Children who used to eat just about anything now have long lists of things they no longer deem palatable.
I have actually had the following conversations with my children:
Waitress: Would you like anything on your burger?
Phoenix: lettuce and tomato
(after the waitress leaves) Me: Just two days ago you complained about tomatoes in soup and picked the tomatoes out of the soup I made.
Phoenix: I don't like tomatoes that are cut up and soft in soup. I like them on burgers.
Me: Why are you throwing those raisins away? You chose to eat raisins.
Buttercup: These are the sour ones.
Me: Ummmm...come again?
Buttercup: I can tell by looking at them which ones are sour. I don't like the sour ones.
Me: What do you want for lunch?
Cuckoo: Do we have bagels?
Cuckoo: OK, I'll have a peanut butter bagel. I like peanut butter on bagels but not peanut butter sandwiches.
Thus far I have managed to avoid bringing up the starving children in Africa, but just barely.
They are pushing my patience to the limit.
No joke. If I see one more person take 45 minutes to eat an itty bitty clementine because he must dissect it in order to remove every single speck of white bit THAT ISN'T THE RIND AND WON'T KILL YOU IF YOU EAT IT! I just might go over the edge.
Since yelling at them or having ridiculous power struggles with them is pointless, I decided to passively-aggressively punish them by making all of their least favorite dinners.
On the menu this week:
aka Something for everyone to hate all in one meal.
Zucchini! Onions! Mushrooms! Oh My!
Back when my sister-in-law was still my sister-in-law she introduced me to this lovely dish. It can easily be made without the meat for all my vegetarian friends.
(I don't measure anything, so good luck with that.)
ground meat (I use pork, because...what else would a pig farmer use?)
salt and pepper and whatever other spices sound good
shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown the meat. I throw the onions in to cook with the meat.
While the meat cooks, I wash and prepare the peppers. I hear that some people blanch their peppers first, but I don't. I prefer my peppers on the crunchier side and see the blanching as a waste of time and one more pot to clean.
Once the meat is cooked, drain it and throw the rest of the ingredients into the pan.
(I forgot to take a photo after the sauce was added.)
Mix it all up and warm it for a bit.
I always have more stuffing than peppers, seeing as how that is the best part. I just fill in the baking dish around the peppers with the overflow.
Put them in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350. I add cheese to the top for the last 5 minutes or so.
Feeds 2 adults, one kid who almost likes the meal, 1 kid who doesn't mind it too terribly much, 1 kid who will choke it down, and three kids who will turn their noses up and just move the food around their plates. There will be plenty of leftovers for the 2 adults who appreciate a wide variety of good, healthy food.
As an aside, a couple of the kids saw me working on this post and read it. The comments included, "Phoenix ordered tomato on his burger?! After that fuss about the tomatoes in the soup?!?" and "Is that why you're making all of those bad dinners lately?"
Yes, Child. Yes, it is. There will be groaning no matter what I make, so I might as well make things that I like.
How do you deal with picky eating? And if you don't have picky eaters, I don't think I want to hear about it.
Unrelatedly, there is no question about it. A culinary blog this will never be.