Back In Those Days Before Vegetables

Day 7 - Kids Fried Food Illustration - Doodlewash

When I was a little kid, I remember that every “kids plate” on the menu when our family would go out to eat was mostly shades of yellow and beige. This was because it consisted of a bunch of fried bits on a plate, leaving only a little tub of ketchup to provide a boost of color. Notably missing from these plates, of course, was the presence of any greenery, and well, nutritional value of any kind to be sure. Though I personally loved broccoli, this was never on the kids menus back then. If not fried food, the other option included a bowl of macaroni and cheese, which was pretty much in the same palette, only more limited in color. As I grew up, I learned that a colorful plate was not only more lovely, but also far better for you from a nutritional standpoint. While I was sketching this stuff, Philippe walked by and made an “ugh” sound to express his displeasure. This rather American plate of food didn’t match with his French sensibilities when it comes to cuisine. Not even the so-named French fries. He didn’t grow up eating differently than the adults around the table. Yet, I’m rather sure that my own dad wished he could have eaten from the kids menu just like me.

Like most things from my childhood, I survived them and grew up loving vegetables most in spite of things. I can’t really claim to be super cultured or only having a craving to eat healthy things. I’m just not that cool. And I will still never turn down a good macaroni and cheese dish! Today, Philippe and I went to see one our favorite music groups with the decidedly adult name of Pink Martini. Though an American group they sing songs in all different languages, including a lot of French. I love the name of their album which is called “Je Dis Qui!” and translates to “I Say Yes!” It’s the main line in a fun song titled Joli garçon and though it’s about romance I think the phrase pretty much applies to how I approach everything in live so it’s my favorite. The group was accompanied by our own Kansas City Symphony orchestra so it was a wonderful event. Although they didn’t actually sing this song, unfortunately, since I’m sure getting the score ready for a symphony was not quite possible. Though my childhood was sometimes short on vegetables, it was always filled with music and so going to any music show reminds me of being a kid again.

At the end of the show today, they formed a conga line where the audience could join in. We were down front, but trapped in the middle and couldn’t get out to join it. I was a bit bummed and considered jumping over seats in order to participate. I’m totally shy, but the idea of a conga line is all about community and a bunch of people coming together to simply celebrate pure joy. So, I’m always in for a good conga line. I honestly sort of hope that Doodlewash has a bit of that feeling as well! A place where everyone can simply come together with glee and enjoy the moment together. As much I talk about childhood, I don’t think I’ve ever really strayed that far from it. Life is a wonderful gift and I only hope to spend it with a bit of admiration for all of the opportunities it has to offer. And, I love spending it with people who share the same enthusiasm. If we only pause to consider everything that’s good in life, it’s almost impossible to focus on the bad. And yes, it doesn’t really take much to ignite my inner child and find myself transported to that fun and wondrous time of my youth, back in those days before vegetables.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Kids Fried Food Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
24 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    Yay for the Conga line. I admit, I still love my fried food – especially the dessert ones, which compound the insult with loads of sugar. We have a large Hispanic population here and churros and similar crispies have become one of the addictions I have to avoid. Pink Martini sounds interesting. I’ll have to give them a listen!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Aww yes… churros!! WHY are they sooooo delicious! Darn them! lol And yes, you should definitely give Pink Martini a listen… it’s wonderful… perfectly sketching and painting music!

  2. StickyMangoRice 8 months ago

    Ah, the good old days…

  3. As always I love your stories! Coincidentally enough… Today we went to the art store and I picked out a few things. Then we went stopped next door at a deli because my husband hadn’t eaten anything. Totally out of character for me I ordered just French fries. Sometimes you just have to. They were awesome.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Eileen! 😃💕 So happy you still enjoy my stories! And yay!! hehe… you know, of course, your comment made me happy and in an odd way proud. YAY for French fries! So happy you went for it and ordered them! hehe

