As I ponder what to create for a menu for the upcoming week in the cafe, I can’t help but realize that no matter how I serve certain foods, there is no convincing one against their own will. Take the beet for instance. So good for you, lots of fiber, lends itself well to cold and or hot dishes, offers a beautiful array of purples and pinks and compliments many vegetarian and meat dishes. To some, however, it still tastes like dirt. I have successfully fooled those beet haters by serving up a very dark chocolate cake made with, you guessed it, beets. Topped with enough frosting and or whip cream, one would never know the difference.
Growing up as a child, I had two foods that had the same effect on me as beets do with some. Fresh peas and Boudin Noir (blood sausage). Unfortunately, in my household, you ate what was served and or had it cold for the next meal. My dislike for both was simply based on a bad memory, time of year and or occasion. As most know, peas are usually ready around the fourth of July, which, is also typically the warmest part of the summer. We would all go out and pick bushels of peas early in the morning, sit on the front porch and shuck them in time for lunch. Lunch was a traditional milk-based hot pea soup. Apparently one of my Dads favorite dishes. Seriously, no wonder I hated peas. I remember thinking who eats scalding, milk based soup full of floating whole peas in the middle of the summer? We did. Might I also add, that our portions were served up for us. It also wasn’t one of those foods that you could slip under the table for the dog to eat either. Spoon by spoon, pea by pea swallowed whole until the bowl was empty.
Boudin Noir was the second—seasonally produced in the fall when it was time to slaughter our pig. The blood was gathered, onions were sauteed, fat was added and the whole thing was cooked in a casserole dish to the consistency of a quiche. Did I mention we had to eat what was put before us? Anyhow, all I can say, is thank GOD for ketchup, and like the pea soup, one spoon at a time, swallowing each bite whole until it was all gone; cold boudin noir is even more unappealing to eat for dinner.
Today, however, I love peas. I don’t, however, eat them in pea soup in July. Rather, eaten fresh in salads and or steamed in the winter; topped with fresh butter. The boudin noir, due to not having access to a butcher shop for fresh ingredients, has not made it to my table since my childhood, and that’s ok.
Memories are powerful things, but we can’t let them determine our love or hate for something simply based on one experience. Stay tuned in to our posts this week as we look to prepare dishes not only with beets but cabbage, spaghetti squash and whatever else jumps out at me when I am in the root cellar.
Dare to give your hated food a second chance by preparing it in a different way and let’s all ponder the idea of eating more locally.