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Why Mess With Tried and True?

by Kim Ades October 14, 2016

Thanksgiving turkey
Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.

My plan was to invite a few people over and make a turkey dinner. I counted how many people would be at the table and given that one member of the group is away at university, one is vegetarian, and one is vegan, I figured a smaller-sized turkey was in order.

I was proud of myself because I have a tendency to make WAY more food than we ever need. This time, I decided, I would be a little more sensible. So I bought a sixteen pound turkey.

Within a couple of days of buying the turkey, I was informed that we would be having extra guests ─ extra friends, extra kids, extra family members.

No problem, I thought, I’ll just make more!

Here was my menu:
-Turkey stuffed with hot dogs (an Ades tradition. Try it, it’s delicious!)
-Carrot salad
-Couscous salad
-Massive green salad
-And dessert

A couple of days before Thanksgiving, I started prepping by making the things that I could easily heat up right before the guests arrived. The meatballs were first on my agenda. Sweet and sour meatballs (I got the recipe from my mother-in-law and it’s been in the family for decades) is one of those tried-and-true recipes that is always a favourite.

As I was hunting in the fridge for the pineapple, I noticed that we had some leftover pasta sauce with Italian seasoning.

Hmm, I thought, that could be good with meatballs

I decided to be daring and threw it into the sauce.











The second it melded with the other ingredients, I regretted my decision. The voice inside my head played the following tune:

What was I thinking? Italian seasoning doesn’t go with sweet and sour. Why mess with tried and true? Why take a risk when I have guests coming over for dinner? Honestly, how could I be so impulsive?

Sometimes, however, I have two voices in my head.

The other one suddenly appeared and entered the ring to battle out the first voice:

If no one ever messed with tried and true, then we wouldn’t have pumpkin spice lattes or bacon on a burger. If no one took risks, then things would be bland and boring. We would never discover anything new.

Imagine if Steve Jobs decided that we just shouldn’t mess with typewriters? People who mess with tried and true are inventors, innovators, and livers of life. They are the ones who are not afraid to take a risk and fail, even when they have guests coming for dinner.

So how did my meatballs turn out? To be honest, they weren’t so great. Italian seasoning really doesn’t go with sweet and sour. But no one complained and no one left the table angry or offended. They ate, and ate, and ate and were happily stuffed.

We have some leftover meatballs. No big deal. Maybe next time, I’ll add some peaches or mangoes to the sauce instead.

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