  4. Lisa 8 months ago

    If I could only grow three things ever again in my veggie garden it would be tomatoes, green beans, and peas. It is almost time to plant peas. They like cool weather. And, I would miss the chicken dance if it went away!😁
    When I was a kid, living on the farmette, my parents would go off to work in the summer and leave us kids home. We would each be assigned a row of the garden to weed before they got home. That was pretty much our only responsibility except not to kill each other. We hated weeding so much that about 10 minutes before they were supposed to be home, we kids would rush out to try and pick a respectable amount of weeds. Never happened. Lol! These days I consider weeding a form of meditation and enjoy it very much. Funny how that works. Of course, these days I love to eat most vegetables. In those halcyon days of youth, I pretty much stuck to just sweet corn and tomatoes. A seed and a fruit. Lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      I adore that story, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I think not killing each other would have been the biggest chore in that! lol I never had the experience of working in a garden so I’m still just an observer and admirer. Perhaps, my grandmother already knew I was clumsy and had attention problems. But I love that you rushed to pick all the weeds that you could. haha! That sounds very familiar to me!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 8 months ago

    Like Philippe, I grew up eating what the adults ate. As Italian-Americans, we had all kinds of vegetables, including my favorites, artichokes and asparagus. I never had a meal like the one you painted because my mom cooked from scratch, grocery shopped nearly every day, and served only the freshest produce. She had total disdain for what she called “American food”. As an adult, I realized how lucky I was.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Oh wow, Sharon! You were so lucky! 😃💕 hehe… I was a full on American mid-Western boy who had the usual fare. It’s wonderful to have the freshest ingredients. I have them now, of course, thanks to Philippe, but my childhood was definitely a bit different than what I have now! hehe

  6. LoriCtoo 8 months ago

    And guess where Pink Martini are from? Right here in Portland Oregon. But a true fan would know that. 🙂 I will admit, I’ve never gone to see them. Your lunch plate is spot on. I don’t ever recall being forced to eat vegetables when growing up. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      haha! I of course, knew that they were from Portland, since I’m indeed a true fan! 😃💕 Glad you liked the doodlewash. And you should totally go see Pink Martini when you get the chance!

  7. Laura Kate 8 months ago

    Why don’t you sketch a small plant growing from the cup of catsup? That would be so amusing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      haha! That’s an awesome idea! 😃💕 Thank you, Laura! I totally wish I would have thought of that now. 😊

  8. June Hadaway 8 months ago

    Love the fries. Sometimes you just have to have some. It’s the American way! Sounds like the concert was really nice. Glad you took the time to go and enjoy yourselves.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 hehe.. yes! I honestly couldn’t go without fries for any extended time. They are awesome!

  9. Mary Roff 8 months ago

    Love that little cup of red ketchup! Can you imagine a time without fast food restaurants everywhere? We didn’t “eat out” when I was a kid…it wasn’t until I was older that I got into the fast food thing. Took a long time to shake that bad habit and I still can’t resist a french fry if it comes my way…though i do try to be good…usually. :-).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Gotta love ketchup! And fries! So true… of all the fast foods I can live without, fries failed to make the list! lol

  10. itsmyhusbandandme 8 months ago

    I’m with your husband. Though I have to say my mother was a dreadful cook growing up. Mind you she did a mean “hash” – but no veg. Thankfully I married a Spanish chef!
    JP

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      haha! Love it, JP! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m not sad at all that I ended up marrying a French chef. I do love fries, but wow… there’s a world of wonderful food to be discovered!

  11. memadtwo 8 months ago

    This looks delicious! But of course now it’s only an occasional treat…(K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 Yeah, for me as well… darn it! I loved this plate as a kid!

  12. smzang 8 months ago

    Charlie says, “I’m always in for a good conga line”. … “A place where everyone can simply come together with glee and enjoy the moment together”

    For sure doodlewash accomplishes that. (as you hoped) I hadn’t thought much about conga lines, but it is true as you depict them. Music, dance, the arts…You have found the way to peace.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Yeah, I’m so crazy shy that conga lines at first seem impossible to me… but then I like the impossible, so I’m lured each and every time! It’s fun to let ourselves be in the moment without worrying about anything at all!

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