Cooking for a crowd
I’m the resident chef in our home. And let me […]
I’m the resident chef in our home. And let me tell you something else: It’s impossible to appease everyone.
The only two people who eat our nightly meal without fail are L and me. After all, we’re the ones who decide what’s for dinner. N eats what we eat roughly 60 percent of the time, and G around 55 percent of the time. These aren’t hard-line numbers, rather estimates.
N always tells us that when he’s 5 years old, he’ll eat what we eat. Until then, here’s a list of the items he has enjoyed/currently enjoys/hates eating …
Macaroni and cheese: Here’s a dish that recently fallen out of favor because he likes it “from a restaurant only because they’re good and use big noodles.” Valid point, but there was a time when he’d ask for this once or twice a week.
Pasta: Another carb, right? He only wanted it without sauce for a while, then with sauce, then without, and now with. Accompanied by some sort of bread.
Grilled cheese: Easy to prep and cook, easy to clean up. However, it’s gone the way of mac & cheese. I whip these up for everyone and add tomatoes, bacon, pesto, whatever—so it’s more adult-like for L and me. I also make some homemade tomato soup most of the time.
Quesadilla: Basically another form of grilled cheese, but he hasn’t caught on. He likes diced tomatoes on his, and I’m more than happy to oblige. L and I will add black beans, guacamole, salsa, the works, and also a side of rice.
Applesauce: A perfect accompaniment to every meal, it’s never been rejected by either boy.
Apples: N is hesitant at times but has embraced apple-eating as a snack at school. G crushes apples.
Clementines: G devours these so quickly we have to cut each slice in half. N used to love these.
Carrots: (See “Applesauce.”) It’s very rarely rejected.
Vegetables not called carrots: We haven’t had much success with these unless they’re hidden in a pouch.
Steak/hamburgers/cheeseburgers: N will occasionally eat a burger while G abstains. Over the summer, the dog ate a burger right out of N’s hand, so clearly he’s still hesitant to eat them because the dog is surely going to eat it again.
Chicken: Both nuggets and cutlets are eaten without fuss, but N’s extremely hesitant to eat baked chicken—even with …
Ketchup: No, he isn’t like Frankenstein from Big Daddy, who ate 30 packets, but it’s far and away his favorite condiment.
Scrambled eggs/waffles/pancakes: Breakfast for dinner is his favorite, especially because it contains his second favorite condiment: syrup. G is a bit more picky and has a love/hate relationship with breakfast for dinner, or anything for that matter.
PB&J: Literally 97 percent of his lunches the past several years have been PB&J—or sunbutter at school—and he isn’t even sick of it yet. G loves it, too.
Cereal: Both boys eat Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios religiously for breakfast and sometimes as a snack, taking after L and me, who both love cereal.
Tacos: Hate despite never having tried one.
Mashed Potatoes: Once loved, now loathed.
Tater Tots: It’s always been a love affair with these little buggers, and N even gets into the sweet potato puffs. (Thanks, Alexia.)
Yogurt: We go through an inordinate amount of Chobani tubes, so we buy in bulk.
Pizza: The perfect food (despite taking a step down in attainable quality pizza since moving from NYC). everyone in our family loves it. N even loves the basil on the margherita pizzas we order. He’s also learned to eat it with the cheese up instead of down—it only took a year.
Fortunately, G eats like an animal and N is once again widening the scope of foods he’s eating. D3 won’t worry about eating human food for a while, so the aforementioned chart is on hold until at least 2017 for him.
L has been going to bed at roughly 10 o’clock for the past few weeks and is becoming increasingly more tired. I’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve already come to the realization that we’re going to be in a constant state of tired for years to come. Once you’re a parent, sleep is optional and alone time is negligible.
We’re in the home stretch, the third trimester, 10 weeks to go—the last hurrah before we’re outnumbered. We will decide on a name, maybe at the hospital, but that’s really been the only stressor thus far.
We’ve kind of got it narrowed down to like a 20-name pool but depending on which way the wind blows, we love and hate them all. It’s a complicated relationship we have with choosing a name, and usually we’re pretty decisive in our decision-making.
One decision we’ve made, on nights I don’t work, is watching “The Amazing Race” on Hulu Plus. We don’t get into many shows, but this one makes us hopeful of one day being able to travel to some of these places, ya know, when all three kids are out of the house, so basically when I’m 55. Happy thoughts.