I’ve always loved to cook. Since I was a little kid, family members have complimented me on my simple, but enthusiastic, kitchen skills. It was a common joke that I would easily “catch” a husband because I could cook. When I was pregnant, friends wished the babies would be boys, so I would have those legendary appetites to feed.
Reality was a complete surprise.
My husband is a Korean gentleman who has been adjusting to American food. It isn’t easy for him, and, while he always politely eats my food, and even compliments me on it, there’s a distinct lack of enthusiasm.
For him, roast turkey with mashed potatoes and balsamic Brussel sprouts are equivalent to hotdogs with canned baked beans. If I said we were going to quit my home cooked meals and just start eating out, he probably wouldn’t feel a thing.
Then, there’s my boy. Eating me out of house and home? Only if my home was made out of carbohydrates and/or cheese. He’s one of those super-picky eaters. He practically hyperventilates at the prospect of trying different foods.
We have a “tasting” rule that’s been in place for the last two years. He doesn’t have to eat all of any item on his plate, but he does have to taste everything and behave politely.
Two years- and he still fights the rule Every. Single. Night. He stalls. Squirms. Tries to negotiate. Begs. Pleads. Sits there for long periods of time. Eventually, finally, reluctantly takes an excruciating bite.
After all that drama, of course, he always says he hates what he just tasted (our rule requires him to say it with a polite, “No, thanks. This is not my favorite.”).
My daughter is not super-picky. She’s more of a traditionally picky preschooler. She doesn’t want vegetables and needs three or four reminders not to call new food we put in front of her “disgusting.”
Did I mention I love to cook?
I forget sometimes, too. I’ve been worn down like a crayon.
They don’t want my food.
My husband appreciates my cooking efforts. I know he does, but, overall, It’s just hard to keep presenting beautiful dishes that took planning and patience when I’m going to get the same polite thanks and a couple of “yucks.”
I’ve been wondering how I can make the situation more positive. So far, figuring out some Korean recipes is sounding pretty good. Maybe Husband and I can find some common favorites.
As for the kids, I’ve been assured this is a phase most littles grow out of- though it does sometimes take a decade or two.