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I was sitting at a restaurant perusing the menu a few weeks ago when my wife commented how different the Kid’s Menu is from the adult menu.  Of course, the portions are smaller, but the food is much simpler fare without all the fancy sauces, cheeses, and words we can’t pronounce.  It got us talking about how things change as you grow up in regard to food.

I know that when I was a kid (and my wife would argue little has changed) I was an extremely picky eater.  But, isn’t that the hallmark of eating as a kid in most cases?  The fancier the meal appears the more it looks suspicious to us.  We regarded every meal as a possible poisoning by dreaded vegetables or something even healthier.  Those were the days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza, and mac n’ cheese.

But, as I’ve grown up, and particularly in the last several years, my meals have become much more interesting.  Instead of the simple meals of my youth I seek out meals with strange concoctions of olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, or white wine reductions.  I’ve learned that prosciutto is not only very tasty ham, but is very tasty when paired with melon.  I have learned that the comination of potato, pasta, and meat sauce in gnocchi Bolognese is fantastic to the point where I’ll eat until I’m sick if I’m not careful.

It’s funny when you think about it.  We still enjoy those simple foods of our youth in many cases.  They become “guilty pleasures” or “comfort food.”  But, when we plan our meals they tend to gain in complexity as we mature.  We progress from menus where the only thing needed beyond the name of the meal is the type of bread and whether or not it has fries to tongue twisting, foreign-named dishes requiring several lines of description to tell us what they are.  And even then we have to ask the waitstaff half the time.

So, next time you’re cooking up a box of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese because your day sucked and you’re just too tired to cook a proper meal, revel in the comfort of it.  The simple things are with us from the beginning.  Indulging in them doesn’t mean your palette is unrefined.

Besides that chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio pairs fantastically with Mac N’ Cheese.


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