Sometimes I wonder where bland diets come from....not medically-necessitated bland diets, but diets that lack interesting flavours and textures.
And yes, I'm fully aware that "interesting" is a highly subjective term...I find the works by English Renaissance dramatists interesting, am fairly sure not everyone shares my literary diversions.
I suppose those who prefer foods deficient in...sparkle...may not have been exposed to said sparkle. Maybe they think sparkle is frightening in the same way people are afraid of roller coasters or bungee jumping: that's nice for some, but not for me, thank you very much.
I don't think there's a problem with the occasional settling for something a little less than wow. At the very least, you appreciate the wow even more when you (deservedly return to it). Unfortunately, there are some who decrease their culinary sparkle so subtly they don't realise they've lost their sparkle. They stop cooking for themselves and become increasingly reliant on lowest common denominator prefab foods (cafeteria offerings, the frozen foods aisle), a mood strikes and doesn't let go, they get lazy and find the walk to the spice cupboard just too far...
So, when I spied this month's dairy calendar recipe (Vibrant broccoli soup) I wondered how...sparkly...it would be. The ingredient list didn't put it into the "Oh my dear word, what on Earth were they thinking" category...but it didn't fall into the "Oh my dear word, this looks as if it has real potential" category either. It did fall into the "Oh my dear word, they think a bit of garlic and chilli flake is daring...no, wait, they think Swiss Chard and Cheddar are daring...so sans bitter greens and pretty much universally accepted cheese this is...um...lowest common denominator."
I will say this. It is a good recipe for a basic thick veggie soup. You can sub a number of veggies for the broccoli (I immediately thought of cauliflower and carrot, but you can probably do a whole host of other flavours and colours) and play with the spicing. It was quick and very easy. It was also reminiscent of institutional food...like what you get in hospital or on certain airlines: inoffensive and lacked sparkle.
I give you full marks for not throwing the calendar out the window and refusing to carry on! I admire that kind of committment.
Jasmine, will you continue with the Milk Calendar project in 2009?
I agree, this is less of a recipe than the starting point for one. But it should be the start of something good, I would think!
I make a simple pureed broccoli soup from everyday food, it's great for a healthy, simple dish.
Oh well.... maybe asparagus? I've been craving it a lot lately.
Love broccoli soup... these cold days call for it.
Hey, I saw your profile because I think we liked the same author or something. We are both Canadian but I think you might be British.
Regarding bland food. I am entertaining my siblings-in-law the week before Christmas. Their palates are so bland that I am tempted just to serve them chicken and creamed corn. They are grown ups in their 50s and think sun-dried tomatoes on pizza counts as exotic food.
My brother-in-law is a constant traveller, probably on the rubber-chicken circuit, but when I take a dish to a party at his place nothing gets even tasted by them.(my lovely husband does a good job)It's been this way for years.
So now I ask what should I bring and I hear "Pickle tray" or "Pillsbury Crescent Rolls"
I want to knock their heads.
At least I won't have to fuss very much over having them over.
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