One of the things that I’m most proud about with Felt Like a Foodie is that I “try” to stay positive in the things I write about. (With the exception of teasing my hubby, in-laws and people in pajama pants.)
But recently there is something that is really getting my undies in a bunch. I feel a bit hypocritical bringing this topic up since I have been guilty of the same crime. I like to think that my radical change gives me a little more room to call people out on what I now find one of the most irritating things I hear people say…. “I won’t eat…..”
I was the queen of all picky eaters as a child. (I guess maybe I was a princess more than a queen.) I was the kid who would go to a restaurant and only order a burger and fries. It didn’t matter if it was a Mexican place or a fish house. I wanted my burger.
The pleas of my parents to taste something new fell on deaf ears and I would order the same thing over and over. At home, the luxury of being picky was not as easy. We did not live in an era where parents would make you a separate meal if you didn’t like what was on the table. I ate what was in front of me….sort of.
When it got to the point of dinner being over and I still didn’t eat my beans, the counting started. Three more bites. Two more bites. One more bite that was stuffed in my cheeks as tears went down my cheeks.
Usually by the time I finished my meal, my mom would be cleaning up, Dad would be on the chair in the other room and my sisters were off doing homework. If I were lucky our dog, Sunshine, would hang out near me with the hope that I would “accidently” drop one of those last bites.
So when I say I understand the plight of the picky eater, I’m not kidding. I get it. What I don’t understand is being picky as an adult? I just don’t understand the inability to open your mind to new things. What is the worst thing that is going to happen if you don’t like how something tastes? You can spit it out. Ta-dah.
Don’t you think it is time to put on your big boy/girl undies and keep trying? Think about it, your tastes change as you get older. Do you have the same favorite color as you did when you were five? I doubt it. Do you wear the same clothes? Probably not. (Well, I kind of do because I still shop in the kid’s department.)
How about the type of person you are attracted to now compared to your “desires” as a younger person? Do you still want someone who has that adorable baby face of Shaun Cassidy or have your tastes matured into George Clooney? (I was going to ask my male readers if they still get a “smile” when they see the iconic Farah Fawcett swimsuit poster but that may be the exception to the rule.)
We change and change is good. It goes for all things in our life why shouldn’t it apply to food. So here is my challenge. Try something new when you go out. Everyone prepares food differently. Maybe this will be the time you love tomatoes, fish or cantaloupe. (I don’t recommend a meal with all three of those together because that would make ME picky!)
If completing this challenge when you are out is too scary, do it at home. Find some of your favorite flavors or ingredients and add that one thing you don’t like. You don’t have to add a ton, take baby steps. Just a little. Hmmm, not too bad.
Maybe next time, you can add a little more. Maybe you’ve been missing out on something fantastic and you just didn’t realize it because you still were sporting your Underoos. (Underoos were the big thing in the late 70’s. They were underwear that was fun to wear!)
My biggest hurdle has been vegetables. I was not a fan as youngster, teenager or young adult. I just gave up on them. Everything from their textures, smells and colors turned me off.
After I got married, I took some cooking lessons and started to learn how to taste my food. I would taste things raw. I would then steam things or roast them. Maybe I’d toss them in a sauté pan or shred them up. These methods helped me learn the way to make vegetables a bigger part of my diet….and I enjoyed it.
I did learn that I still really don’t like them steamed but I will eat just about anything roasted. I’m not a fan of veggies in a crockpot but toss them in a sauté pan and I’ll lick my plate. (I may lick your plate too when I’m cleaning up the kitchen.)
One of my new favorite veggies is cauliflower. The recipe that Bon Appetit printed on roasted cauliflower has become a regular side dish in our house. After I learned to enjoy the nuances that cauliflower had to offer, I really thought I would like it in every recipe. WRONG!
I was at a gathering and was served mashed cauliflower. I was so excited until I tasted it. It was literally boiled cauliflower with some cream and butter. To say I was devastated would be a little dramatic but I did have PTSD moment where I felt like a little kid again. I shoved it around my plate, put some in a napkin and dropped some in the grate behind my chair. (No, I didn’t really do all of that, the napkins were cloth and they would have found out.)
So the other night I was making some steak for dinner and wanted a mash to go with it. I was going to grab some spuds and go for a good ol’ standard but instead I pulled out the cauliflower and gave it another go.
My thought was that I love the flavor roasted so why don’t I roast it and then give it a good mash up. With a little bit of fear, I ate a bite. Well, all right. The texture is little chunky but the flavor was out of sight! It paired greatly with our meal and I was happy at my new discovery.
So commemorate this leap day, next time you have something new cross your table, take a leap of faith and give it a go. You won’t regret it and wouldn’t it be nice to wear some big kid undies?
- 12 ounces of cauliflower florets (which is equal to about a head of cauliflower)
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 Tbsp Bleu cheese
- 2 Tbsp cream
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped chives
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Oven 425.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss cauliflower and thyme (on the stem) with olive oil.
- Roast 30-40 minutes, until brownish and tender.
- Give them an occasional toss.
- In another large bowl, add cheese, cream, butter and chives.
- Add the hot cauliflower.
- Pull thyme off their stem and add to the bowl.
- Now do the mash with a potato masher, fork or an immersion blender until you reach the desired consistency. You may need to add a smidge more cream.
- Taste for seasoning.