Monday, June 23, 2008

I Would Bribe Them With Cake If I Knew How To Bake

While Mrs. Joe & I were together, the kitchen rules were simple; Mrs. Joe cooked, I did the dishes. She enjoyed cooking and simply put, I didn't. Also, Mrs. Joe did not care much for doing the dishes so it was a simple decision.

So one of the biggest challenges I have had to undertake since Mrs. Joe left was cooking. I have never found any interest in cooking. I could eat t.v. dinners or take-out every night of the week but the kids make me want to at least try to cook.

Problem is the kids have been raised to be the pickiest eaters I know. Even back then, Mrs. Joe would try in vain to get them to try new things. I admit I could have done a better job of helping her get them to try something new. Unless it is a chicken nugget or a hot dog, prepare for battle. For their credit, they eat their fair share of fruits and vegetables so the lack of meat options isn't the end of the world.

Until, of course, you are sick of feeding them nuggets and hot dogs and are trying to get them to eat something else.

Today, my sister was watching the kids and as I got home from work it hit me, What am I going to make the picky little bastards angels for dinner. They must be sick of nuggets and hot dogs. Maybe they will try something new.

So the question was sent, "What do you guys want for dinner?"

In unison "Hot dogs"

Aren't you sick of hot dogs?


"Daddy's going to make pork chops on the grill. You want to try some?"

Peanut responded, "I don't like them".

Followed by The Champ, "I want a hot dog".

So again, under the pressure of my 3 and 6 year olds, hot dogs it was.

I decided to make the pork chops anyway. I am pretty happy with myself regarding cooking. 6 months ago I had no interest in it, now I kind of look forward to opening up a beer while I throw a steak or chops on the grill. Unfortunately my kids don't find my new ability worth a hill of beans.

So for dinner tonight I had pork chops with some rice and corn. Peanut & The Champ dined on hot dogs and corn. Peanut ate some rice but The Champ steered clear. I asked them a few times if they wanted to try some but they declined. I guess all I will do is offer them choices and maybe they will try it, maybe not.

At least one of us trying new things.

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Blogger Susiewearsthepants said...

Peanut butter, mac and cheese, and Campbell's chicken noodle soup are the choices at my house. Mine will eat the meat, but she doesn't want the veggies. I cook anyway as I have no desire to live on Easy Mac. I finally broke down and started cooking about a year ago. I don't necessarily enjoy it, but hey, it's a dirty job and someone has to do it.

Mon Jun 23, 11:03:00 PM 2008  
Blogger HW said...

I was not above bribing my children to try new foods. We took them to a Chinese buffet and I gave them a dime for every item they put on their plate AND tasted. Chinese became their favorite that night. After that it was easy - once they learned that new foods can be good. It's a battle with all little ones - just hang in there and keep trying. And yay you, for venturing into the cooking world.

Mon Jun 23, 11:24:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Whit said...

Mine are picky based on aesthetics. Once I force them to eat something (threats mostly) that looks 'icky' they generally like it. Also, ketchup goes a long way and apparently can be eaten on anything.

Tue Jun 24, 02:34:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Charlotta-love said...

My brother survives on cereal, cheese burritos, and peanut butter sandwiches. I do like HW's idea with the dimes.

props to cooking pork chops. I've been teaching myself to cook for a few years now and I still haven't ventured to pork chops. Impressive!

Tue Jun 24, 09:39:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Amy said...

my daughter ate just peas and cheese for two years. now, at 17, she eats artichokes, pancetta, goat cheese, sea bass, steak--all kinds of things.

kudos to you for learning to cook! when i met my husband, he had been 3 years divorced and cooked quite well, i was the one who was clueless in the kitchen! now i'm the chef and he's on clean-up, though he can filet a fresh bluefish with great ease.

Couple of ideas for you and for your kids to expand your palate: ditto on hw's suggestions about bribes, worked for me with my 3 too. Also, even though it's a total pain, having them pick out something out of a kids' cookbook and cook it with you will sometimes spark them up in terms of wanting something new. You're doing a great job by offering and not forcing them with new stuff, i always put it on their plates and usually when i looked away they'd deign to try it. All 3 are good eaters now, they love--wait for it--sushi most of all.

Also i wanted to give you, beer coneisseur that you are, a recipe for the best grilled chicken ever--beer can chicken. Take one can of beer (something taller is better for a big chicken), and take off the lid with a can opener. Drink 1/3 and put some salt and pepper in the can, a bay leaf if you have it. Take a whole chicken, take out the bag of guts (it will in a bag stuffed inside the chicken) and rinse the chicken under water. Dry it off with paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper Put the beer can right up the chicken's butt, so the legs are down around the bottom and the wings are pointing up skyward.

Put your grill on high, both burners. After it preheats for about 15 minutes (if it's a gas grill), turn off the left burner and put the chicken on the left side. So, leave the empty side of the grill on. Turn the right (or empty) side down just a bit, close the lid, and put the timer on for 1 hour 15 min. The grill will smoke like crazy, resist the urge to open and check--you are steaming that chicken! After 1 hour 15 min. open the grill lid and take out the moistest, bestest chicken you'll ever have.



Tue Jun 24, 05:15:00 PM 2008  
Blogger womaninawindow said...

Tacos are a great switch-up 'cause you can load the table with STUFF and they can dress 'em as they please. They'll get the diversification thing sooner or later, esp if they see you branching out! (Before you know it they'll be into beer and chops...)

Tue Jun 24, 06:30:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous phenom said...

There's nothing much more enjoyable to me than what you described - opening a beer and throwing something on the grill. Get yourself a grill cookbook - you'll love it and the kids just might, too. Throw their hot dogs on the grill and maybe they'll dig on other stuff coming off it.

Tue Jun 24, 06:48:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Ms. Judy said...

Was visiting friends who have 4 and 6 yr olds. Heard them talking about a "No Thank You Bite." Mom: You can have more french fries after you eat your "no thank you" bite. Son later pointing out the obvious: I ate a bite of (fill in blank) and no thank you. Can I have more french fries now?" And he got them. Oh so polite.

Here's my easy recipe to share: Put pork chops in a skillet and sizzle them til they're brown. Once they're browned (dark tan?), pour a good-sized individual can of "Snappy Tom" or "Hot V8 Juice" (not the spicey stuff if you're cooking for the kids of course) over the chops. Turn down the heat to simmer (little, little bubbles) with a lid on it. Once the chops are cooked through, serve the chops and the gravy made from that now simmered can of juice over the rice you've been cooking. Yum! Rice is easy to cook in the microwave by the way.

I love the dimes idea!

Wed Jun 25, 11:17:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous stepping over the junk said...

Ah man. NEVER ask them what they want to eat. You make their food, put it in front of them. You decide what they eat, they decide how much. Eventually, you bribe them with icecream to try a few bites of something new and there is a 50-50 change of them actually like it. Or maybe a 20-80 chance.

I got my littlest to eat goose once. I didnt tell her what it was. After about ten bites, she put her fork down and said "Mommy, I don't really like this chicken too much".

Thu Jun 26, 09:07:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous stepping over the junk said...

btw, I just bought some sam adams. a case of it. boston ale. yeah man.

Thu Jun 26, 09:20:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Darren said...

In some ways, hot dogs and nuggets are better. We somehow managed to get Clare to like lots of different things and now she asks for lobster, shrimp and steak.

Mon Jun 30, 10:45:00 AM 2008  

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