When we first moved from the UK to the US, we just missed the “fall leaves”. So many people that we spoke to mentioned what a shame it was that the weather had just turned, and that the best of the leaves were over. We were led to believe that it was an unbelievably spectacular sight, utterly, breathtakingly beautiful. Fast forward the best part of the year, and we saw the turning leaves. It was quite pretty, sometimes striking, but we didn’t find it show-stopping. I may have deeply offended someone by referring to the sight as “vomit-coloured clouds”, but in my defense I was probably drunk. Ahem. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is not that the foliage isn’t beautiful, but that it didn’t particularly appeal to us. It didn’t make any great impact on our internal aesthetic barometers, probably because we both grew up by the sea. The ocean will always be that special place where to us things register as profoundly beautiful. Even where other people see a run-down British seaside resort, to me it is something else entirely.
The place in which we grow up impacts us in so many ways, particularly when you move away from it. The role nostalgia plays is enormous. L eats pickled herring on rye bread for lunch on most days when he’s home. That makes me gag a little. I love beans on toast which makes L run from the kitchen. We both try and tempt Baby A over to our side, with equal lack of success to date. There are whole cuisines of the world that we grew up not knowing about, some of which we love as we try them, some of which not so much. Mexican food is one of those cuisines that we don’t eat very often, and certainly don’t crave. When it’s good it can be very good, but we don’t tend to cook it or go out to eat it at all.
The meal tonight, Salsa Stoup and Double-Decker Baked Quesadillas [recipe] seemed promising in that it was full of vegetables. It tasted very much like warm salsa, indeed that was pretty much it. The quesadillas were pretty blah, although we were out of scallions so maybe that was the missing element. Overall, we didn’t particularly enjoy the food tonight. It was decent, reasonably tasty, but not our cup of tea. L ate the soup but not the quesadilla, I ate the quesadillas but not much of the soup. Reviews of this meal on the Food Network website are consistently good, reinforcing the view that this is good tasty food, just not for us.
Still, at least this project is forcing us to attempt to open our minds a little and step out of our comfort zones. Tomorrow we have Taco Chili-Mac, which sounds like a return to macaroni cheese central. However, it is just a reworking of tonights soup, with ground beef and pasta. I don’t know which would be better…