Food and Phases

I tend to think of myself as omnivorous. I’ll eat (or at least try) just about anything. About the only things I won’t deliberately eat are yogurt and cheesecake. I’ve disliked yogurt since I was a young child and tried some plain yogurt. The awful memory of that has stuck with me and is too firmly ingrained in my tastes to warrant a retry. My kids find this amusing since I usually will try anything. “You’ll like it if you try it today?” they say. “I bet you’d like it if you didn’t know it was yogurt,” they say.

Well, a few weeks ago we had a salad and poured on the dressing that came with the salad, and took a bite. Something about the dressing didn’t taste right to me and my brain immediately flashed YOGURT! YOGURT! YOGURT! “I don’t about this dressing,” I said. “It reminds me of yogurt.” Kelly looked at the packaging. It turned out it was a yogurt-based dressing of some kind. This impressed my kids.

Cheesecake is another matter. I’m not sure why exactly I dislike it. I think it is just too rich for me. But that’s okay. Setting aside cheesecake and yogurt, pretty much everything else is on the table. Indeed, I like to try new things, despite being a creature of habit. The latter means I don’t try new things as often as I should, but I make enough decisions during the day and for meals at least, I try to keep decisions to a minimum.

One thing that bothers me at a restaurant is how granular the servers can get when I order my food: “Cheeseburger,” I’ll say. Then comes the flood of questions: how would you like that cooked? What kind of cheese? Onions? Pickles? Bacon? What kind of side would you like with that? Fries, you say? Regular or sweet potato? I’ve taken to revising my order as follows: “Cheeseburger, medium rare, with everything.” Enough questions.

I get into these phases with breakfasts and lunches. I’ll go for a few months eating the same breakfast and lunch day-in and day-out. Over the winter it was Stofer’s lasagnas for lunch. This spring it has been a turkey, bologna, and cheese sandwich. Sometimes, it is peanut butter and jelly, day after day after day. I don’t mind. It is one less decision to make each day.

Dinner is where I tend to branch out, especially if we go out to eat (there hasn’t been much of that over the last year, but I’m hopeful now that we are fully vaccinated). I like all kinds of meats. I’m particularly fond of lamb and duck. The Little Man has taken to duck, but Kelly shudders at the thought of either. If there is something unusual on the menu, I’m usually willing to try it. On a date night a few weeks back we had an appetizer that included charred cauliflower that was outstanding. I remember an appetizer of buffalo octopus a few years back at bar in Santa Monica that was also outstanding.

I like Caesar salads with anchovies. Servers never believe me the first time I ask for the anchovies. (I also like anchovies on pizza, but rarely order it because no one else eats it.) I’ve had my share of unusual foods as well, from turkey nuts to durian fruit (in the parking lot of a hotel at a science fiction convention).

Writing about food right before lunch has made me hungry for something other than my usual turkey, bologna, and cheese sandwich. Alas, I’m tired today and don’t feel like making a decision about what to eat. I think there might be some leftovers in the fridge. Maybe I’ll just eat that.


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