Do you consider yourself an adventurous eater? Has your level of culinary daring varied over time? I was thinking about this the other day when I was describing Mr. Magpie to a new friend and mentioned that he was “the type to order the wildest thing on the menu.” (Which is true and not true — he’s not the type to do anything to impress anybody (i.e., this is not for shock value), but he likes to try things that are difficult to come by or prepare, as he is such an excellent cook that he can pull off most menu staples handily at home. As an example, he will usually order fried artichokes or calamari if they are on the menu because they are both painstaking to clean/prepare on your own, and frying anything is an undertaking, and if there is anything with squid ink or morels or ramps — ingredients that have short seasons or are just difficult to find — he’s all over it.) My friend then asked: “What about you? Are you an adventurous eater?” I had to think on this. I am in general less of a risk-taker than Mr. Magpie and would never consider myself a daredevil in any category, but I have to say I believe I am a fairly adventurous eater, mainly thanks to Mr. Magpie. We both eat and drink nearly anything put before us.* I am specifically recalling anguilas (tiny, tender eels served as pintxos on bread) in Barcelona; just-barely-set fresh tofu with caviar at our last meal out in NYC at Contra; and a variety of forcemeats and sweetbreads and the like at the outrageously inventive Le Cou Cou (including their near-iconic navets en guise d’escargots, or “turnip, mussel and sea urchin disguised as snails”).
But I was not always this way. Before we were married, I was so hyper-aware of calories and so firmly on the salads-all-the-time bandwagon that I had tunnel vision looking at any menu. As we began to seriously date, I learned that Mr. Magpie eats three square meals a day, and likes to have a protein, a starch, and at least one vegetable on his dinner plate. I slowly began to venture out of my comfort zone and then, almost overnight, our new marriage permanently varied my diet, as I wanted to be able to sit down and break bread with my new husband at the dinner table every night, and this meant accommodating his more balanced and diverse approach to meal-planning. I grew more comfortable with eating red meat and fried foods and all the things of which I’d deprived myself in pursuit of what I perceived to be a healthy lifestyle, and now here we are — a pair of omnivores willing to eat their way through any destination.
What about you?
*Except for beer. I am simply not a beer drinker, despite many attempts. I wish I liked it! It feels like the appropriate beverage for so many instances — seafood boils/clambakes, ballgames, porch sits, camping excursions — but it is just not for me.
**I always get requests for weeknight menus/meals/recipes. It is so hard to serve this up to you since Mr. Magpie does all the cooking at this point and so many of his recipes are blends of three or four sources, or his own creation, and he is very difficult to pin down on the specifics, I think because he is a perfectionist and skittish about mis-sharing the exact proportions or offering up a recipe before it’s tried-and-true. I’ll keep working on him because I think a “Mr. Magpie Cooks” series would be SO fabulous. In absentia, I will share the last few meals he’s created:
BLACKENED TILEFISH, ANSON MILLS’ CAROLINA GOLD RICE, BROCCOLI IN BUTTER
MARINATED SKIRT STEAK, ROASTED POTATOES, GRILLED PEPPERS IN VINEGAR AND OIL
EGGPLANT PARM, SAUTEED BROCCOLI RABE WITH GARLIC AND ANCHOVIES
GRILLED BURGERS ON SESAME BUN WITH THINLY SLICED RAW ONION AND ONE SLICE OF AMERICAN CHEESE (KRAFT), OVEN FRIES WITH MALT VINEGAR TO DIP, GREEN SALAD WITH GARLIC EXPRESSIONS DRESSING (IYKYK)
PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND BASIL FROM OUR GARDEN — INSANELY FLAVORFUL…HE IS SO GOOD AT MAKING SAUCEY PASTA; IT’S SOMETHING ABOUT DEEPLY SEASONING YOUR PASTA WATER WITH SALT AND THEN RESERVING THAT STARCHY WATER TO MIX IN WITH THE COOKED PASTA
SERIOUS EATS’ FAJITAS AND ALL THE TRIMMINGS, INCLUDING HOMEMADE GUACAMOLE (LANDON LIKES HIS WITH TOMATILLOS IN IT), BLACK BEANS, RED RICE
+Another great wedding guest dress option. Love that blue!
+Adore this oversized slouchy mohair sweater — $135!
+OMG – did I already share this organizer for your little one’s Matchbox cars?
+This little sign is so cute. Paints a picture of your lifestyle, doesn’t it?!
+These $10 jammies in the dino print would make micro’s heart sing.
+Love this scalloped trash can. Eyeing it for our powder room!
+Platforms are back for fall 2021. We really are heading straight back to the 90s, between clogs and these! I am swooning over these plaid beauties.
+Speaking of clogs, this is how you wear them with dresses. TRES CHIC.
+Just added one of these Stoney Clover-esque pouches to my cart for mini’s school backpack, for keeping her glasses, eye patches, bandaids, etc in one place.
+Cute socks for a little gal’s fall wardrobe. (Pair with Mary Janes or Cientas.)
+Another chic bar/counter stool option just arrived at Crate and Barrel. (More chic stools here.)