Peanut butter and jelly. That was the food that made up my childhood. Sometimes peanut butter and apple jelly. Other times, I would walk on the wild side and have peanut butter and grape jelly. “Beth is a picky eater,” was a phrase I heard more than once from my parents, my sister, and my friends. As I got older, I ventured out and tried foods that I was sure I didn’t like. Things like baked beans. Chinese food. Asparagus.
But, still as a nearly-40-year-old adult, I wasn’t what I would call a “foodie.” I liked what I liked and saw no need to venture past the few extra vegetables I have grown to like over the past few years.
And then, I went to Paris.
While in Paris last fall with my mother and sister, I decided that whatever my older sister ordered, I would sample. And if something was put on my plate and I was sure I wouldn’t like it, I tried it anyway. The most amusing thing to my sister and mom was that I never enjoyed tomatoes, but in Paris, they came with every croque monsieur sandwich that I ordered, so I ate my tomatoes. And occasionally, I ate theirs. I now LOVE tomatoes – of all shapes and sizes. And since Paris, I now also eat mushrooms, haddock, scallops, eggplant, and other foods that I swore would never end up on my plate, on my fork, or in my mouth.
And that is why I am SO excited that I am able to attend NRCM’s Art of Local Food event later this month. I am excited to sample local dishes from fantastic restaurants and farms – foods that even a year ago at our first event, I never would have tried. This year, I am going to try them all! This is a great event, in a great location, for a great cause – to support the Natural Resources Council of Maine and our work to protect Maine’s environment.
So, won’t you join me for a night of fabulous food, live music, friends, and a full moon rising over Penobscot Bay? Who knows…maybe they will even have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!