Whenever Eric and I talk about food, it feels like our conversation comes straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. We go back and forth, up and down, over and over about what he will eat and what he won’t. He has an opinion on everything. He says he loves seafood, but he hates crab, lobster and other shellfish. He wants breakfast, but he won’t eat eggs. He loves the idea of a grilled steak but it can’t be any kind of strip steak. The list goes on and on. When we have these conversations, Eric speaks and all I hear is: “I would not, could not, in a box. I would not, could not, with a fox. I will not eat them here or there, I will not eat them anywhere!”
Before I go further, let me clearly state that Eric is a great friend for anyone to have. He’s funny, he’s sweet, he’s awesome to watch sports with and definitely one of my most favorite beer drinking buds. But he also loves to give me grief. He’s constantly reminding me that I never cook for him. . . and even though my whole life is focused around food with my friends. . . I have never made him anything. Not even a frozen pizza!
The truth of the matter is, when I cook for my friends, it’s typically because I’ve spent considerable time thinking about it first. I create dinner parties centered solely around my friend’s tastebuds and preferences. For example, I know Korey loves fresh fruit. Which means a breakfast of buttery crepes and fresh berries is the perfect way to start a morning together. Jen and John love Italian food, so a rustic dinner of pan roasted chicken flavored with fresh sage and handmade pasta was the way to go. Michael and Tyler love deep, full bodied wines, and therefore, a steak au poivre, cognac pan sauce and richly buttered herb popovers turned into a feast we’ll never forget (and fun with Cory and Erin too!)
With Eric, however, I scratch my head a lot. I’ve mentioned the idea of grilled lamb chops and he said he liked it. Then he proceeded to tell me about a time that he didn’t like the lamb he was served. So that idea was quickly scratched. I happen to know that after a night out, Eric loves nothing more than a bowl of pasta with melted butter and tons of cheese. Which makes me suggest an alfredo dish. In true Eric fashion, he proceeds to tell me about the way his dad makes seafood alfredo — and how much Eric doesn’t care for it.
I can’t help but giggle as I write this. Because Eric is such a good friend, the back and forth between us is pretty funny. As soon as I think I’ve figured out a menu plan, I become a cheerleader for it, I become Sam I Am. That, of course, means Eric is the Grinch. As we all know, at the end of the book, the Grinch learns to love Green Eggs and Ham. I may not have figured out the winning formula (yet) but when I do, I’ll make a believer out of Eric. Until then, it’s going to be many more hysterical conversations . . . and lots of hockey games.