Trying New Things, and the Occasional Need for Take-Out

We’ve been living here in Western Germany for a little over 8 months.  We have developed comfortable routines during this time.  We get up in the mornings, Dirk takes Jack for his morning walk while I get the coffee started and breakfast on the table.  Cheyenne gets ready for work at the Vet office.  Then, after a small breakfast, they are off to work, and I get started on my daily tasks.  I have Newt the Cat and Jack the Dog to “help” me with my chores.  I have really found that I LOVE being the Haus Frau.

Each day that I wander out into town is still an adventure, but I am more comfortable with my surroundings. It’s no longer feels frightening and too loud.  I can manage getting a bus ticket, I know which bus goes to the various parts of town.  I am able to buy my train ticket and either go into Köln or Brühl( I am sure I could go other places too, but I haven’t had a need to…yet). I can find the things we need in the stores, and ask for things if I can’t. Sometimes I have small conversations with people I encounter, and sometimes I run into friends.

Lately, I have been trying to cook a new recipe at least once or twice a week. I don’t want to get too comfortable or fall into a rut with our meals. The family has been supportive and seems to like everything that I have made so far.  I think I have gotten pretty good at making Putenschnitzle and my Orange Chicken with rice is pretty damn good if I may say so myself.  My mom was a very good cook back in the day.  But, the only seasonings she ever used were salt, pepper, powered onion, powdered garlic, and Lawry’s Seasoning.  So, I have been trying to be a bit more adventurous with my cooking than my very MidWest upbringing has prepared me for.  I have found that I really like Indian and Thai foods with curry in them.

So, today I decided to make a curried potato and lentil creation. I found the recipe on line.  It has taken me all afternoon to make.

My creation does not look like the picture on the website.

It does not smell delicious like the food at the Indian Restaurant.

It does not taste like anything I have ever had………. or ever want to have again.

 

Now, I am currently trying to reach my husband in hopes that he will stop at the Döner shop on his way home and bring us some Turkish food for dinner.

Each day is still an adventure here in our little part of the world.  Tomorrow I will try another new recipe, and hope that it turns out delicious, or at the very least, edible.

How about you?  Do you try new recipes that use spices that you did not grow up with or do not usually cook with? Do you like to be adventurous with with your food?

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45 thoughts on “Trying New Things, and the Occasional Need for Take-Out

    1. I was really worried about my dinner yesterday. But turns out, my husband loved it and my daughter liked it too. I thought it had a very bitter aftertaste, but they both disagreed. So, I guess it wasn’t a total failure after all! I still don’t think I will try that recipe again!

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  1. I have tried being adventurous but with a household that has different tastes it got complicated real quick! Now it’s more about consensus cooking. Time is awkward too. That said, it’s all home cooked. No packet mixes or jars of sauces. Most is slow cooked owing to time and running about to stations and schools. But it does mean scouring cook books creating my two week menu system is part of the process. That system helps organise shopping for groceries. One big shop and second week is to replace fresh stuff only. Works out cheaper too as I’m buying knowing where I can use everything up as per menu.

    Great post and good to hear you are finding your feet there!

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    1. Yes, trying to please everyone in the house is a struggle sometimes. I made everything from scratch as well, nothing boxed or from a jar. I do LOVE using my crockpot, and use it frequently. I usually shop twice a week, and may stop at the farmer’s market in between for more veggies. I love having access to such fresh food here. (I had fresh food in Michigan because I grew a HUGE garden there).
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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      1. My pleasure. I’m in tune with this too. Most of my meat comes from a butchers not a supermarket and I do try and grow a few things. Fresh food is a must though nowadays. Way too much processed and fast cooking products. Little wonder there is so much rubbish being generated!

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  2. This made me laugh, Cherie, thank you. The worse thing I ever cooked was a chili and chocolate beef casserole (i know, what was I thinking?). It was utterly revolting. That was more than 10 years ago and I swear I can still taste it…

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  3. I think I am fairly adventurous with my food, but really what I loved was Grandma’s willingness to try things I made. As food network was taking off, my mom started to get more adventurous with her cooking, and I was more than willing to try recipes that I would find, and Grandma was our poor guinea pig. To her credit the harshest thing I recall her saying was “that was different”

