Memory Making With Your Daughter: Weekend #2 – Taste Tests

This memory making idea is a gastro award winner. It involves taste test games with food and beverages! You gotta love that. The intent is to keep them in touch with their curiosity and creativity. When I ask my girls what they want to eat, they seldom answer with what they want. Instead, they answer with a place.

“What would you like to eat honey?”

“McDonald’s.”

This tweaks me a little bit, I must admit. I think the reason my daughters respond to “what” questions with “where” answers, is because they are stuck in a rut, and comfortable with it. I don’t like that. So, I came up with an idea that would get my girls to try eating or drinking outside their comfort zone, and have fun doing it!

I actually have a several to share. The first one is about the chicken that can no longer cross the road.

  • Difficulty: 1 out 4 (easy as pie)
  • Time: an afternoon
  • Cost: between 25 and 50 bucks, depending on your selections.

pink divider
Our Food Memory Making Experience(s)

1. The Best Legs Challenge

fried chicken leg

My middle daughter is all about Chicken Express. One afternoon as we were driving down the road, I was amazed at all of the different chicken joints. Heck, there was even fried chicken in convenience stores.

I said to her, “Hey, look at all of these chicken places. let’s see who has the best chicken. Let’s go to 5 restaurants and order a leg at each one. You take a couple of bites, and I will do the same. We can judge each chicken leg using categories.”

She loved the idea!

Together, we came up with these categories:

  • greasiness
  • meat moisture
  • flavor
  • presentation
  • other comments
The Results

The day was fun, and she tried 4 new restaurants. I don’t recall the final rankings, but I do recall that there were several new chicken legs that she liked.

Mission accomplished!
  • We had fun!
  • We spent quality time together.
  • We have a story to tell, and a story to remember.
  • We tapped into our “What’s Next” spirit that we had at birth.

2. The Water Snobbery Challengewater bottles in a row

My oldest daughter (19) has a sophisticated palate. Unlike her younger sisters (14 and 6), she is willing to try anything, as long it is not living when she eats it. She knows what she likes, but she still is willing to try new things.

In her younger years, that was not the case. She was every bit as stubborn as both of her younger sisters when she was their respective ages.

I am not sure if her willingness to experiment with unfamiliar cuisines is due to her growing older, or because I encouraged her, or both. My dad encouraged me from a young age as well when I was growing up, and I too recall being “picky” when I was young. Now, I will eat anything. . . once.

No matter the cause, I love it this about her.

Dad Always Pushes

“When one becomes sophisticated, they are perceived as snobs by the less sophisticated.”
-(JG)-

Despite the fact that my oldest exhibits a willingness to experiment, I still wanted to challenge some of her preferences. Up until the day that I did this water test, I thought she was a water snob. This memory moment humbled me and validated her position.

Blind Water Taste Set Up

When I go to the grocery store, I am usually asked by my oldest to get drinking water. Not just any drinking water, it has to be Aquafina.

So, here we go again. Finally, the dad-thing rose up in me just like it did with fried chicken. I wondered, “Is my daughter caught in a rut? Has she been lulled to sleep? Has she become comfortable in the familiar?”

Thus, I devised a challenge.

  • I went to the grocery store, and as requested, I bought Aquafina.
  • I also bought single bottles of 5 different brands of drinking water. All were more expensive than Aquafina, and all had better presentation and messaging.
  • I also bought some plastic cups.

When I got home, I labeled all the bottle caps sequentially, 1 through 6. I then wrote the same numbers on the caps of each water bottle and poured the water into its corresponding cup. All of the water was room temperature.

My oldest daughter chose these categories:

  • Soft/Hard
  • Salt/Mineral
  • Aftertaste
  • Mouth Dry/Wet
  • Overall Taste

I asked my daughter to do the following:

  • Identify which cup was Aquafina
  • Score all waters using the categories
  • Rank them

The whole family participated in this event, which made it a lot of fun.

The Results
  • Aquafina was in the third cup. She knew it immediately, without going any further. That girl is sophisticated has a sophisticated palate.
  • She discovered qualities in some of the other water options that she liked, and would be willing to drink.
Mission accomplished!
  • We had fun!
  • We spent quality time together.
  • We have a story to tell, and a story to remember.
  • I learned that my daughter is both sophisticated and experimental in regards taste.
  • My palate grew up a little on that day. Under the blind taste conditions, I became aware of drinking water qualities, before which I had not noticed. Perhaps I benefit from these memorable moments the most!

3. Goldfish Color Challenge

Goldfish Crackers in 4 Colors

My youngest loves to eat those colored Goldfish crackers produced by Pepperidge Farm. All of my daughters love those fishies. In fact, it is the only fish they will eat.

One day, I was watching my youngest daughter (6) as she was eating a package of those crackers. I heard her say to herself, “Where is a green one? Green is my favorite.” Of course, the daddy “teaching-moment” signal started pinging in my head.

I asked her to play a game with me. It was simple, quick, and fun. The game was called Guess the Green Fish game. The rules:

  • Close her eyes and stick out her tongue, so that daddy could place a cracker on her tongue.
  • Eat the cracker.
  • Guess the color.
  • Take a swig of water.
  • Repeat.

After she guessed all of the colors, we repeated the process with me being the one making the guesses.

The Results
  • She really could identify green! I couldn’t.
Mission accomplished!
  • We had fun!
  • We spent quality time together.
  • We have a story to tell, and a story to remember.
  • She is learning at an early age to explore.

Taste Tests and Daddy Wisdom

Dads, it is important for us to encourage our children to stay creative. The good news is that it is easy to do. The effort does not have to be monumental. It is a way of living, found in the day to day. The moment you recognize your daughter settling into a routine, ask yourself; “Will this serve my daughter, or will it limit her?” It is an easy question to answer.

“Old age is a state of mind. It sets in when curiosity and imagination are placed aside. Live long and stay young my friend.”
-(JG)-

As we grow older, I think there is a tendency to get into ruts and lose our curiosity and creativity. I think that is a bad thing, and I am not alone.

“Luckily, nature has provided me with an irrational curiosity for the most trivial things. That saves me. Curiosity is the only thing that keeps me afloat. Everything else makes me sink.”
 -Pedro Almodóvar-
“I think that if we lose our curiosity, there is nothing; there is no reflection and therefore there is no knowledge and there is no possibility of knowing, of getting to the bottom of something. Without curiosity, straightaway you are not living.”
-Luis Eduardo Aute-
“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
-E. Roosevelt-
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
-Albert Einstein-
You can find all of these quotes and more at Brainy Quotes.

Preserve Your Memory Making Moments

Life is a bunch of sand castles, you know. Try to find a way to memorialize your memory making moment by taking pictures or videos, or making a scrapbook. As we grow older, we all tend to forget some of the good times we share together. Today’s technology gives us the opportunity to document our memories as they are happening.

Read my post here about preserving our memories.

With love,

John, a.k.a dadofthreewinds

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