April 15, 2014

How Not to Boil an Egg--My Messy Beautiful

My children won’t eat anything I prepare for them.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  But not by much.  Here is a list of things that I can be (fairly) certain they will eat:
  • goldfish crackers
  • potato chips
  • cheese pizza
  • ice cream (H only)
  • grilled  cheese
  • dill pickles
  • black olives (H only)
  • string cheese
  • pepperoni slices (L only)
They will sometimes eat (depending on the ambient temperature, moon phase and color of their socks):
  • apples, oranges, strawberries
  • chicken soup
  • Spaghetti O’s
  • chicken nuggets
  • hot dogs (but only if it’s an even numbered Saturday in Oct)
  • broccoli (H only)
  • french fries
  • macaroni and cheese (from a box)
  • cold cereal (no milk, no spoon)

And that’s it.  Every other thing I place in front of them at the dinner table is met with shrieks of protest.  The funny thing is I only present the dishes that have made it out of the kitchen successfully.  Believe me, you’d shriek too if you saw some of my many culinary “misses”.  I’m certain I am the only one who consistently produces inedible cookies from store-bought refrigerated dough.  I also make the worst tasting popcorn on the planet.  Popcorn.  You just get kernels and add heat; yet mine tastes like Styrofoam mixed with lighter fluid.   Oh, and you know those crescent rolls that come in a pressurized can?  I can’t work ‘em.  Not the can—I’ve mastered the press the spoon against the seam technique that I learned as a child at my mother’s knee.  I just can’t unroll and reroll those sticky triangles in order to create a dinner roll or hot dog wrap.  Seriously.  I just don’t have that kind of skill.
Now that Henry is in school, my inability in the kitchen is gaining more attention.  For example, last year his teacher sent home a note asking each child to bring a hard-boiled egg the next day.  Imagine my glee, when I found that we actually had a carton of eggs in our refrigerator and I didn't have to rush to the grocery store at 6 pm.  (After all it was dinnertime and the microwave was just about finished heating our leftover pizza slices.)  I dutifully boiled not one but two eggs for Henry to take to class.  As a teacher myself, I know that how important it is to have extra supplies on hand.  I was happy to help.
The next afternoon, I asked Henry what the class did with the eggs and if the teacher used both of his.  “No, she threw mine out.”
“She cracked them and they dripped all over her hands so she threw them away.”
And so it goes.  Again and again.   I’m one of the few moms at Henry’s school who is happy about the new “no homemade treats” rule.  Thank goodness for food allergies and tamper-evident packaging.  They make class parties much less embarrassing safer.

I've all but given up trying.  I've read the shiny, expensive cookbooks and tried all the gadgets; I’m done.  Those items are going in next month’s garage sale.  I’ll use the profits to buy more goldfish crackers.

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  1. But you more than make up for your lack of cooking skills with the coolest day trips and home activities. I'm a mess in the kitchen too!

  2. I should be so lucky!! LOL! Elena will barely eat half of those things on your list!! It's the one parenting thing I've given up on. I just don't want meals to be a battleground. So I ask what she wants & make that...even if it's cheese pizza 12 days in a row!!! What really gets me is when she says she wants pizza so I make pizza and THEN she refuses to eat it!! ERG!!!

  3. Glad to know I'm not the only one that often feels clueless in the kitchen. I have a handful of things I'm pretty good at making, but my son won't eat them because he isn't a vegetable fan. I will say, having him "help" me prepare the food really does make him more interested in eating the food (yes, even veggies!).....but truthfully, I'm really hoping he will just take an interest in cooking so that someday I won't have to cook anymore!

  4. Oh the joys of eating! Love your list! I just was talking of how I LOVED to watch Liam eat.. (the time we went
    to Ikea and he was enjoying meat balls) Cooking such a chore I will never understand. To think some really ENJOY doing it and HAVE talent. (my Pappa Don being one of them, God rest his soul) But for you my dear you make food look creative. As you do with so many other things. I applaud YOU! Hugs!