But me, well I grew up in the North, way North - on the coast of Maine. We had a farm and a really big garden. But my mom worked at a true Chinese restaurant for a while and we also ate plenty of ordinary stuff like hot dogs, macaroni and cheese (from the box of course), and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I never really loved eggs, black beans were never part of my diet, the tortillas I knew were fried in a "U" shape or made of flour, and my mom always went light on the salt.
I didn't realize how much of a big deal it is both physically and psychologically to have access to food that you know. When I first travelled to Guatemala to visit my husband's homeland, I went the first four days with only their local food. In just four days I began to feel hollow inside as if my body was crying out for something it knew.
This is the same feeling that my husband gets when he goes long periods without his types of food. So, rather than fight about food - because that level of discomfort can certainly make a person cranky, and cranky is a stirring recipe for a fight, so we - "I" (since I'm the one who does 99.5 percent of the cooking currently - working on getting the kids involved)- frequently make two separate meals.
Making two separate meals may seem a little overwhelming, but I've learned a great variety of ways to really simplify this effort and may it not so much of a big deal.
So examples: My husband really doesn't like anything that even remotely resembles what we think of as Italian food here in the united States. So, when I really get in the mood for chicken parmesan, or the kids are begging for spaghetti, I simply make the pasta in a pot as usual, and with the chicken, I bake it on a sheet with three quarters of the pan done up in parmesan fashion, and then a breast or two on an oiled section with salt, pepper, garlic and other seasonings on the other section of the pan. When it comes out, they all cooked at the same time, but one was basic baked chicken and the others were Italian style, with a side of salted steamed broccoli for everyone.
For the pasta part, for the kids and I, I pour some simmered sauce over the pasta once on our plates, and then mix up some pasta for my husband with a little olive oil, salt, lemon juice and crushed red pepper. (Often though, for pasta nights, I'll just through a batch of rice in the rice cooker instead and hit "cook" as I start dinner - that rice cooker has made cooking that much easier in my home.)
As you can see with this example, two separate meals really didn't take that much more effort or cookware than the original meal planned. I'll keep sharing these types of accommodations and other culinary ideas and substitutions on the Community page. So, let's not fight over food.