We all get set in our ways, like so much concrete poured in so many exes’ cars. Our loved ones are no exceptions. Mealtime can get to be a drag. The same old stuff out of the same old boxes. You can try to mix it up and introduce new food, but there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to encounter some resistance. Especially from kids. And pets. And everyone.
But that doesn’t mean you should just give up and resign yourself to Taco Tuesdays, Meatloaf Mondays, and…actually, let’s circle back to the tacos. Those can probably stay. But you see our point. Wasabi Wednesdays are out, though, for sure.
So what to do? How can you drag your family kicking and screaming into the exciting taste sensations that are potentially waiting for them? You might need a gun. Or you might need psychology. (Note: it’s gun. The answer is gun.)
Your spouse pretty much has to eat whatever you put in front of them because they didn’t have to cook it. If your spouse isn’t reacting with gratitude every time you cook for them, you need to dump that zero and get yourself some personal sex toys.
But maybe they need a little nudge. We recommend bribing them. But wait, you may be saying. We share bank accounts. So giving them money doesn’t really make sense. Sure, okay, but is it really money they want? Or is it something else? Beer, for example, or chocolate? Peace and quiet? Maybe your spouse will try your new Italian dish if you promise to shut the hell up about Barb at work for an hour. Or if you promise to watch that new show with them without complaining. Or maybe if you promise to stop farting in the car. Honestly, if you stop farting in the car, you could probably get all sorts of things.
Let’s say your parents live with you. First off, we’re sorry. Second, have you tried convincing them your house is haunted, so that they’ll move out or go to a home or whatever? This also works on kids.
There’s a decent chance that one or both of your parents are either Trumpers, conspiracy theorists, doomsday preppers, or some combination of the two. This will require you to put in some special work to get through to them. For example, instead of asparagus, call them freedom sticks.
On the flip side, maybe your parents think you’re a plebe. In that cause, you’re going to have to stop putting gravy on everything. We know, it’s a big sacrifice. But it’ll be worth it in heaven. Or you can just guilt-trip your parents about all the ways they screwed up your childhood every time they complain about whatever you cook for them.
So, your sibling has fallen on hard times and moved back in with you. That sucks. Sure, sure, they’re good with the kids, and just need some time to regroup and get back out there. Uh huh. Totally going to happen.
The thing about Billy Ray is he’ll eat whatever you put in front of him. The problem is he won’t be wearing pants while he does it. Also, your couch — which he’s now sleeping on — will never be the same.
So the challenge is getting Billy Ray to develop a more sophisticated palate. Again, this means no gravy on things.
One would think that our kids would eat whatever we put in front of them. Sorry, we meant to say one who has never had any interaction with children would think that. As parents — or a reasonable approximation rendered in sweatpants — we know better. Kids are finicky. They like what they like and don’t what they don’t. Actually, they hate and pretend to vomit what they don’t. Kids can be melodramatic that way. In any case, shocking, we know.
So how can you get them to eat something new, that may possibly taste terrible because you don’t actually know how to cook it, yet? Three things come to mind: ketchup, lying, and bribery. These are what’s known as the Triple Threat, to parents. The fixers. If you can put ketchup on it, bam. You’re good. If not, convince your kid the ?? you served them is actually chicken fingers. Bam. If that doesn’t work, promise to let them play video games till 10. Or midnight — we’re not trying to tell you here how to raise your kids. We’re saving that for How To Even…Raise Your Kids.
Pets are dumb but that doesn’t mean they don’t have tastebuds. (Wait, do pets have tastebuds? Ummmmm sure, why not? Maybe they’re not called “buds.” Tastefeathers? Tastewhiskers?)
Anyway, this is your opportunity to use the much maligned gravy. Yes, we wouldn’t allow it with your parents or sibling, but little Bluebell will snarf that shit right up. I mean, your dog will eat poop, so really, why is it so hard to get it to eat anything else?
The great thing about old people is that can’t taste anything. That and the loss of all their inhibitions because their brains are decaying, There’s nothing like hearing Granny tell some state trooper to “Fuck off, you dickless wonder” to warm your heart. Especially if Granny is in the back seat and said state trooper has just pulled you over.
All you’ve got to do, then, to get Gramps or Grans to try a new food is to make it look like an old food they’re already used to.
All of this seems like a lot of work, and you’d be right. This is why people tend not to change. They just keep on trucking, adding gravy to things and enjoying them. But sometimes, you get tired of gravy. We know, we know, hard to believe. Sometimes, you want something new. For a minute. Then you can go back to the gravy. Then, it will be fresh and new again.