I wanted a little more adventure in my life. Since world travel is out, I thought I could use my cooking talents to add a little excitement to my daily existence. Wrong.
My family says I'm a good cook. I have no reason to think they're lying. They've been exposed to "outside" food, so it isn't that they have nothing for comparison. Yes, they could lie to prevent me from screaming, "Well, if I'm such a bad cook I just won't do it anymore!". But think about it--if they hated my cooking, wouldn't they want me to stop? So yes, I have some degree of talent in the kitchen.
Why, then, won't they branch out a little and eat something besides tacos and spaghetti?
No matter what's on the menu, there is at least one out of three who won't eat something. And I'm not talking about toddlers. The youngest is in middle school and the oldest is...well, supposedly a grown man. And I have a chef's knife. A chef's knife! By definition, that should mean I'm a chef. Every chef I've ever seen gets to spread his wings and fly. I'm still perched in my nest watching the world pass me by. (That sounds like the beginnings of a great poem. I think I'll work on that later.)
We were walking through Costco after church this week at sample time. (You know, mid-day when the store is packed with people looking for a free meal, one tiny paper cupful at a time.) I usually try to avoid sample time because I hate crowds, especially those that knock over small children to get that one last mini cup of ravioli. But it was necessary this week, and I'll admit I partook of a few offerings myself. But what really got my goat was when my granddaugher and my picky husband both tried pretty much everything that was offered! My husband actually came to tell me how good the hummus was. Hummus! I can't tell you how many partially-eaten containers of that very hummus I've thrown out because I'm the only person in the house who eats the stuff, and after a couple of weeks straight of trying to finish it by myself, even I get tired of eating it. And don't get me started on the spring rolls...
Well, I decided after watching the two of them scarf down a variety of semi-exotic foods (by their standards, at least), I would once again try to expand their horizons by getting them to try something new at home. I decided to start with corn relish.
I've made corn relish (or salsa, or salad--call it whatever you want if it will get someone in my house to taste it) several times in the past and couldn't get anyone to try just one little bite. Yesterday I decided to make crab cakes for dinner. Ever since the first time I had crab cakes and corn relish in a restaurant (I have to eat out just to get a satisfying meal), I've been trying to perfect my own version (since I can't eat out every day). I even decided to sort-of follow a recipe, figuring my family would be more willing to try it if they knew it was a socially-acceptable dish and not just something I made up.
Nobody even tried it.
What is the harm in tasting a new food? Even I don't like everything. But I'll try anything once (unless its primary ingredient is an insect). I'm not a big fan of barbequed chicken. But I fix it for my family once in a while and I eat it. I'm not particularly fond of pulled pork sandwiches. But a few times a year I'll buy a pork roast and go through the painstaking process of cooking and shredding it. And I eat it.
Tonight we had hot dogs.