I was talking to my wife the Redhead the other day. She was about to take a big-deal test after studying for months, and for a celebration I offered to cook her favorite food for dinner. I asked what her absolute favorite food is and after thinking about it for a while, she couldn't answer me. I thought about it and I decided that I don't think I have a favorite food, either.
Why is this? I think if you'd asked me what my favorite food was at any point from childhood up until a couple of years ago, I probably could have told you. When I was growing up it changed from grapes to pizza to hot dogs to broccoli (yes, I actually loved broccoli when I was ten - go figure) to roast beef and potatoes to sushi to all sorts of other things. But there was always one clear favorite food that I would have gladly eaten every day of my life.
So what happened about two years ago that made me lose the ability to have a favorite food? I know exactly what happened - I started cooking instead of just reheating, and eventually started blogging about food.
Blogging about food is wonderful because it forces you to try new things. You recognize there are a few souls out there reading your ramblings and you want to please them. Trust me, no one wants to read about how to make the same dish over and over and over. You know that people want NEW and EXCITING and as a writer, you want to give people something they'll enjoy, and ideally something fresh and different from what everyone else is writing about.
So over the last 24 months or so, as I tried lentil and salmon and cabbage dishes and baked tarts and pies and bagels, my taste buds have changed. I no longer want just one dish. Or maybe its more accurate to say I want one dish every day, but what's in that dish changes frequently.
Blogging also makes you think about what you stab with a fork. It's no fun to think about the same thing again and again and again. No matter how good that piece of steak looks, by the thousandth bite (not in one sitting, I hope), it's pretty dull. Better to switch visually between bright vegetables, velvet sauces, and earthy proteins to keep your brain engaged, and the simple act of feeding yourself interesting.
Tonight, I'm hoping to make some chestnut dressing in anticipation of Thanksgiving. That's what I want. I also want something with beets in the next week, and maybe a cod or whitefish dish. Certainly I'll want some sweet dessert later on. There is no one dish I want all the time unless that dish is variety.
In the end, I made crepes with scallops for my wife and served it with the two items that come closest to being her favorite foods - a nice Belgian beer (Duvel), and a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
I kind of wanted fruit for dessert, myself.
Is losing "a favorite food" common among food bloggers? If you blog about food tell me if you still have a favorite food, and if so - what is it? Even if you don't blog, tell me about your favorite dish and think aloud about whether you could eat it every day without strangling someone.