My Mid-Thirties Food Identity Crisis

My name is Stepper. I'm 33 years old, and I have no idea what I like to eat.

(Hi, Stepper.)

Here's the thing. 

I know what brand of potato chip to buy for Bill, and where to go to get them (not everyone carries). I know how much mustard to spread on Wyatt's Turkey Mustard and Cheese to ensure he'll eat both halves and lick his fingers after. I know the one food that Daphne (my only non-picky eater) doesn't like, no matter how many times she tries to convince herself that this time she'll love it (and I have a napkin at the ready for when she tries, because I am nothing if not an encourager of adventurousness).

I know that on special occasions, Bill likes Gyoza.

I know how to make his BBQ pizza to form - cheese before sauce. Tomatoes sliced thin. Crumbled bacon as a finishing touch.

I know that he likes sprouts on a bagel sandwich, sliced Claussen dills and tomato on a tuna sandwich, and the peanutbutter spread just after the bread pops from the toaster on a Peanut-Butter Nutella sandwich (so the peanutbutter goes melty).

I know when he'll want water and when he'll prefer milk. 

I've perfected my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to compliment his tastes.

I pride myself on my ability to cook an egg just right for his breakfast sandwich, and scramble an egg just right (just at the moment where soft meets firm, and NEVER runny) for his breakfast burrito.

I read my family's (especially my husband's) culinary preferences like a delicious novel, and delight in their delight when I present a meal/snack/treat that I clearly created with them in mind; and the underlying message, "I know you. I love you."

Which is why it came as a bit of a shock when one evening as I was doing the dreaded kitchen-dance, trying to figure out what to make for our dinner, Bill asked me what *I* might like to eat, and I had no. blinking. clue.

I know that I don't like Italian. I know that I prefer cake to pie. I know that I love Sushi - but one doesn't usually have the ingredients or the know-how to whip up a batch of Sexy Dragon at 7:00pm on a Tuesday.

But regular food? The real stuff you go to the grocery store for and assemble at home?

I was drawing an alarming blank.

What do I like to eat? When it's my turn to choose...what do I choose?!

Bill tried to help, "When you are on your own for dinner, what do you make?"

Well, that never happens. Not in recent memory. But probably, if it did, I'd eat a bowl of cereal and go read a book or watch one of my guilty-pleasure TV shows because you did say I'm on my own, right?! Who wants to cook!

Bill tried again, "Well, what did you used to cook before we got married?"

Oh, well, see - even then I was cooking for roomates. Or dinner parties. If I had a night to myself, I was most definitely on my way to the movie theater, and dinner was probably (admittedly) Burger King.

This is such a weird fact.

I love to cook...

...I know I like to eat...

...but I don't have any likes

So I've been trying to pay attention, because a food identity crisis is a terrible thing!

Here's what I've come up with so far.

I love grapefruit. The fruit itself, the juice, the flavor, the scented soap. Gimme.

I love nectarines and blackberries and asparagus and artichokes and sauteed mushrooms.

I adore breakfast food. My favorite way to have an egg is scrambled (though this one time when I was a teenager, my mom made poached eggs and they were AMAZING. Never been able to re-create that).

...and that's it so far.

But chances are, I know something YOU enjoy.


Kristen said...

Haha, this was great to read. Don't us mamas just think of everyone else first?? I figure that's love though, not a bad thing.

Hmmm, if I had to cook for myself, HELLO of course I would just eat out. Easier. Breadsticks are my downfall. And Indian food. And chinese food. Mkay... I may need to um, "cook" for myself tonight... :)

Anonymous said...

Stepper was here - now where is she?