites, so small that it would be difficult to taste anything, or I could mix it with something else on my plate and hope that I could somehow disguise the horrid taste. Finally, I could choose to take gigantic bites and get it over with as quickly as possible. The first option was less desirable considering I would probably end up sitting at the table until the millennium rolled in. The second was slightly more appealing, but I ruled it out since there wasn't really anything on my plate to mix it with.

So I set out to attempt my final option. There I was, taking huge bites of the stuff, desperately trying to wash it all down with huge gulps of milk and silently praying that it would stay down. As I gagged with the crocodile tears in my eyes, my dad, not appreciating what he saw as unnecessary drama, reached from across the table and grabbed my arm like a vise. The whole room spun as he stated violently that I was going to eat that if it was the last thing I did. I ended up in bed, sobbing, but victorious. I never did finish my dinner.

I'm pretty sure that was the last time my mom ever made Salmon Loaf for dinner. I don't know why she ever made it in the first place. I suppose my dad liked it and it was probably easy to make, but didn't she realize what trauma it caused? These days I've managed to forgive her and even begin to understand. After all, what else can you do with leftover salmon?

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