So, I was flipping through Cooking Light and saw a new recipe for a cucumber salad I thought I would try. I find that I rely on the same dozen or so stock recipes, but occasionally I want to try something new. When I try new recipes, if one out of four is quick (start to finish 30-40 minutes max) and tasty enough (and doesn’t call for $12 worth of shallots of pomegranate seeds) to make it into the regular rotation, I’m pretty happy…
A few things I noticed about tonight’s cucumber salad experiment (that none of us liked):
- this salad called for 3 different fresh herbs, the cost alone would be about $8 to buy them (we used our home-grown dill and skipped the mint and parsley…)
- it called for 2 1/2 CUPS of sliced red onion, the photo clearly showed about 1/2 cup sprinkled in. (I just added a sprinkling. I’ve been fooled before when I thought it sounded way off, but decided to follow the recipe.) Good decision here…
- it showed unpeeled cucs, and I thought I would try it, but the peel was tough and unappealing
- it said “sliced” thin, but clearly it was cut with a food processor or mandolin on the photo, more or a shave
What I did like was the reminder that yogurt-based salad dressings are pretty darn yummy! Will make more of those! Also, M helped me make the dressing, and I loved the way she closed her eyes and inhaled the aroma of the fresh lemon, and the oils. It was a cool kitchen moment!
As I tossed out the rest of the salad that none of us ate, it got me thinking about the broader cultural eating and feeding implications with all the push for eating fresh and organic, and cooking family meals…
Trying new food is risky. When you don’t have enough money to risk wasting an entree or on fresh herbs, you might stick with what you know tastes good and fills you up… I am mindful and grateful that I can afford fresh herbs and can take the time to make a salad with cucumbers, which doesn’t have a whole lot of fill-you-up power, which a hungry family needs.
I just think it’s something that doesn’t get talked a lot about with the whole discourse around nutrition and the war on “obesity.” What if you don’t have skills, or the money to experiment and waste food? How do folks gain those skills, access, etc. If I am risk averse and stick to my tried-and-trues (so stinks when I make a casserole or one pot dish is a flop, then it’s cereal or eggs for the family), and I have the luxury of time, money, skills and a functional kitchen, is it realistic to expect someone who is worried about filling bellies to take a risk?
What do you think? What was the last new recipe you tried that was a flop or a hit?