07 February 2011

Some People are Nuts

This evening I'm taking a meal to someone at church who just had a baby.  I decided to break with the tradition in Scotland and make dessert from scratch.  I baked chocolate chip cookies because they are both easy and rare in these parts, but as I was making them, I realized I was going to have to leave out the pecans, because I don't know if this is a family of nut-eaters or not.  I come from a nut-loving, no, nut-adoring family.  Steve comes from a nut-tolerating family.  When we first got married, Steve was always wondering aloud why I was adding nuts to everything and when he was cooking, I was always asking why he was leaving nuts out of everything.  Cookies and brownies should have nuts.  Pies with nuts are better than pies without nuts.  Quick breads (zucchini, banana, etc.) need nuts.  Curries, pasta dishes, granola=cashews, pine nuts, almonds.

I also made chicken noodle soup (which is what I would like someone to bring me today as it's been sleeting outside) and Steve's grandmother's brown bread (nut-free but delicious) and fruit salad.  What do you make when you're cooking for people you don't know well?  I find it a tricky business.


HAH said...

I try to focus on tried-and-true comfort foods rather than experimenting with new recipes. If they have kids, I try to focus on kid-friendly -- no broccoli or dishes that contain lots of ingredients mixed together that would normally stand on their own (veggie soups, casseroles,etc.) I also try to avoid spaghetti, because around here that seems to be the first thing people think to bring. If I have some advanced warning, I try to contact the family to find out what sounds good or is acceptable to most and whether there are any allergies or intense dislikes I should know about.

That being said, I often opt for Chicken soup or Chicken noodle casserole.

Breanne said...

My four sisters are all allergic to wheat and one of them is also allergic to dairy, so all of our family functions involve food that is wheat and dairy free. So we usually end up with a big protein like ribs or chicken and fruit salads, green salads, etc. Cooking this way has made me paranoid so now if I cook for anyone I have to call ahead and see if there are any allergies.

There is a mexican lasagna (layers of tortillas and taco seasoned meat and beans) that I can just assemble in a disposable pan and people can slide right into their ovens, which is pretty easy. I try to include toppings like sour cream and tomatoes and lettuce and then they can just pick what they want to top it with.

JAMES said...

SK barely tolerates my nut enthusiasm. She just said: "I like nuts by themselves, not in things". We continue to be married despite this. I don't know how Alice will survive!

MBC said...

HAH--That's good advice. Thanks!

Breanne--I like the idea of something that's easy for them to pop in the oven themselves and customize. I must remember that for the future.

James--Yeah, Steve said something like that to me once, and I said, "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?" Cause that's crazytalk.

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