"Eeww! Tofu in pudding?!" wrinkled up noses and suspicious looks. Okay, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration but not really. How about left over tomato soup turned into salad dressing, or pumpkin in bread, or coconut milk/cream in coleslaw or soy milk in mayonnaise ... And the list could go on.
Have you tried making something new, something different and had people ask you "What's that?" And after you've told them they turn up their nose and not want to eat it (even if it looks good), just because they are afraid to try something new or because it has something in it they don't like, or because they've never heard of it being used in that kind of dish? Maybe they are even afraid to try a purple potato and decide that they don't like it before they even try it. It's happened to me. I almost got to the point where I was afraid to tell some people what I'd made, or what was in the dish, or even share my recipes because they might make fun of my cooking again and think it was weird and un-tasty before they'd even try it. However, most of the time they would have a second serving and if asked, they'd have to admit it tasted good. Nevertheless, that still never stopped some people from making fun of my inventions in the kitchen. But that's ok... Let them make fun, it's only to their loss!
Creativity, imagination, and experimentation are essential for every cook, and it's what makes every true cook. Food is so versatile and only your imagination can stop the variety of gourmet dishes you can make. It's really good to eat a variety of different foods for different meals as they all have varying nutritional values. If there is something you or someone in your family don't like and if it's healthy, use your imagination and creativity and experiment. Try making it in a way that tastes good and that people will like. After a meal I have had people tell me at times, something like "I didn't like kale, but this was good" or "I didn't like black eyed peas so I was a bit leary in trying them, but I really liked these!" It's so rewarding to be able to make something healthy, taste good to people that never liked it before. And just think of all the healthy nutrients the are getting. :-)
Being flexible to your circumstances and being able to cook good, healthy and tasty dishes with what you have, with what's in season, with what you can afford and change recipes to meet special health needs etc... is a talent we should all cultivate. There may be an item you can buy cheaply where you live, but in other places it's extremely expensive. You may be able to obtain a certain items in one place but not in other places. So it's good to get your brain gears grinding and think of what you can replace certain things with, according to your circumstances or even make something brand new and different!
I don't make a meal menu for every week or month (unless I'm cooking for camp meeting or other events), though sometimes they help with ideas but, it's hard to know if there will be left-overs or what will have to be used sooner. So I like to plan around that and if there are left-overs, I like to re-create them into something different unless everyone really liked it and doesn't mind having it again the next day. ;-)
We don't go to town often as we live 100 miles away. If you are like us, then maybe sometimes you've wondered how you could stretch the food or fresh produce out longer to last you till next shopping spree. One thing I like to do with fresh fruit is make tapioca and put some of it in and serve it that way. It is yummy and really does help the fruit to go further. :-)
Have you seen something that looked really good in a photo? Try to duplicate it with what you have and with the things that you eat.
If you already love to be creative and use your imagination and experiment in the kitchen, keep it up, it's great! If you are just starting don't let anything discourage you! Yes, you may and will have failures, everyone does, but that's when you try again and keep at it! :-) Every time you try, you make progress! :-) Remember that if no one was creative or inventive we wouldn't have yummy things like spaghetti, pizza, soup, cakes, ice cream, breads or any number of other yummy things! So don't let fear stop you!
Don't let anyone's turned up noses, suspicious looks, distrusting comments or anything else and not even your own failures discourage you from being creative, imaginative, or experimental in the kitchen! It's a tremendous talent, a wonderful work to prepare healthful, well balanced, delicious meals while at the same time being flexible to your circumstances, cooking with what you have, with what is affordable, re-creating left-overs, changing recipes to fit people's specific health needs, making your own new yummy healthy dishes, stretch the food out to make it last longer if need be etc... It is an art and a talent that every girl should cultivate and striving always to do your best in the kitchen is nothing at all to be ashamed of!