Nana's Delight
Elisabeth Rennie

Food is wonderful. It can create complete enjoyment or utter discomfort. It controls so many daily actions and has the ability to change one's mood, attitude, or lifestyle. Food can force us to run, hide, lie, and cry. It carries with it more than smell or taste, but its own reputation, memories, its own life. One particular dish that I have had with me my entire life seems to captivate that full power of food.

I am not sure when the first time was that I sampled my Nana's Seafood Delight, but I will never forget the fishy scent, awful taste, gooey texture, or multi-colored appearance. Seafood Delight has been presented to me in more forms than I can count. Its form has ranged from filling for sandwiches, to quiche, to a topping for crackers and pretzels. Nothing, however, could make me or anyone else in my family think that Seafood Delight would be pleasant or in any way enjoyable to eat. Of course, we are all forced by my Nana to eat it at all possible opportunities. As far as my Nana knows, Seafood Delight is our favorite food to eat. No one says anything, and we all simply try to find new ways to get our dishes to the garbage without her noticing.

Seafood Delight is truly a legend within my family and is constantly the butt of jokes. It also serves as an understood term depicting my Nana's quest for a food she can serve that is healthy, elaborate, and mysterious in taste, smell, and color. It also helps that Seafood Delight fits neatly into all of the four basic food groups. Any unidentifiable food that could not possibly be good to eat is collectively referred to as "Seafood Delight." We have all put up with the food over the years because it has taken on a life of its own. Seafood Delight, as many other dishes served up by people's grandmothers, aunts, mothers, or neighbors, has a power and an energy all its own. It cannot be fought. It seems that whenever food like this is presented, one must simply sit back, fork another bite down, smile, and attempt to conceal any gagging, spitting, or dry-heaving.

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