Corned Beef Hash
I’ve avoided corned beef hash for over thirty years. I can’t erase the taste from my mind. The cold, slimy, mashed-up, pseudo-meat slop squishes around in your mouth like a paste. It slithers down your throat because you don’t have the heart to fully chew the vomit-like goop. The aftermath of potato and animal parts linger on your tongue.
Our power was turned off many times during my childhood. In our involuntary darkness, we were forced to eat out of cans. My mother would pry open some corned beef hash and hand it to me.
“Here, have some dinner,” she said as she wiped away her tears.
I never complained about it. I could see she was swallowing her pride while I tried to control my gag reflex. We both did our best to shield each other from our sadness.
My husband says it’s irrational to avoid the entire soup aisle because of one item. “It’s
not your childhood. It’s just mashed up meat.”
I know he’s right.
Maybe one day, I’ll test it out in the safety of my own home. Maybe I’ll fry it and place a sunny egg on top.
But not today.
About the Author: Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer's Digest's Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in both the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines. Some of Yong’s stories can be found here.