There is an annoying trend happening in my household. I cook and no one eats. Sound familiar to anyone?
Every Sunday, I meal plan and order my groceries online. Each week, like clockwork, I’ll ask the same question – what would you like to eat this week? The response from each member of the family never changes – I don’t know, whatever!
So each week, I waste brain cells coming up with exciting new dishes coupled with a few solid favourites for dinner. Honestly, I don’t know why I bother with trying to expand their palates! The results are always the same.
“I don’t like this!”
“It smells yuck!”
“It looks yuck”
“I can’t eat this!”
Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? I must be insane.
The worst part is having to eat leftovers for days on end because I don’t want to throw out good food and waste money.
You’re probably wondering if maybe my cooking isn’t up to par and that’s why people are refusing to eat it, right?
Well, let me assure you that I’m a decent cook. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I’d be in the running to win Masterchef… Junior, that is. As in, if I was competing against a bunch of talented 10-year-olds, I’d totally be in with a chance 😜
Sure, there are people who would spit their coffee reading my bold declaration. For instance, my brother would bitterly disagree and claim that eating my food gives him the sh&ts, literally. My mum would roll her eyes and tell me my food is as bland as baby mush. My children and husband might balk and tell you my meals are never the same and too “experimental.”
But maybe the problem isn’t my abilities or my creations. Maybe the problem lies with everyone else?
I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. Just a few days ago, I made a lemon meringue pie for the first time ever. My husband suggested I make use of the surplus of lemons given to us. Obviously everyone knows baking is an exact science and can’t be replicated without a recipe, so I found a highly rated recipe online and channelled my inner Nigella.
This is what it looked like. Pretty damn good if you ask me.
After making this beautiful creation, my husband told me he didn’t like lemon meringue pie. My 9-year-old daughter told me it tasted terrible, and my 4-year-old son stated he was allergic. I think he meant he was allergic to my food in general.
I offered some to my brother, but he texted “The pie looks mad [but] nah, I’m good. Too risky with diarrhoea.” My friends weren’t too keen to take any, stating diets and what not.
So what do you do when no one wants to taste test your food? You try it yourself. And guess what? I got diarrhoea. My brother was right to steer clear of my food.
While the pie looked amazing, its beauty was only skin deep. The shortcrust pastry was undercooked, the meringue tasted strange and the lemon curd was playing slippery buggers between the layers. I did a rush job and took the pie out too soon, fearing the meringue would burn.
But in my defence, maybe the lemon meringue pie disaster was a once-off anomaly. Just a bad day in the kitchen is all. After all, even Gordon Ramsay experiences bloopers and cooking fails.
Last night, I made a beef massaman curry from scratch. No bottle stuff, no siree! I used kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon sticks and even tamarind paste. You know, like authentic Thai ingredients.
This is what it looked like. Smelled as good as it looked, my friends!
Anyway, the husband asked if I used lemongrass or kaffir limes, claiming the taste was overpowering. The 4-year-old claimed “grass limes” weren’t for him and refused to even try it. The 9-year-old asked if she had to eat it all to get dessert. It felt like another bust.
The husband tried to placate me saying that I should lower my expectations and not strive for perfection all the time. He suggested that I should view cooking as a journey to be explored and to think of these mishaps as a learning and practice experience.
He wasn’t trying to sound condescending or critical, but after slaving in the kitchen for a few hours, I wanted to shove my boot up his clacker!
From where I stand (…in the kitchen), there can only be two solutions to this problem. One – be a stubborn mule and continue in hopes something will change. Two – accept that I’m no Gordon or Nigella, and I might be better choosing dishes to suit the palates of my family members. However unrefined those palates may seem.
Which one do you think I should choose?
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