As I mentioned last week, I'm a sucker for advice columns, and Slate's Emily Yoffe, as "Dear Prudence", writes a great one. She also does a weekly v-cast addressing one reader's question. This week, it's on food.
It's the food snob vs. her Philistine boyfriend. She dresses everything in fennel shavings, he prefers mac and cheese (and not the fancy kind, I'm guessing, but the kind that comes in a blue box). What to do?
The short answer that Prudence gives is that they either respect each others' choices and preferences, or they break up.
Fortunately, I don't have this problem, as Cooper will willingly try pretty much whatever I put in front of him, and we both like the fancy and the Kraft. But I have been thinking about something along the same lines.
Of our close friends, the ones I most often cook for, we have a couple of picky eaters. Well, that might not be the right description. They just each have their quirks. No fruit in salads (that's Cooper and my sister, in addition to other friends), no fruit desserts, no onions, nothing that is both white and creamy, no eggs, etc.
These are our good friends and we've eaten with them tons and tons of times, both at our homes and out. It's not like we asked them over once and they listed their meal requirements before accepting the invitation. I know their likes and dislikes because, well, I know them.
But what it does mean is that when I cook them dinner, I do it within a framework that'll make them happy (mostly - I always forget about the "no fruit dessert" thing).
I won't lie: occasionally I wish I could just cook whatever would make me happy and serve that, no matter how fancy or how much fruit I combine with lettuce (I am, btw, a HUGE fan of fruit in salads). But really, I think the constraints force me to work more creatively. What's fun about having no limits at all?
Plus, meals were meant to be shared, not observed.
P.S. As a totally unrelated aside, Cooper and Seth (my sister-in-law's boyfriend) installed our countertops last night. They're granite, almost solid black, with just little flecks of white. Apparently very heavy. And they look amazing.