Friday, July 3, 2009

3 meals for 3 people

Cooking in my household can be an exercise in diversity awareness. Mom's tastes have been changing, but she still strongly prefers Korean food; Dad doesn't eat spicy food, and often prefers good ol' Amurrican food, i.e., the bland-but-delicious fare you can get at a diner. I'm the closest thing to an omnivore in the house, and even I have my hangups: I dislike large-cut onions in most non-Korean dishes (in Korean soups and stews, the onions are generally cooked until their flavors have emptied into the surrounding liquid), and am not a fan of coffee and coconut. When David comes over, I have to remember to avoid tomatoes and most seafood; when Sean is here, dinner needs to be Atkins-friendly, which means prepping something devoid of carbs.

I've found that it's often easier to prepare separate dishes-- mini-lunches and dinners-- than to force everyone to eat the same thing. When I make my spicy cucumber slaw, for example, I know that it's pretty much for Mom and me: Dad won't take the spice, and the sugar content, though small, makes it inedible for Sean. David's not around often enough for dinner to have tried it too many times. If I make sandwiches, I know they're primarily for Dad and me: Mom prefers food with some actual pep to it, and unless I start buying spicier ingredients to "go all Bobby Flay" with my sandwiches, Mom won't touch them. But simultaneously making smaller quantities of each food, though a challenge, seems to be the way to go, and it's good training for yours truly, because the different dishes often require disparate techniques in their preparation.

Such is life.


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