Death Before frozen Peas

by Noelle Cummings

            Have you every seen something so vile and revolting that the thought of it can instantly make you lose your appetite, cause severe nausea, and make the hair on the back of your neck to stand up? A graphic scene in a horror movie or a “World's Biggest Pimple” video blowing up your Facebook news feed can cause this for most everybody. Why yes, all of those things can make me cringe, but nothing is more revolting to me than frozen peas. Those tiny hard little beads filled with green mush feel like they pop and burst a blanket of ooze into your mouth. Those seemingly innocent and tasteless green mush beads can ruin a perfectly fine meal for me, and cause cold sweats. If I were Clark Kent, frozen peas would be my kryptonite.
To fully understand why peas can completely bring me to my knees, you first have to understand the type of home-cooking motto my mom lived by. It’s pretty simple: she did absolutely no cooking. Her version of a home cooked meal was a rotisserie chicken she purchased at Safeway, and put on a platter as if she prepared it herself. My mom was a stay at home mom who occupied most of her day deep cleaning the house. This is mostly why she didn’t like cooking. It made too much of a mess of her sparkling kitchen. Nothing crippled my Mom more than a mess.
Every blue moon when my Dad got off of work early enough, and my sister and I were home, my Mom would give her best attempts at a “home-cooked” meal. Her signature meal was pasta. To fully understand why peas have become a crippling poison for me you have to understand my feelings towards pasta. Pasta is the food of the gods. All types of pasta, spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagna, linguine: You name it, I love it. Pasta will forever be my comfort food. When I saw that pot of boiling water and the strainer in the sink, I cleared any plans for that night so I could sprawl myself across the couch with my pants unzipped, in a pasta food coma.
My inner Augustus Gloop would be charging toward the kitchen at the sight of alfredo being mixed in with some fettuccine. On this particular occasion, my mom felt like adding a dash of creativity - simple, effortless, mess-free, creativity to this pasta dish. She dug around in the freezer and found a bag of peas. For her, this was a perfect addition; as for me, I was a little hesitant. She had never done this before, but I gave her credit for trying. The table was set, and a line around the kitchen formed to dish your own meal. With the first bite, I knew. I knew that this was the most insulting thing to pasta anyone could do. I’m assuming she dumped the whole bag of peas into the pasta, because I couldn’t escape them. With every bite the peas popped and burst, concealing the buttery delicious pasta flavor. I tried to sort them out and push them to the side of my plate. But these peas were ruthless. I couldn’t allow such a mistake to happen to my fettuccine alfredo again. It’s like petitioning to repaint Starry Night because you feel Van Gogh should have used a Persian blue when painting the sky. You can’t fix something that is already perfect, and I had to let my Mom know.

My parents were in the middle of a conversation when this comment was burning in the back of my throat. “Mom I can’t eat this. These peas are freaking awful,” I said. Now I’ll let you know that I didn’t use the word “freaking.” I used a hard word that begins with “F” and rhymes with “duck”. As a disclaimer, you should also know that my family is classy and professional, but we are from New York and the way you relax at home is by turning your brain's filter off. Apparently my Dad thought this was hilarious. The uncontrollable roaring laugh that came spewing from my Dad, who’s usually so uptight, signified to me that he felt the same way. My Mom thought this was hilarious, and like some inside joke with herself, she continued to add peas into every home cooked meal she put together from this point on. It has now come to the point that if an otherwise perfectly fine meal, whether made for me, or purchased by me, conceals these green mushy insults to fine cuisine, it will end up in the trash before it comes anywhere near my mouth - fueling my childish, passionate hatred towards peas for the rest of my adult life.