There’s a rule I would imagine every parent has said – try one bite. When my kids were very young they ate everything. Somewhere along the line their little personalities kicked in and suddenly my borderline vegetarian son decided he didn’t like carrots. My daughter developed an aversion to grilled cheese and they both stopped eating bread “with seeds”.
For those of you who don’t know me, I cook for a living and I’m lucky enough to feed many of you every day. I love when you come in out of the cold and are torn between which soup you’re going to order for lunch – but what I don’t love are the times my own children leave their thermos of soup untouched. “I think it seemed like it might be too spicy,” was a recent comment from my daughter about a Chicken and Vegetable soup I gave her. “It was a soup I never tried before so I wasn’t sure I’d like it.”
“H, you need to try new things,” I explained to her. “The soup I gave you had your favourite vegetables. I absolutely KNOW you would have loved it.”
“Well Mom,” she replied, “When was the last time YOU tried something new?”
Long pause. Thinking… “I try new things all the time,” was what I WANTED to say but the truth was, it has been inordinately busy at our house the last while and I’ve actually been bringing home food I make for customers at the shop. “You’re right,” I replied instead. “Mom promises to try something new this week but you have to eat it too.”
We shook hands (and then pinkie swore) and I started looking through the pantry/fridge for inspiration. That night, I made Pomegranate Honey Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables including Golden Beets I’d seen that day. Both kids ate everything (except red onions). I added it to the Dish To Go menu the next day – I figured if my newly picky eaters liked it, my customers would too!
My next Try Something New night might not result in such success – but that’s okay! I used to always joke in my cooking classes that the worst thing that could happen if you made something horrible was that you’d have to wait an extra 20 minutes for the pizza delivery guy to arrive – but in all the years I’ve been cooking it hasn’t happened yet.