8. Eat a New Food

I'll eat just about anything once, and most things twice or more. It's true. I don't think I was always this way. I seem to remember dramatically gagging every time my mom put butternut squash in front of me as a kid. My mom kept trying though. She was always a very good cook and appreciated different flavors, she taught us to be adventurous when it came to food. When I started dating Matt, we had a little problem. Matt only ate steak and potatoes. He counted Caesar salad (drenched in dressing, as if to say, "would you like a little salad with your dressing?") a vegetable - and it was his only "vegetable". I call this a little problem because while I believe that one's food choices are very personal, if I was to be sharing meals on a regular basis with this man, we were going to need to figure out how to get him to branch out, because steak, potatoes, and Caesar just don't cut the mustard for me (so to speak). One day I introduced him to asparagus, and it was like he was visiting a whole new world. I am thankful that in the early stages of our relationship, he took some chances, and those chances opened doors to even more chances. Such that the two of us now find great joy in trying new foods. For some people, going to movies is a hobby, or playing a sport together, or doing home improvements, our hobby is enjoying great food together. Made that much more fun when we can share community with dear friends over good food. It really is one of our lives greatest joys.

We play matchmaker with our friends and our favorite restaurants. We have lists of restaurants that we'd like to take different friends too. When Matt and I try a new restaurant, part of our mealtime conversation is about which of our friends would enjoy the experience at that particular restaurant. To us, the restaurant experience is about more than the food, it is about the energy of the room, the scope of the menu, the concept of the chef, and we want to share that with the people we care about who we think would appreciate it. Some of our best dining friends are Clint and Lisa. We have a long list of restaurants to visit with Clint and Lisa. We have even eaten out in the middle of a grazing field together at an event where local chefs prepared a twilight meal on a farm. A true celebration of the farm to table movement. (By the way, if this sounds like something you might be interested in, I am excited to tell you that Scott Pampuch of Corner Table in South Minneapolis is organizing this type of meal four times this summer - it's called Tour de Farm, and you can bet I'll be at at least one of these events.) Naturally, Clint and Lisa would be part of the team that would help me find that thing I had never tried before.

This was almost the more difficult part of the challenge, finding something I had never eaten before. I did have one rule, it had to taste good, or at least be presented in a way that would have me believe that it was good. I watch Bizarre Foods from time to time, and I gag at some of the things that Andrew Zimmern gnaws on. He has to be an amazing actor in my book, to pretend that bugs really taste that good. I also wonder what kind of damage he has done to his intestinal tract. I am not willing to make such sacrifices. I would prefer not to be scarred for life by this experience, thank you very much.

Clint, Lisa, Matt, and I had plans for one of our dinner dates at a restaurant selected by Clint and Lisa. The restaurant is called Saffron and is located in Downtown Minneapolis. They have lamb brains on the menu. They don't even call them something fancy, the menu just calls it what it is, "lamb brain." As soon as I saw that, I knew I had met my match. Everyone was on board to try the brains, so I had my ever important posse.

Here's the deal with Saffron's Lamb Brains, they are fried. I was relieved. I will definitely eat anything if it's fried! I will spare you the details of the taste of the brains, I will only tell you that they weren't what I expected, and I didn't think they were gross. In fact, my posse and I were all members of the clean plate club. (I should also tell you that all of the food at Saffron is FABULOUS, especially the gnocchi.)

This experience really re-invigorated that piece of me that sought out new food experiences. I think I am sort of in another rut. A different kind of rut. You see, I love all types of food. I love complex food with many different flavor combinations, and simple food with just the basic ingredients. I love a couple of crazy things like foie gras and roe, and I love completely normal things like a really good jucy lucy (yes, that's how they spell it at Matt's - the REAL home of the jucy) and french fries. However, I have sort of stopped paying attention to things I have never tried before. Food is still exciting to me, but as adventurous as I am, I have lost the true sense of adventure.

You may not relate to the food portion of this particular blog, many people don't, but perhaps there is something in your life that you can substitute here. This feeling, this "stuck in a rut" feeling is the exact reason I started this blog. To actively rediscover what it's like to just try new things, and the best part: To celebrate the accomplishment of TRYING. It's really about stretching yourself beyond your comfortable edges. In yoga, one of my instructors says, "the pose begins at the moment you want to get out of it." I love this thought, the idea that once you think you've gotten the job done, there's so much more to do, and that is only the beginning. Think about where you're stuck. I'd love to hear from some of you about challenges you've met, or the places you think you might be stuck. Please email me at colleen@lifecelebrationcoach.com!

Next week, essential for this economy - I am going to not spend a penny (beyond the necessary expense of gas and bills). You may notice that I didn't include food as a necessary expense. I believe that I have enough food in our pantry and freezer to make it through the week. I am going to test this theory. Target is really going to miss me.

1 comment:

  1. Great writing, Colleen! Thanks for sharing! You write fabulously. I always feel like I am right there with you.


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