1. KN’s got it, though I don’t really understand Carmen’s response in the third panel. The family isn’t poor (as woozy suggests), though she may be saying she isn’t going to let the broccoli go to waste. Looks like poor Baldo doesn’t get cheese sauce or even butter. That’s pretty harsh.

  2. For some reason broccoli has a reputation as particularly “icky” vegetable(*). I find this somewhat strange, because it’s one vegetable my kids will ask for (if given a choice), the other being carrots.
    P.S. There were at least three broccoli gags in the Pixar movie “Inside Out”. According to the DVD commentary, they had to substitute something else for some foreign versions where broccoli was not known (for example, Japan). Unfortunately, they didn’t say just what they substituted.

  3. I think the way she’s got her hand out implies that she’s saying, ‘Until you start paying me to cook for you, you’ll eat what I make.’

  4. When I was kid we hated broccoli. I was amazed that my niece and nephew loved it – they loved to hold it in their hands eat it for snack (niece expanded her likes – now at 30 she is at least twice as large as I was.)

    When Robert’s mom was in the last 5 years or so of her life I would go on Wednesdays to help her with her bills. Afterwards I stop on the way home and pick up lunch – generally vegetable fried rice – as a treat. I was upset with the broccoli at first, but when not cooked to mush and smelly it is good. So, my problem growing up was not the broccoli, but, once again,mom’s cooking.

    Demetrios X – I would never eat broccoli with cheese or butter that would ruin it for me.

  5. Oh, Meryl, thank you for this. I was beginning to think I was the only one in the world with a terrible cook for a mother. She would overcook vegetables, fry eggs in Crisco, pan-fry hot dogs in Crisco, and cook a pot roast so long it was gummy. I thought I was a picky eater until I found out that I just liked food well-prepared.

  6. Chak – frying was a criminal thing in my family – it was done rarely.

    My family was for sometime sort of kosher – meaning we could take in Chinese pork and shrimp dishes, but they would not otherwise have it in the house. (First time I had ham was a trip with Robert.) When my mom was in the hospital after my sister (the middle one – after me) was born, dad made a western omelet for me, something I had never heard of before. (I though fathers could only cook eggs after my sister came along, which was better than before when I did not know that fathers could cook.) He explained to me that it is normally made with ham, but “we” use kosher salami.

    I did not know that turkey does not normally have garlic on it, until Robert came along and was upset at eating it that way.

    But on the other hand Robert would not eat meatloaf until I made it as his mom put nuts and raisins and other items in it (my mom put a hard boiled egg in the middle – when one got a slice it stared at one – but he liked the meatloaf I made. He got the recipe for tomato “gravy” from his mom, which starts with canned tomatoes. Along the way I changed a few things – such as cutting out the additional sugar and adding more basil to offset same, and making a double batch with crushed tomatoes and tomato puree, his mom used one or the other – he likes mine better.

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