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A Discerning Palate

January 12, 2011
Wetzel Chronicle
I’d say I have mediocre skills in the kitchen. I can cook, but I’m no expert. There are some things I won’t even attempt and leave those to the experts. One of those categories is seafood. I just wouldn’t trust me to cook it correctly. I’ll simply order it in restaurants, thank you very much.

However, I am comfortable with experimenting with recipes in the familiar realm. Pasta concoctions are a common sight at my dinner table. I often tweak recipes and pre-packaged food.

I know it’s no big revelation, but I always add a slice or two of American cheese to my prepared boxed macaroni and cheese. It just helps it out a bit. . . but evidently not enough.

I’ve had the suspicion recently that my four-year-old daughter has become a macaroni and cheese snob thanks to too many helpings of the really good stuff at Quinet’s Court Restaurant. My inclination was confirmed Sunday as the following conversation took place in our house.

“I’m thinking some macaroni and cheese would be good,” I offered.

She excitedly replied, “I was thinking that too! . . . but make it like the Court Restaurant.”

I knew we should have kept her out of there! (Just kidding.)

A while back she told me she wanted a “smashed potato” for dinner. That’s her way of saying she wants a baked potato with sour cream.

Wanting to get some food in front of my sporadic eater as soon as possible, I microwaved a frozen twice baked potato, “smashed” it, and topped it with some sour cream.

I think she might have taken a bite or two before she said, “No, I want one like Wendy’s!” Ugh, I really need to keep her away from restaurants.

But alas eating out is a favorite American pastime, as it is for us too. One of Joellen’s favorites, outside of our local area, is Olive Garden. From the moment she tasted their Creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup she as in love.

I always smile when I think of the day we had waited about two hours for a table there. She was very small and I appeased her with some cereal I carried for her in my bag. She had eaten all the treats and was left with an empty plastic bowl. When we were seated I sat her down in a chair and she promptly slid the bowl across the table and said, “I want some soup!”

I’ve got to give her credit, the girl knows what she wants.

I did once recreate that restaurant concoction with success from my culinary critic. However, I am much more likely to make my attempt at copying the late Zelma Riggenbach’s potato soup. Joellen refuses to even try it, even when I try to convince her that the dumplings are similar to those in Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Stupid discerning palate of a pre-schooler!



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