Lately my kids have been making fun of my adventurous attitude towards food. Grace's friends found out that I once made black bean brownies so they are suspicious of anything I make. God forbid they find out about the pinto bean cake. (For the record, the black bean brownies weren't bad and I really don't think anyone would have noticed that something wasn't quite the same. The same goes for the pinto bean cake but I admit they weren't added to my recipe collection.) My sister joined in the fun this past weekend and I threatened to make an entire dinner using black beans, even a martini.
I was proud that Cameron's best friend actually ate hamburgers with us yesterday. Unfortunately, Cameron has a knack for inviting friends for dinner when I am trying a new recipe, some of which are royal failures. My kids are used to my cooking and don't hesitate to try new foods. They've eaten escargot at a fancy French restaurant and found that cooked properly, even snails are good.
However, my kids also know that innocent, familiar looking foods aren't always what they seem. We were on vacation in the Florida Keys and decided to take a picnic lunch while exploring a wildlife area. We stopped at a nice grocery store with a deli and got some cheese, crackers and drinks. I found some tiny bananas I thought would be fun to eat and got a big bunch. We were all hungry before we got to the picnic area so the kids got out the bananas and passed them around. One bite and it was like all the moisture in our mouths instantly dried up. These tiny, horrid banana imposters were nothing like the bananas we had at home. We were still driving down the road in a rental car and now everyone was looking for a place to spit out bananas. Much later I found out that particular kind of banana must turn brown before it is ripe enough to eat; yellow just won't do.
Then there was the time I was eating breakfast in a nice hotel in Washington, D.C. with my mother-in-law when Cameron spewed milk all over the table. He was only four but you don't want your kids misbehaving in front your mother-in-law, lest she think you are incapable of raising anything but brats. I quickly got onto him but he protested that the milk was bad. "Oh, it is not." I replied crossly and grabbed the milk and tasted it. OH but it was bad; it was sour and I nearly gagged. Sometimes, you should believe your children.
I hope I haven't planted the idea that everything we eat is terribly strange; most of it is quite normal and familiar. I do hope that I inspire you to have your own adventures in eating from time to time and that you enjoy most of it. I think my family would say they have had fun. Mostly that is.