Hi, there! Guess who’s back?
Not “back” in the sense that we are celebrating daily food holidays. We did not have spaghetti yesterday, chocolate covered cherries the day before, or cream puffs the day before that (though we did start the New Year with Bloody Marys again, but that’s a tradition we’ll probably always partake in). As liberating as it is not having to plan our menu around a particular food holiday, it has felt kind of weird readjusting to a normal schedule. It’s like we’ve stepped into “civilian life” after spending a year in jail, or perhaps the military. I still find myself automatically checking in on what the food holiday is, out of habit. Like, a year ago we celebrated whipped cream in Seattle. Ahh…memories.
But life goes on, and while we do miss the challenge at times, we are both glad it’s over. We came, we saw, we conquered. Time to move on.
Last month I asked our dear readers for questions, and they came through with plenty. So here are the answers!
- What was the worst food you tried? Ironically enough, one of the most expensive: caviar. It’s the only one that made Tara dry heave. Fish eggs may be considered a delicacy, but they didn’t win us over. Even the dog biscuits were better. We also despised the martini. I’ve since learned how awful vermouth is.
- What was the best? We both loved Julia Childs’ Coq au Vin. Tara was also impressed with the chocolate souffle. She did a kick-ass job with that one. I loved the Peking Duck and was blown away by the Pepper Pot.
- What was the most difficult challenge to celebrate? Vanilla custard, because it took multiple attempts to get it to set properly, and then we had to drive it across three states due to an unexpected death in the family. When we finally ate it, it had separated, and was quite frankly a mess.
- What food surprised you the most (in taste, and in what it actually was)? We were both surprised that we didn’t hate lima beans. Tara thought the escargot was much better than she expected. The Yorkshire Pudding was nothing like we expected, but delicious; when I hear pudding, I think a custard-like dessert, not a baked popover.
- Have any new foods youve been exposed to incorporated themselves into your regular repertoire of meals/snacks? Yes! We have made the curried chicken salad several times, and in fact, it’s on our dinner menu this week. We’ll also be making Coq au Vin once in awhile, and Pepper Pot, for sure. Same goes with welsh rarebit. And I’m sure at some point down the line we’ll be trying our hands at souffles again!
If you were to do this challenge again, what would you do differently? I’m proud of the way we took on this challenge, and wouldn’t change much. Maybe try to make a few more things from scratch. Tara wished we had kept track of our expenses, and I would have used a real camera rather than my cell phone to concentrate more on getting a good picture of each challenge.
- What advice would you give to someone who would want to try to do this challenge? I answered that in detail on our last post.
- What was the cheapest challenge? Most expensive? A lot of the challenges were cheap. Buying a kiwi, eating an apple, a candy cane, a handful of nuts – none of these cost much. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the roast leg of lamb cost us $40, making that one the costliest. We also had to buy a lot of alcohol, which added up.
- Did you ever take the easy way out of a challenge? Of course! We would have driven ourselves crazy if we hadn’t. Buying pudding cups for some of the pudding challenges, for instance. Or eating Boston Creme Pie flavored yogurt instead of making an actual Boston creme pie. But you get to a point where there are so many dessert challenges in a row, or dishes that require a lot of cooking, and you are just too tired to put in every bit of effort. Like I said, I’m proud of what we accomplished!
There you go! Consider this a helpful tip if you ever plan on taking on this challenge yourself.
And stick around – our first challenge of the new year will be taking place next weekend!