Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Until just this past year, I was strictly a traditional fry kind of guy. My wife’s friend told her about a sweet potato fries recipe. We decided to give it a try.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add chili powder
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place potatoes on a baking sheet evenly spaced
  • Cook for around 20 minutes, turning occasionally

To my surprise, they were really pretty good. This also kind of turned me on to using chili powder in other recipes. It’s always good to build on what you like.

“The Stroganoff Column”

Some foods I dislike so much that my wife, Linda, and I use it as a point of reference. Beef Stroganoff is such a dish. Within the first few years of our relationship, she made it for me. Had it been our first date meal rather than pizza, we probably wouldn’t have stayed together.

She just gave me a small bite of it. No sooner did it hit my tongue than I rushed to the sink to spit it out. I then proceeded to rinse my mouth out time and again. I think I even tried scraping my tongue to get rid of the taste. She has never made it, or anything too similar, again.

Now when I try new foods and say I dislike them, she’ll ask “Is it in the Stroganoff Column?”.

Sitting at the dinner table

As a young child, I spent many nights sitting at the dinner table until bedtime in front of a plate of something I didn’t like.

For some parents, telling a child they must sit there until they finish their meal works. From my experience I can tell you it doesn’t work on every child.

If you do try this approach, I’d suggest you keep in mind the degree to which the child dislikes something – and also the stubbornness of the child.

Eating Out Sucks

As a fussy eater, the world outside my own kitchen can be a scary place. At home, I can make sure food is prepared with ingredients I like. You won’t find any onions on my burgers. However, when I eat out, I find myself at the mercy of the chef and wait staff. When I get a cheeseburger from Outback Steakhouse, I have to make sure I ask for “just burger, cheese, and bun”.

Even my choice of restaurant is affected by my fussy eating. I tend to stick with American fare where I can usually get a steak, burger, chicken tenders, or pizza. At an Italian restaurant, I’ll get the Chicken Parmesan, but I scrape off most of the sauce. Mexican and Indian food are out of the question. I’ve found one or two things I’ll eat at a Japanese steakhouse.

Eating out with family is always interesting since family members often consider “What will Bob eat?” when picking a restaurant. I feel like I am limiting their choices. When ordering food at most restaurants I just know the wait staff and chefs get irritated at my special orders.

This is part of the reason I want to break my fussy ways. I’d like to be able to eat out like a normal person. I’d like to order straight from the menu with fewer (or no) substitutions or special orders.

I’m not quite ready to try out new few out and about, but if you make suggestions for me to try at home, I’m willing to work at it.

College Experimentation

Back in college I experimented with some of the foods I like to see if I could come up with something new that I liked. I have a major sweet tooth so Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup was a part of those experiments. Along with discovering the Resses’s Peanut Butter Dog, I stumbled upon the Chocolate Fluffer-nutter. I would spread peanut butter on one slice, and Fluff on the other. Then I would pour a small amount of chocolate syrup and spread it over the Fluff side.

I’d love to hear about any strange but tasty food you’ve tried and what you think of my Chocolate Fluffer-nutter.

Food that Feels Weird

Texture can play a part in what a fussy eater will or won’t eat. Each fussy eater may have different textures of food that they dislike. For some it may be slimy. Others may not like crunchy. Maybe creamy foods creep them out. It could even be a combination of textures they have a problem with.  Try to think of all the foods they dislike and see if there is a common texture among them. Then try to devise a way to change or mask it.

I have a little bit of a problem with crunchy vegetables. That made broccoli a little hard to deal with. What I’ve found is that if I cut it up small enough and mix it with something else like rice, then I am able to deal with it better.

I also have a problem with slimy foods which I suspect it my issue with a lot of fruit. I haven’t come up with a way to deal with that yet, but I’m open to suggestions.

Smell no Evil

I’ve learned that there are several reasons I sometimes don’t like a particular food. One of the biggest of these is the smell. If I don’t like the way something smells, there is little hope I will like the way it tastes. I’ve read that there is a strong connection between smell and taste so I suppose that’s not so strange.

One of the worst smelling foods to me is ranch dip. It nearly makes me gag – it’ s that bad! I have not (and will not) try to eat it.

If you’re trying to feed a fussy eater, keep this correlation in mind. If they like the smell, you have a chance.

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