Archive for October, 2007

Raisins in the Bun


I have long thought of raisins as a waste of perfectly good grapes.

When I was growing up, if someone gave me an oatmeal cookie, I carefully picked out the raisins.

When confronted with raisins in cookies these days, I just forge ahead. But, if I had my druthers, no cookie that crossed my lips would have raisins in it.

I have softened my stance on raisins in some respects. For instance, I have come to see that they can be just the thing to counterbalance the salty crunchiness of other ingredients in trail mix. The reason that works, though, is that the rest of the trail mix counterbalances the mushy sweetness of the raisins.

Uncoerced, I would still never dream of eating a raisin on its own. At Halloween one year, my mother gave out boxes of raisins to trick-or-treaters, despite me pleading with her to have mercy on the poor innocent souls.

As it happens, Mr. Doobins feels the same way about raisins. When confronted with a raisin in a cookie or Cinnamon Deluxe bagel, he carefully extracts it before taking the next bite.

The other day, he came home from preschool and announced in amazement that, even though it had raisins in it, he had enjoyed the conglomeration of pretzels, etc. that they had put together to make their special Halloween Monster Mix.

Our attitude about raisins is not the only point in which our tastes overlap.

I have long wondered why one person likes one thing and another something else.

I know that taste has something to do with how you are brought up and how the people you spend time with influence you. But there also seems to be something arbitrary to it. Why should one person expecially like blue and another consider orange the cat’s pajamas?

Everyone having different tastes does have the wonderful effect of creating a world more diverse than it would be if everyone thought that living room walls should be beige.

I sometimes wonder whether, before you are born, you are assigned a taste package.

“I think a Taste Package No. 11 would go well with Kim’s personality. What do you think?”

“Oh, yes, absolutely!”

Some years later, along comes Mr. Doobins, and, as it happens, he is assigned not Taste Package No. 11 but one in the same family, say, Taste Package No. 27. So our tastes overlap in some things and not in others.

It gives us a place to make a connection.

Another adult says, “Mr. Doobins, don’t be so picky. Eat those raisins.”

And there I am to say, “I know how he feels. Raisins are a blight on the face of creation.”

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