My husband vehemently claims he is most certainly NOT a picky eater.
And while he does put up with a lot of food experimentation on my part, when I start listing the foods he won’t eat, at times I beg to differ. We can vote at the end of the post, m’kay?
He won’t eat cucumbers, much to my children’s horror, since they all love them so much. I think they ask him at least once a week, “Daddy, would you like a cucumber? No? What? Why not?”
The rest of the “I don’t eat it” list includes any mushy orange vegetable, including sweet potatoes, squash, and anything made with such items that resembles pumpkin pie in consistency (he’ll even pick out the little cubes of sweet potato in this Southwestern Pot Pie with beans and cornbread and tons of other ingredients in there), cream cheese/yogurt cheese creations, all fish, most pork not in sausage or bacon form, any fruit with meat, greens that are too obvious or prolific, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, curry, ginger, and probably a few other items I’m forgetting.
The good news is that he’s coming around on a number of things. He didn’t used to like bell peppers, for example (for that matter, neither did I!). In fact, the instructions from his mother that I received as a newlywed about how to make his favorite meal, pepper steak, included this note: “Just slice about a half a pepper and put it in for color, but he won’t eat it.”
Now I put in two whole peppers, and my husband has convinced all his friends that fried peppers are the best things since a hot dog bun to go on top of bratwursts when they’re camping. I’m proud of him for bringing vegetables into a formerly white-bread-and-cured-meat-only weekend! (More work to do on the bratwurst and white buns, of course, but you celebrate the little victories.)
Curry and ginger, thankfully, have also seen improvement. I’m a bit of a feisty cook, and even though I knew he didn’t like it, I would sneak curry into our stir fry sometimes. A few years ago he might complain, and then he started to happily eat it without a word.
Then I went whole hog and made a curry slow cooker recipe from Keep Crockin’, the newest eBook from Stacy Makes Cents. He loved it! I slyly said, “Do you want to know the name of the dish?”
Eyebrows hit the ceiling when I used “curry” in the title. So I felt confident that I could push the envelope on ginger, too, while preparing for the Ginger Challenge Series this month.
I jumped in with both feet and made a slow cooker ginger beef stew to rave reviews, and he even sniffed and tasted my ginger tea, passing his approval before I told him what it was.
If you have someone in your life who doesn’t like certain foods, take courage! Have hope! It turns out that fresh ginger is a different experience that dried ginger, and also that tastebuds change over time, both because people get older and because you can train your palate to accept new flavors bit by bit.
Keep trying things you or your sort-of-picky loved ones don’t like, and try to incorporate little bits into larger dishes to get your tastebuds used to them. Another real food success story in our family is yogurt – I hated yogurt my entire life, and now I make a gallon+ of homemade yogurt each week and crave it, enjoying it plain without sweetener most days. I never expected that of myself!
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