Thoughts & Tips

Trying New Things

I text my husband “what do you want for dinner?” He replies “to be honest, I’m in the mood for gnocchi. maybe with some pesto?” I say “no problem”.

I’ve never made gnocchi. But I like a challenge. Here are my tips for trying a new recipe:

  1. If you’ve never eaten it, don’t make it. How can a dish be successful if you’re not sure what the outcome is supposed to be? My husband is a gnocchi freak and orders it at Italian restaurants all the time. I don’t ever choose it for myself, but we always share plates so I knew the texture, flavor and look I was trying to achieve.
  2. If you don’t have the correct tools and ingredients, don’t do it. In this case, I didn’t have a way to properly prep potatoes (say that 5 times fast) so I opted for the ricotta gnocchi route. But make sure you find a recipe you can follow exactly. If it’s your first try, it’s not the time to to be substituting ingredients and improvising.
  3. Always have a back up. I’ve made homemade pesto before so I was confident in that, but I totally grabbed a package of cheese ravioli from the store in case this all went to hell.

They weren’t the prettiest, but it was delicious and blew my husband’s mind. I also had plenty of gnocchi leftover to freeze, so I can try again soon with a different sauce.

The funny thing is, anyone who knew me when I was young would never expect me to be writing a food blog. Or writing a post entitled “trying new things.”

I was an extremely picky eater thoughout my childhood and adolescence. There were years of my life that I basically only ate pizza, chicken tenders, fries, baked potatoes, yogurt and bread. I remember being embarrassed that my parents would ask, and even pay extra, for the waiter at the local Italian restaurant to go next door and get me fries. I remember pigging out before sleepovers so I wouldn’t be hungry when everyone else was eating food I was scared of. I remember any time I did attempt to try something new, everyone staring at me, waiting to see what I said and usually being disappointed in my negative reaction.

I got a little better in high school, but still avoided eating in public and having to explain all my self inflicted limitations. My turning point was the college cafeteria. I realized no one knew I was a picky eater unless I told them. So I didn’t. I went to lunch alone a couple times a week and used that time to try things. Then sophomore year I moved off campus and had my own space to cook and eat. No one was there to roll their eyes or sigh when I didn’t like something. No one made a big deal when I ate something new and liked it. It was like a weight being lifted.

So fast forward. I’m nearly 30, and I love food. What was once my enemy is now my passion. I’m still a little picky, hence the title, but I’m no longer scared of food and new things. The one big obstacle is that I have not eaten red meat since I was a toddler, and can’t see myself doing so in the future. Well, unless I’m at a bar and someone orders cheese fries… I’m not opposed to a couple bacon bits when I’ve been drinking.

So that’s the story behind The Picky Gourmet. I’m excited to have started this blog and I’m excited to learn new things and eat good food. Hope you all enjoy!

xoxo

{follow me on twitter & instagram: @thepickygourmet}

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