in the kitchen

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Failure. Make that two. Two failures in one week.

J is a picky eater. There is a whole litany of ingredients he won’t eat. If you ask him, he will tell you that he eats pretty much everything. Personally, I think it’s because I work hard to prepare meals he will enjoy. To-may-to:To-mah-to.

I will say that in the three weeks we’ve lived under the same roof again, he has wolfed down everything I’ve cooked, often with seconds and then leftovers for lunch. Homecooked meals were in short supply for him while we were apart and I haven’t heard any complaints, until last night.

We’ve been making a move to cleaner eating. Aside from Annie’s “little shell mac and cheese,” we’ve been trying really hard to make our meals from scratch. Meat prices are going up, so I thought I’d try a meatless protein last night. Enter Quinoa White Bean Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers. Now, this was not an experiment. I’ve made them before, and they got eaten. I even used red quinoa this time for color (and it was cheaper). However, the red peppers in the last attempt were…different. Tangy – maybe pickled? They gave the burgers some kick. I got regular peppers this time. B-O-R-I-N-G. Beansie housed her whole burger, which I appreciated. J choked one down for appearances, and Swee… Well I thought she was going to upchuck her “one bite” onto the table. Oh well. Failure #1.

Today, I thought I’d attempt some homemade fruit snacks. I based them off of this recipe, with a few tweaks. Because really, I can’t afford to spend $18 on grass-fed gelatine. This is where the pictures get ugly.

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I boiled 1 1/2 C frozen berries with 1T maple syrup, blending them with the stick blender partway through. I mixed 2 packets Knox gelatine with 1/2 C cold water, and then blended that into the berries. Poured it into the silicone molds, and chilled for half an hour.

They taste fine. The bottoms, when I finally got them out of the silicon molds, were beautiful and shiny. But the edges are ragged, and the tops have a strange texture that caused Swee to spit them out without tasting them. Failure #2.

I hate wasting food. I can’t afford to financially, and the moral and environmental implications are too much for me. I understand that joining the Clean Plate Club isn’t healthy either, but I really strive for a middle ground. Unfortunately this aversion to waste usually kills kitchen creativity and lands me in a recipe rut. And I usually end up finishing off the less than palatable experiments myself.

How do you handle stuff like this?

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