It’s not like I stay up at night wondering how I’m going to get my kids to eat eggplant, but when the situation presents itself — in the form of an enormous garden-fresh farm share delivery — I’d be crazy not to try right? On Wednesday, Andy and I both came home from work later than we wanted to and found ourselves, drink in hand, pondering a mound of misshapen cucumbers, onions, chard, zucchini, parsley, stone fruits (jackpot!), and deep purple little eggplants that our neighbor, who’s traveling, asked us to claim in her absence.
“Should we go veg tonight?” Andy asked.
“Definitely,” I said, examining the loot. “I’ll take the eggplant, you take the chard.”
Andy broke out the smoked paprika, attacked an onion in record speed, and before I knew it the Dutch Oven was filled to the rim with confetti’d chard. I did what I always do when there’s even a question that the girls will approach a new food with skepticism:
1) I set up dredging stations (egg, flour, breadcrumbs) and start frying.
2) I put off the girls’ requests for chips and salsa before dinner — hunger being the best sauce and all.
3) I do whatever I can to transform the new-food-in-question into pizza.
Did it work? Yes. They inhaled the things like wild beasts. Can I check off “eggplant” on my mental checklist of “foods they like.” Hmm. Not yet. As I’m not entirely convinced they knew they were eating it. (more…)
[Read more →]
Tags:eggplant for kids·eggplant parmesan·vegetarian·vegetarian dinners for kids
Where: The Kitchen
When: Weeknight, Dinnertime
Who: Mother (in untucked work clothes and flip flops, loose pony-tail); Her 8-year-old daughter doing homework at kitchen table
8-Year-Old: Mom? What’s for dinner?
Mom: Bean cakes.
8YO: Mo-om! What’s a bean cake? [Pause.] I’m not eating a bean cake.
[Critical juncture: Does Mom engage? It would be SO fun to engage, she thinks. Does she use logic? i.e. You love beans, you love cake! You'll love bean cakes! Mom does neither.]
Mom: Ok, you don’t have to eat them. [Blase, casual.] You know there is always something on the table that you’ll like.
8YO: [Somewhat taken aback by lack of engagement.] OK.
8YO: Do I have to eat a bean cake, Mom?
Mom: No, I said you didn’t have to. [Flipping a hot one in front of 8YO's counter-high nose.]
8YO: Maybe I’ll try a bite. But only a bite.
8YO: Fine. I will only have two whole bean cakes if I can have sour cream on them.
[Read more →]
Tags:bean cakes·hominy grill·hominy grill charleston·sweet potato side dishes·vegetarian dinners for kids·where to eat with kids in charleston
Black bean burritos (and one all-cheese for Abby)
I have no idea how this became the unwritten rule of dinner in our house, but when one of us discovers a new recipe, cooks it for the family, and it’s a success, it is the cook’s responsibility to prepare that dinner from that point forward. Forever. We have probably eaten Chicken Cutlets with Soy-Lime Sauce from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (page 391) two dozen times since 1998, and Andy, who was the first to recognize its potential for brilliance, has prepared it every one of those times. Likewise, Andy has never made “my” maque choux, lettuce hand rolls, or minestrone. It has nothing to do with skills or technique. A meal breaks down party lines purely by provenance…which can come in handy. Last week, when I answered “those Gourmet Burritos” to Andy’s question “What should we have for dinner?” it was as much out of laziness as it was out of a craving for an easy vegetarian dinner. Because the recipe for “those Gourmet burritos” (from the Gourmet Today cookbook) belongs to him.
[Read more →]
Tags:black bean burritos·healthy burrito·healthy dinner for kids·kitchen division of labor·vegetarian dinners for kids·vegetarian meals for kids