I’m not sure when it happened or how it started but the boys are turning into picky eaters. There is no reason for it at all. We aren’t picky eaters at all, his parents. More so myself, I’ll try anything once, I’m and adventurous eater. If there is something on a menu that I’ve never encountered before, I’ll give it a go. The wife not so much. She will try things but not outside the realm of “normal”. Suffice it to say she has never tried Rocky Mountain Oysters. But this guy…BOOM! Denver airport y’all!
I must say that they were disappointing. The oysters were like calamari; rubbery, deep fried and without flavor. Like calamari they only tasted of the fryer, breading and cocktail sauce. Which, by the way was another disappointment. Cocktail sauce? I was thinking they would have been served with some kind of chipotle mayo or other spicy dipping sauce to drive home the exoticness of the oyster. Oh well. Check it off, I did it.
The kids however are getting there with the pickiness. But, it’s not that they will only eat chicken fingers and French fries or (gag) Spaghetti Os. The trend that I am noticing is that they will only eat their Baba’s food. That is to say that they only eat it to the point that they are too hungry to pass on the Army surplus MREs (meal ready to eat) that I am serving. Until recently they have stayed with her every Monday through Friday since birth, so they are used to her cooking and menu. They have gotten a steady diet of homemade soup, fresh bread and Serbian delights daily and for a long time. And now that flow has slowed to a trickle and I think they are rebelling against me the only way they can. With their stomachs.
This past Saint Patrick’s Day I got into the spirit and made shepherd’s pie. While I have heard of it I had never made it before, and not being able to drink Guinness and Murphy’s until I vomit on my shoes anymore, I celebrated the day they only way I could. I cooked an Irish dish for the family. It’s not overly complicated to prepare, just time consuming. Potatoes have to be peeled and mashed. Ground beef or lamb has to be browned and seasoned. Gravy has to be made and it all has to be put in a dish and slid into the oven. The whole process takes a few hours. But, DELISH! I liked it and the wife liked it.
The boys? Between the two of them there was a total of 5 bites taken. Little jerks! What the hell??
I think the wife ended up making peanut butter sandwiches for them or something. I was so pissed I didn’t even look up from my plate. Face down, elbows on the table hunched over and shoveling it in the whole time. That night I mumbled a vow;
“Nothin’ but baloney sandwiches for them two from now on.”
That’s the way it has been around here for a couple of weeks. They ask me for cereal, I get them cereal. But then they don’t want cereal. They look at the bowl and push the cereal around with the spoon, choke down a bite or two and find a reason to get up from the table to start playing with matchbox cars. After I eat two bowls of soggy Rice Chex, look who’s hungry again! Now they want peanut butter sandwiches. I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, aaaaaand repeat. Then I finish two peanut butter sandwiches and make scrambled eggs.
Just about the time that the two restaurant critics are about to starve to death for lack of edible food, Baba rides up majestic in her shimmering brown Camry with a loaf of bread, a pot of soup and a plate of cookies. All still warm. She knows they love it and she wields her flaming soup ladle as if it were Excalibur drawn slowly from its scabbard. I’m certain that the oldest boy has a phone hidden somewhere in his room and he is placing orders.
Welcome to my nightmare, jump on in. How do I compete with 30 plus years of bread and soup experience? She’s already in the hall of fame and I’m in rookie “A” ball barely able to get dough to rise. And don’t get me started on soup. This woman can make you feel like a complete jack-ass for not knowing how to make bread.
Shrugging her shoulders and looking past me she says,
“I don’t know, just put in 4 cups of flour, 2 cups water, a pinch of yeast, some salt and put in the oven. What?”
This is typical. Ask an old Serbian woman for a recipe and all of a sudden, she can’t remember something that she LITERALLY does every day. Every day!
Fine. That’s fine, keep your secrets old woman.
It’s getting warm outside finally and that’s where I’m gonna win this battle. Warm weather means the grill and that is my wheelhouse! Keeper of the Mighty Flame of Kingsford I am a master of fire and meat. I even do the grilling at her house so, HA! She done messed up now bruh!
The boys know that when it comes to grilling and outdoors I have no equal within the family. Stacks and stacks of ribs, salmon, pork shoulder, brisket and delights that they can't see over, all prepared for hours and smoked to perfection. When the grill and smoker are both going at the same time on beautiful spring day, cooking up delicious meats and the neighborhood is jelly from the amazing smells wafting about, guess who will be eating baloney sandwiches.