Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cooking for Kids

Enough about George Bush. I'm going to look forward, not back. 1/20/09.

I know I've mentioned before how much I love to cook. I love food, textures, tastes, working with them, tasting something and thinking about all the different ingredients.

Last night, I cooked a recipe Jeanine had picked the other day.

Jeanine is a great cook. But it's hard for her to think about flavors and textures when they are written on a piece of paper. The other day, when she was going to cook dinner for the whole family, we went through a whole list of things.

I'm making salmon with a orange vinaigrette. What else?

I shrugged. Well, the kids would like white rice.

No way, she said.

We then proceeded down a list of choices that included squash (too orange), lentils (too boring), and mashed potatoes.

The kids don't eat mashed potatoes. Ever.

What about potato and leek soup?

You're going to cook a piece of fish with a sauce and serve soup?

(authors note: see piece on marriage survival 1/27/08)

Needless to say, she made a fabulous Parmesan risotto and sauteed spinach to go with the salmon. Incredibly delicious. When it comes to putting spoon to pan, knife to cutting board, she is way better than I am at following a recipe.)

Yesterday, as I looked at her recipe she had printed out (and bought all the ingredients for regardless of my horror) I thought.... grocery store or soup.

Soup it was.

What I find funny is that while this country version was simple, flavorful and bright, it was also big giant chunks of leeks. And potatoes.

Nothing else.

My kids would never eat it.

This is the kind of challenge I love in the kitchen. What to do... what to do... how about pureeing it so they don't know it's potatoes, or leeks.

The flavor still lacked any kid punch. I am not ever going to cook another meal for the kids. One meal fits all. I always try to make a choice that they like- bread- or a flavor I know will catch their imagination.


Don't laugh. My kids will eat spinach with enough bacon in it. Sure, it's killing them but their getting their greens!

Just a couple slices, chopped fine and stirred in and it's a dinner they ate.

Where's the bacon?

It's in there. Keep eating.

Except Jake, who was the only one who would have preferred the original recipe, not pureed and no bacon, thank you.

Cooking for kids, when you love food, can be a challenge. I've been blessed with kids who have never weighed too little or failed to gain weight at a proper rate. None of them ever eat too much except Zachary, once, with cookies but after throwing up he never did again.

They've all learned how to tolerate a foodie mother who insists on their observation of each dish.

And yes, they get taco night on occasion, too.


Blogger Ulla said...

Oh, I SO understand. Exactly the same here. Bacon - yes. Cream - yes. White Pasta, bread and rice - OH YES. Vegetables - absolutely not, except for boiled carrots and peas.
The more delicious I find it, the less they'll want to eat it. The more expensive the ingredients - the less they'll eat it.
I'm 100% stumped.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

ours wont touch mushrooms......and they are now 21 & 24.

Ever seen grown men dry heave? It aint pretty...

8:08 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Best compliment: when my 7-year old friend told me I had made him the "best tuna fish sandwich I ever had!"

8:30 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

We have decided that Ladybug gets to eat what mommy and daddy eat. Even at restaurants. She needs to learn from the very beginning that I will not be making two different meals for the members of this family!

(PS...the bacon and spinich combo sounds great. Super yummy)

11:53 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I put the spinach in lasagna and they eat it. with enough cheese and sauce they cant even tell its there.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Lula de Montes said...

our munchkin will eat everything, though as she is edging towards 4, we are finding that she is less gullible.

Yesterday's parsnip purée and chicken pie was came with bacon strips on the purée.

Lobster: no can do, but that's pretty much it, so far, except for lentils, which she hates with a vengeance after a kitchen standoff.

What's really nice is that she helps us cook!

11:05 AM  
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