Hope was one of my good friends at senior school and someone who I’ve recently reconnected with over Instagram (one of the silver linings of social media!). I absolutely love Hope’s blog where she’s documenting her year of saving + sharing her tips. Be sure to check out her awesome cards while you’re there!
I really enjoying talking about, writing about and eating food and could waffle on (ha ha) about my favourite foodstuffs for days; nevertheless I have decided to whittle this post down to foods I detested as a child and have rediscovered come adulthood.
In reception we were required to prepare porridge for a (slightly dubious) class project involving Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I remember thinking it looked like vomit and completely refused to touch it for the next ten years; to the point where I’d actually leave a room if someone began to eat it. But a sea change has occurred since my primary school days of revulsion. Porridge is now one of my favourite foods and a fantastic way to use up soft fruit like blueberries, raspberries or apples which are ‘going over’. It’s also ridiculously cheap at 60p per kilo and very quick to prepare, I literally bang it in the microwave for 2 minutes with some milk and it’s good to go.
As a child I found mushrooms both creepy and slimy but come adulthood it’s one of the vegetables my partner and I both really enjoy cooking with. I like to use mushrooms to bulk out chili, stir frys and pasta dishes for weekday dinners, or fry them up with tomatoes, spinach and olive oil and serve on toast for breakfast (strictly on days when I’m feeling fancy). My boyfriend enjoys making a lovely mushroom risotto and is also a dab had at an orzo and aubergine-based dish which is really good cold for lunch the next day.
Mushrooms now bring back slightly bittersweet memories for me, of my deceased Grandma who would routinely fish out every single mushroom in her dinner whist shooting whoever prepared it dirty looks and muttering Polish insults under her breath…
Quite bizarrely I had a really strong aversion to gravy-based pies for years on end (what was I thinking???) however living with two blokes-albeit a 7 year old one-has bought pies into my life in a new way. My partner cooks an extremely comforting shepherd’s pie which is the best thing ever after cycling home on a cold rainy evening. I’m now also a reformed frozen food snob and have really come to appreciate the pure joy of a chicken pie and chips defrosted straight in the oven and served piping hot with a pint.
Coming from a Polish family hating beetroot is a bit of a gaffe but as a child I couldn’t get over the juicy red shape being far too similar to some sort of internal organ. Thankfully I have become much more savage these days and have discovered a deep love for beets. I like to eat them raw cut up finely and served in chicken salad wraps or blended up in to hummus dip. Beets are also a somewhat romantic food for me as I remember when my partner and I were secretly dating and he ordered nothing but an entire bowl of beets from the Harvester salad cart (sexy).
Just joking – I fish will forever find completely rank however old I get.
I think the common thread that runs through all these foods is that it’s my loved one’s enjoyment of them that has led me to reconsider them. Preparing and eating a meal with people who are enthusiastic about the ingredients is something that is hard to ignore and the positive memories I now have associated with these foods has contributed to my newfound enjoyment of them. I also think that as an adult your amount of ‘new’ experiences diminishes the older you become and trying (or retrying) a new food is certainly a small way to be adventurous and experience new things.