and call the tune. I was raised to eat whatever was served, provided that it wasn’t dangerous to my health. Meaning, accept it with grace. I may refuse second helpings. What I may not do is behave like a petulant, little biatch and make my host/hostess feel as though I am ungrateful for the hospitality. If I turn my nose up without even trying a teaspoonful and go so far as to encourage someone else at the table to behave in the same way, my meal would be taken away, disposed of it, and provided with no alternative.
Basically, I was forced to eat what I didn’t like and not allowed to say I don’t like it because it is rude or like a slap in the face. Geez, I really did not want to go home and had no say in what was being cooked–then had to eat it because otherwise I was rude and insulting to the cook, my mom. Isn’t it rude to serve people things they don’t like to eat just because I the cook like it and take people not eating it as a form of civil disobedience?
My parents were very controlling and trained me to eat what I didn’t like. Why? Because we are a family and a family should cater to all members, not just me. Now, I am the parent. I don’t dictate what my children should eat. It’s about having the breadth of vision to try something new, something different, and learning more about what it is I like about the food I eat and about showing respect to the person who provided my meal. Respect is not gained by putting your foot down and calling the tune; rather, it’s gained by serving a variety of foods that the whole family likes.
The inner me also thinks: Wouldn’t it be a little dull if we eat the same meals everyday? Are we lucky that we may try recipes for meals from all over the world, regardless of whether or not we are carnivores, vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, or lactose-intolerant…how else do you extend your repetoire?
I have half a life of watching grownups throw plates of food across dining rooms without tasting it, of insisting they had the same types of meals every single day, of watching them spitting food out at the table, insulting, verbally abusing the cook, just because she made one little change to a meal. I have watched grownups who love their partners, hate the whole process of providing them with a meal, who give up exploring food…it’s almost soul destroying, don’t you think?
I have known a friend who walked out on a relationship where the person she thought she loved, tried to take away her love of cooking and replace it with just another chore, like cleaning the floor. She may as well have been cleaning the toilet.
I have gone to all effort of putting something new on a plate that I felt my beloved children and hubby might enjoy. It is amazing how my early life eating habit influences how I react to food issues now. Thank goodness I do have a kitchen and food to cook instead of fighting about what is cooked, if I like it, etc. Some folks have much less than I do. I am very lucky and must remember to give thanks every day. Here is my 10-year-old boy making his first brownies, following my signature recipe
He’s the family hero and his sisters got mid-afternoon sugar high. The crowd-pleasing recipe below. The batter does get thick and difficult to work for some. But, do NOT use an electric mixer. Brownies are always better using a hand-mixer (or a whisk.) The crispy-outside/chewy/moist-inside results is worth every bit of the hard work. Just ask my boy!
1 1/2 C All-purpose Flour
3/4 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 t Salt
2 1/2 C White Sugar
2 Sticks (8 ounces) of Unsalted Butter, melted
1 T Vanilla Extract
1C Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Melt butter. 3. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside. 4. Pour sugar and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. 5. Add small quantity of flour mixture into wet ingredient (Step 4.) Mix well with a whisk until all lumps are gone. 6. Repeat Step 5 until dry ingredients are all in. 7. Stir in chocolate chips.
8. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and pour batter in. Bake in preheated oven for an hour. I find baking/cooking takes longer here in the high desert than in Northern California. So, be sure to check your batter around 50 minutes into baking for adjustment. Do NOT over bake the brownies and keep in mind they’ll still be cooking while cooling. Once completely cool, cut into desired bit sizes. It makes 24 average-size servings.