Picky eater. If you have kids of your own, or know someone who does, this term has probably come up in conversation at least once. And while it's true that children's eating habits can sometimes be exasperating, many adults I know are just as bad, if not worse. I'm not talking about people with allergies, or those who exclude from their diets certain classes of food (meat, dairy, shellfish) by choice, or for religious or health reasons. I'm talking about people who adamantly refuse to try new things, for no good reason at all.
Granted, lots of children - my own included - can be stubborn or inconsistent when it comes to eating, too. I try to combat this by adopting a strategy my own mom used: we ask our kids to try everything on their plate at least once. And by "try," I mean they have to eat at least one full bite. If they don't like it, they don't have to eat the rest. But they at least try it, and often they actually like it. Also, because I don't force things on them, they are more willing to try new and different foods.
We've all heard the saying, "life imitates art." But I think "life imitates cooking" is even more apropos.
It goes something like this: you have a recipe. A good recipe, one you've made over and over again. You know the ingredients, you know the steps, and you know if you follow the recipe, things will turn out just the way you hope. Just as you're expecting. Just like they always do.
Except we all know recipes don't always turn out the way we expect them to, even when we think we've done everything right. Sometimes we're forgetful and we leave out a key ingredient. We're distracted, we fail to pay attention, and we burn things. Sometimes, we're simply "off" and our cooking is off, as well. When it comes to cooking, things don't always go the way we expect them to.
Today, we're headed to Clarksburg here on Kitchen Travels. Clarksburg? Where are the recipes? The food photos? Well, the name of this blog is Kitchen Travels, after all. But not to worry, my fine foodie friends. We will return to our regularly scheduled recipe-centric programming momentarily. In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy this post about a little day trip we took to the wine country recently.*
No, not the wine country made famous by a certain indie film a few years back. (That one is much too far from us for a day trip.) And no, not either of the other two vineyard-filled valleys you probably have in mind (although both are wonderful in their own right, and a fairly easy day trip from our town, as well). The wine country I'm talking about is a miniature, less "Hollywood" version of California's more celebrated wine country areas.