Thursday, November 6, 2008


Some time back there was a big, interesting article in the LA Times about Kim Chi, the Korean national side-dish. It is one of my very favorite tastes - fermented, hot and spicy and really flavorful. Jerry won't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Which got me to thinking about our tastes:
Oysters: HIM - Yum! ME: No Way!
Boiled weinies: HIM - Bring 'em on ME: Oh, Gag!
Sauerkraut: HIM - No thanks ME - Yummy
Calimari: HIM - Delicious ME: - Can't even bear to look at it.
Cottage Cheese with sour cream mixed in it: HIM - the only way to eat it
Cottage Cheese with salt and pepper on it: ME - the only way to eat it
Okra: HIM - I won't even try it ME: Fried or in a gumbo, it is wonderful.
Hominy and Grits: HIM - Yuk. ME: Bring it on!
Fat on Meat: HIM - Better than the meat itself. ME: Can't bear it in my mouth
Tomato aspic: HIM - Won't touch it ME: M-M-good-- Bloody Mary Salad
Escargot: HIM - Delicious ME: Never in my lifetime.

So in a sense, Jerry and I are like Jack Sprat and his wife. Betwixt the two of us our plates are usually clean, though we don't lick them like the crass Sprats do! When we go out he checks the menu for things I won't cook at home. I do the same. I usually get my sauerkraut fix from Reuben sandwiches. He chooses liver and onions, which I eat but won't prepare. Also I admit to being a lousy fish-cooker, so he more often than not orders fish.

Luckily Jer doesn't have a lot of likes and dislikes when it comes to food, and he's easy to work around when it comes to creating a meal. (He also does dishes and windows if I ask him!) But I draw the line at watching him eat snails. If he orders them at a restaurant he’d better be prepared to sit in a different booth or ask for a paper plate so he can go out in the car to eat them. I don't care how flavorful he says the sauce is. I will not ruin my dinner by watching him chew and swallow those horrible slimy things that drive us crazy in our garden.

It's ok to have differing tastes, but I have to admit it would be hard to kiss a man after he's eaten a snail. He’d just have to forego his good-night kiss that night.

In my venture to Coastal North Carolina last year, I was able to try a few of the local delicacies. One, which was called barbecue but was composed of "indeterminate" meat (pig parts, shredded, I think, and neither my cousin Nancy nor I found it to our liking, although apparently it is BIG in those parts. But my cousin Shirlee, who is the one who left sunny Southern California for the lovely coastline of North Carolina did take me to a restaurant noted for "Shrimp and Grits." Now Jer and I differ on the palatability of grits, too. He doesn't like them any way, any how. But you can see how tempting it looks below, as my cousin Shirlee is chowing down on them. I was reminded of the Shrimp and grits when I looked for a picture of Kim Chee, and there is a resemblance in appearance, but I have to tell you, that North Carolina soul food was the best thing I've eaten in a long, long time.

In fact, you can pass me the kim chee right along with the shrimp and grits and I'll be one happy lady!

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