“It’s Too Hot!”

Jane dislikes her food when it’s too hot.


That’s not correct.

When Jane’s food is too hot, she perceives it as a personal attack on her happiness and well being and holds me directly responsible for the offense.


That’s more accurate.

While she howls and give me looks that would no doubt sear the meat from my own bones I try to explain to her, how this “cooking” thing works.

I try to tell her that in order to melt cheese that heat must be applied. I try to tell her that in order to eat that nice pig we raised we need to cook the meat. I try to tell her that we have to cook the meat so that the proteins in the muscles become denatured as that makes them more palatable and digestible. I try to tell her that cooking kills the cysts of parasites we would very much like not to contract as well as a number of bacteria we do our best to avoid. Most importantly I try to tell her that the very act of “cooking” implies that heat is being used and that heat is, by very definition – hot.fire

Then I try to tell her to just wait a minute and it’ll cool down enough to eat.

Then I try to tell her that it is cool enough to eat.

But when she pokes it with the end of her dainty finger she still finds it to be higher than her 98.6 degree body temperature she howls at me again- clearly I was trying to trick her into scorching her mouth with food that is certainly still, by her definition, “too hot!”

Eventually, because thermodynamics is a real thing, the food is no longer “too hot” to her sensitive touch and she eats a bite but by then…. you guessed it…

It’s too cold.




Princess Jane

Jane is in a no holds barred, girly, princess, ballerina phase.Jane grinds meat

She refuses to wear anything but dresses and skirts.Jane grinds meat 2

She begs for makeup and nail polish.Jane grinds meat 3

She spends her days twirling and dancing in frilly dresses.Jane grinds meat 4

And she helps grind meat.Jane grinds meat 5

Like a true princess she never got anything on her dress but she could use lessons in decorum. I hardly think yelling, “Are we havin’ TACOS!?!” is befitting of royalty.

Twenty Pounds of Asparagus

I’ve heard it said that you have to try something at least ten times before you can truly decide if you like it. Therefore, as parents, we should just continue to offer new foods to our kids and eventually, after trying it enough, they may like it.

I’m not buying it.

In my experience, kids predetermine if they like things based on color, texture, smell and what their siblings say. It doesn’t matter how many times they try it, if it’s green, or slimy or the older sister says it’s gross, nobody likes it.  Case in point, asparagus.

John is a huge asparagus fan. So much so that when road construction started on his asparagus guy’s road, making it inconvenient to drive by and see if he had any available, John stopped in and got his phone number. Now we can call ahead for all our asparagus needs.

John also is the kind of person who will buy much more of something than he was planning on because it’s such a good deal. Marketers must love him. So I was shocked but not surprised when he called me in great excitement to tell me he bought twenty pounds of asparagus.

Yes, I said twenty.

It was a good deal.

I had been out of town for the weekend and was happy to see that by the time I returned home we were merely left with about ten pounds. That giant bag only took up one shelf of the spare fridge.

In the last week, we’ve had grilled asparagus, and broiled asparagus, and asparagus pasta skillets, and asparagus pizza and asparagus soup. If cooking was happening the asparagus was in it.asparagus pizza

Now, when it comes to the kid eating it, even my pathetic math can figure that with twenty pounds of asparagus, the kids would have to try a bit once every two pounds that crossed the table to make it to the mythical “ten tries”. And that’s assuming that they had never tried it before, which of course they have because John has the asparagus guy’s name and number taped to the fridge. Every meal the kids would dutifully try it, reject it, and painstakingly pick it out of the rest of their food. Every day I found myself feeding piles of asparagus shinnbles to my chickens.rejected asparagus

Ten tries, my assparagus!

My chickens should work on upping egg production this week. After all John could use a little thank you for the five pounds of nice fresh asparagus he bought them!

Perfection Pending

Stone Soup

We’ve always involved the kids in the kitchen and while it is true that the new stirrers make giant messes, and the new choppers need extra knife supervision and they all make the kitchen 12 times more messy that it would be otherwise, it’s been mostly worth it.

Because, despite the frustratingly slow rate at which the giant mess and the meal gets made, cooking with the kids is usually an enjoyable experience. And now, all that mess and extra time is starting to pay off. I have girls that can grate cheese and stir without spilling. Kids that peel garlic and chop onions and one girl who is really good at making piles of flour and then slowly transferring the entire pile to her shirt and the floor.

But the best part is that they are now starting to take initiative in the kitchen. Ivy has (with help on the heavy pots) cooked dinner for us, Clara can be found making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Jane can turn a giant pot of perfectly good turkey stock into stone soup.Stone Soup

Mostly worth it.

Toad in the Hole

I’ve been making Toad in the Holes as a quick breakfast for the girls and I can’t decide if I should continue.

Is it the best breakfast food to keep everyone happy?

Or are the resulting plates just too ridiculous?toad in a hole

(And no, they won’t trade plates when they are “done.”)

Consider The Fork by Bee Wilson

Do you know how the shape of spoons relates to political history?Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson!
Have you heard the theory of knife use and how it relates to overbites?!
Did you know that there were 692 patents granted for egg beaters in a 64 year span?!
Have you heard all the different ways people came up with to turn spits?!

Ice boxes!!? Pots!!? Measuring cups!!? Forks!!?

I would be happy to tell you because I found it all completely fascinating.

You don’t even have to ask.

Just invite me into your kitchen and soon you’ll have me jumping up and down in front of you as I spout off with nerdy factoids that I remember the gist of but not enough of the details so that you will think it’s interesting as well.

It will be like the kitchen nerds version of forgetting the punch line of the joke.

Come to think of it perhaps that’s why I don’t tell jokes.

Perhaps it would be best just to read the book yourself…

Would I recommend it? Clearly!

The author does a fantastic job of relating ancient (and not so ancient) kitchen woe’s to current day practice.  I loved it in a way that had me running off to bed to see what happened next, which is impressive in a book about the “History of How We Cook and Eat!”

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

I’m not saying that I read this book, had a huge epiphany and now my kids eat everything.

Not- even- close.

Recently, the current six year old has chewed her food, spit it back out and then told me she couldn’t possibly eat any more because she didn’t like the parts she had already chewed on… French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

But, I will say that my kids are eating slightly more of everything – and that’s not bad.

Would I recommend it?  It’s a parenting book, I don’t recommend them on principle. My kids are not your kids, my style is not yours.

That said, I am glad I read it. While there were things about the book a didn’t like, I have attempted to be mindful of her “10 simple rules” and my kids did eat “yummy chard pie” for dinner tonight. Something that I doubt was coincidence!