My grandpa was always trying to get me to eat nasty stuff when I was a kid. Sometimes it was an intentional trick, sometimes he actually thought what he was offering me was good food. 

Hanging around him there was a risk of being fed —and not just in the kitchen. In the truck he’d offer a bite of his liverwurst sandwich. On a walk through the woods he’d pass you a handful of berries just plucked off a chokecherry tree. 

He was always jutting out his hand with something dangerous in it: wasabi coated nuts, horseradish and every Christmas: pickled herring. 

It wasn’t an option to say no, but we did always have the option to put it on a cracker. 

As a kid I hated herring —especially those big, globby white onions that came with it. But tastes change. Today, I crave it as a special treat around this time of year (and the onions are the best part). No cracker needed. 

I appreciate the people, like my grandpa, who are willing to push us out of our comfort zones in pursuit of new experiences and new knowledge. If it ends up not being your cup of tea, there’s no shame in having a cracker with it. 

Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times. She can be contacted at or by calling 320-225-5128. 


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