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French Chicken

(by Aimee Lee Ball)

Kids and food—there’s no explaining. When my goddaughter was about two years old, I gave her a salty black Greek olive. She put it in her mouth, wrinkled up her nose and squinched her eyes, but kept chewing—and then held out her hand to ask for another.

I was a dreadfully fussy eater as a kid, to the consternation of my mother, who was worried that I wouldn’t grow, not to mention bored with the limitations of my tastes. I wouldn't even eat peanut butter, so she often sent me to school with a cream-cheese-and-jelly sandwich—crusts cut off the white bread, grape jelly only. I refused to eat anything unfamiliar or creative that my mother tried to introduce. I accepted standard preparations of meat or chicken, nothing too fancy or "foreign."