A little bit of R&R

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My little brother is a ridiculously picky eater (now an adult, he blames it on his “problematic” digestion).

But growing up, he was so fussy about his eats, my mom basically made two meals every night — one for the rest of the family, and one for him. Somehow his always contained French fries and either buttered, canned corn, or broccoli with so much cheese sauce the broccoli was impossible to identify.

Early on, I decided that if I had kids, they would what I cooked, or it would be PBJ, made by them.

Lucky for me, The Kid (who just turned 30, BTW) really isn’t a very picky eater.

Even as a little Kid, food was an adventure to take on, not an adversary to be avoided. My new food motto was, “What if this could be your new favorite food and you’d never know because you refused to give it a try?” When the child was 5, he wanted to try sushi. It wasn’t a hit then, but six months later it was and has been a life-long fave.

There were other dishes that were more of an acquired taste.

Duck? Forget it. Gramma didn’t like it, so no way.

Until The Kid actually tasted it. Then instead of two expensive duck breasts for a meal, I had to start buying three.

Asparagus? First it was “eww!” Then my child volunteered to eat it as long as they could eat only the very tips. This time I said, “no way.” That delicious spring veg was too expensive to throw away the entire stalk save for the final inch and a half. And Petey and I didn’t think eating The Kid’s scraps was a good precedent to set (although isn’t that really what a lot of parenting is?).

Eventually the entire stalk was eaten and enjoyed.

Avocados were another “eww” food that ended up becoming a favorite. Yup, The Kid is a millennial who loves avocado toast (so’s mom, for that matter).

But the big NO was cabbage, or anything resembling cabbage.

Sauerkraut and coleslaw were an abomination. I honestly don’t remember the child ever actually trying it, I think it smelled and looked funny and Daddy wasn’t a fan.

But eventually the curiosity won out over cruciferous discomfort. Coleslaw was eaten with relish (enjoyment, not chopped sweet pickles).

Sauerkraut is now enjoyed on the world’s greatest hot dogs; the German Shepherd from Durham’s Dog House eateries.

Along with another former feared and loathed ingredient, corned beef, the Reuben sandwich entered the culinary pantheon of The Kid’s most loved foods. The Reuben is a crazy combination of ingredients that should not only never work, but never be eaten in the same week without serious risk to one’s physical and mental health. But this treat is the perfect example of gestalt, that wonderful German concept which is that whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Today for The Kid’s birthday dinner, we planned on having Reubens, and of course, potato salad.

But my parents aren’t huge fans, and my friend Darby isn’t a fan of, as she says, “eating cows”.

So, we made grilled sandwiches for everyone.

The Kid and I enjoyed Reubens, my folks had patty melts, and for Darby, we made a Rachel. She’d never even heard of a Rachel, but she loved it.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

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