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  4. Yes! I grew up on a combination of Southern food (my dad is from West Virginia) and Pennsylvania Dutch / Eastern European dishes (my mom is from Pennsylvania and her heritage is
    Czech / Irish). I’ve grown to love fried chicken and coleslaw but I hated it when i was little. My moms cooking was a LOT of pork/ham, which i don’t care for, and very heavy dishes like kielbasa, pierogies, halupki (cabbage rolls), halushki (fried cabbage noodles). I enjoy most of these things, but in moderation. When i started cooking I tried to make lighter/fresher/healthier things (I was vegetarian for over a decade, and raw vegan for nearly a year). My cooking is a bit more mainstream these days (my husband is a carnivore) and I love love love trying different ethnic flavors and spices. Curries are delicious and I’ve had some amazing successes – and some phenomenal flops. It’s good to know when to throw in the towel and order a pizza. 🙂 One thing I’ve noticed is the quality of recipes online can vary (many aren’t kitchen tested) so if I am trying something for the first time I will usually go to a trusted source (like Martha Stewart or the barefoot contessa or someone who has never led me astray). But yeah, plenty of failed dishes over the years that ended in the compost.

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    1. I was vegetarian for the first 22 years of my life. Now I do eat some poultry and fish. My husband is a meat eater, and loves sausage of all types…he is after, German.
      I do usually use recipes from specific sites, but the picture looked so good on this one….ugh.
      Dirk claims it was delicious and ate two bowls full….I thought it had a very bitter aftertaste. We ate it, didn’t and didn’t die….but it will not be repeated.

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      1. Yeah I’m not a big meat eater but my husband just did a hog butchering with some neighbors last weekend so our freezer is now full of sausage, pork chops, ham . . . 🤢 Kind of off topic but it’s also possible you just had an odd taste for some reason if your husband enjoyed it – I don’t know what it is but some days everything smells like cat piss to me (we do not have indoor cats). Maybe you were having a cat piss day. 🙂

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  5. I love to try new recipes and new foods, but my husband does not. It can be frustrating sometimes because I don’t want to make something if he doesn’t like it and I have tons of leftovers.

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  6. I love trying new foods and am incredibly lucky that my husband does, too. I’ve had spectacular fails, but there’s always PB&J for that (no takeout here, more’s the pity.)

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  7. I grew up in a meat + two veg family too. My parents both cooked, but meat was always the center of each meal. However, in the UK the spices, veggies and products have become more and more adventurous as we got older, so my family was always up for trying new things. 🙂

    Still, there were soooo many things that i’d never tried before university! Avocado, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, ramen, plantain, miso, quinoa (and sooo many other things) were all new to me!

    I don’t normally attempt to cook things if I have no idea what they should taste like…but if we try something on holiday or in a restaurant then I like to give it a go. Sometimes it fails, but sometimes I feel like a cooking superstar!

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  8. I love trying new recipes – but since son number 1 has moved back home it is trickier as he is so fussy! Not sure what is worse, him moaning about my food or the mess he leaves when he cooks for himself!! My own diet is becoming more limited for health reasons (gluten free and various other things) but I still cook for the family, and they love their spicy food!! Did a lemon chicken recently that was good and have some great looking Greek recipes to try. Also love baking & making puddings…..

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  9. We’re adventurous eaters in my house, but it can be hard on the budget. I find it really hard to juggle the goals of health, delicious, and cheap meals. But nevertheless we persist, because the same thing every night is boring and it doesn’t teach the littles much about trying new things. We are headed to Malaysia in a couple of months and Master Three says “in Penang I’m going to eat soooo many shrimpies!” So I figure the adventurous eating thing must be paying off.

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  10. I was blessed with a mom who was born and raised in the Philippines, so we ate a wide variety of foods and I feel pretty brave. But it has only been in the last 6 years or so that I have really started to experiment with different cuisines and spend way too much money at the spice shop! But even as much as my husband and I enjoy cooking, there are still those times when we look at each other in the kitchen and head down for sushi instead of cooking…

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  11. You’re lucky to have such a unique experience! I’d love to try moving to another country, if even for a short time. Sounds like you’re doing great. As for your potato dish–keep trying! Maybe just a vegetable curry?

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  12. Curries are my speciality… I love discovering “new” herbs & spices …. my latest recipe is baked chicken biryani which, among the ingredients, I use green lentils. My young sons loved it! It smelt divine as it was cooking & was easy to do. Growing up my mum only cooked the basics – meat, frozen peas & mashed potato seasoned with a bit of salt. Even now she won’t eat anything else! Let me know if you want some recipes! 😊

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