When I was a child I was an extremely picky eater. My list of things I would consider eating was short. I liked Mac & Cheese, ham & mustard sandwiches (ick, I know), hot dogs with ketchup only (or the cheese filled kind, plain), rice with butter, and spinach. I liked salads, but smothered them in "Creamy Cucumber" salad dressing (btw: eleventy million internet points to anyone who can tell me what they changed the name to, I LOVED that stuff and I can't find it anymore). I'm sure there were other things on that list, like cheez puffs, but I gave Mama Bird fits when I was a kid. Now I am still a picky eater, but soooooo much better than then. I used to hate - hate - HATE guacamole! Now I love the stuff and would gladly work avocados into my daily diet if I could do it and not gain 300 pounds.
It's kinda funny, I have photographic proof that I was picky as an infant (orange goo, every where but my mouth. I think it was mushed carrots- cooked). It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I tried, under great pressure, sun dried tomatoes. Which of course are now a staple in my diet. In fact, very little of what I eat now is anything I would have even considered back then. Feta cheese? No way. Squid? Ha! Dream on! Green beans? Don't make me laugh. I love these things now. Not prepared any old way mind you, but hey, at least now I'll consider them.
The best part of being picky is now that I cook for myself, and for my folks too sometimes, is that meals have become enjoyable. Food isn't a debate anymore. If I make it, I know I'll like it. And if there are requests for things I won't eat, I will make my own stuff for me, and theirs for them - within reason. Take last night, we have a house guest currently. A friend of my folks, but staying in my place. We all had dinner at my folks place. And I cooked. We had chicken salad and this avocado-citrus-fennel salad. I personally hate fennel (and anise too) so I made a separate thing for myself substituting radishes for fennel and a slightly different dressing. Since I am the odd man out, it's really no biggie. If Mama Bird had been cooking she would have informed me that I needed to bring or make my own substitution.
Ok, this one is difficult to explain. For a more detailed recipe go look it up @ Whole Foods.
2 avocados, pitted and halved
1 bulb fennel halved and sliced thinnly
1 orange, the segments separated and the membranes removed
1 grapefruit, the segments separated and the membranes removed.
snow pea shoots
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice (from that orange up there)
1/2 teaspoon (I think) fennel seeds, crushed
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
In a bowl mix the fennel and the pea shoots and shallots, set aside
On a plate place the segments of citrus in a rough circle, and the avocado half in the center.
In a small bowl mix the vinegar, the fennel seeds, orange zest and juice together. Add the oil in slowly.
drizzle this on the avocado and citrus - not very much at all.
Toss the fennel and shoots with some more of the dressing, again, not too much.
Mound that into the avocados, spilling over the sides is fine.
Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the whole thing.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I think the next time I do this I'm going to use red bell pepper instead of fennel for myself. The radishes weren't one of my better choices. It was OK, but not great.
Were any of YOU picky eaters? (She asks all 4 of her readers)
--Little Bird has a hunger