Short Order Cook
I’m not a short order cook. In fact there’s nothing I can’t stand more at mealtime than when my kids tell me they don’t like what I’m making. Because nine times out of ten (only if I’m in a really good mood will I cave) do I make anything other than what we’re having. “Your kids are such good eaters!” people say at restaurants. “Well, that’s because they don’t have a choice,” I respond judgmentally…as in, “why the hell would you go out of your way to give them ground up chicken toes every night in the form of a nugget?” “You just don’t understand,” they respond. “My kids won’t touch salad.” No, I guess I don’t.
The way I see it is this: if kids didn’t know that fake chicken nuggets existed, they wouldn’t ask for them, right? Just think about all of the other foods that actually don’t exist that our kids would be asking for right now. Like deep-fried spaghetti noodles. Cheese dip in yogurt tubes (actually not a bad idea). Or barbecued cow tails. Wow, my dog really smells right now. I wish he would move. Hard to focus on dinner with that scent wafting up from the floor.
It’s hard enough making the same dinner for one family. So why on earth would we make it harder on ourselves by making four? Makes absolutely no sense. Call me a mean mom. A mom who forces her kids to eat salad, salmon and (gasp!) brown rice.
When it comes to food, I employ the same strategy that I employed when Ferberizing my kids: the three-day strategy. The books all say that if you want your kid to sleep through the night (anytime after three months) you should let her cry it out for three straight nights. This was absolutely painful. It hurt me to do it. My daughter literally
cried screamed shrieked for two straight hours on the first night. And we were living in a high-rise apartment building in New York City at the time. Nope, didn’t make any friends in that building. Night two was just as painful. She cried for 1.5 hours. Well, I guess I saved thirty minutes. But by night three – it was a miracle! Only thirty minutes! And she has been sleeping through the night ever since! NOT! Okay, so maybe this strategy doesn’t work exactly. She’s eight and still comes in a lot. But don’t use me as an example. I’m just trying to make a point. Try Ferberizing your kid with a tuna burger or some broccoli. In three days you can thank me.
New school year. New strategies. New foods for dinner. If I were running for office I’d run on the “Let’s keep the ground chicken toes as far away from our kids as possible!” platform. If you have any recipes of your own to help my campaign, please do share.
Guess I’m ready for the school year to commence with all of my preaching. Made sixteen trips to Goodwill. It feels so good to purge. The clothes are neatly folded in the drawers. The chores are clearly outlined on the chart. Being organized for the first week makes me feel like all of those other moms I’m about to run into at school! Because after that….well, it all goes to pot. And if you tell me you’re ordering nuggets for your kid at dinner by week two, I just may have to borrow a few to keep my kids from whining so much.
Homemade Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce
- 1 package thin chicken strips
- 1 egg
- Flavored bread crumbs
- Splash olive oil
- Wash and dry chicken strips.
- Mix egg (or just use egg white if you’re extra healthy) and dip strips in egg.
- Coat with bread crumbs and sprinkle on a little S&P.
- Saute in a little olive oil appx. 2 minutes on each side, more if chicken is thicker.
- Serve for kids with dipping sauce and a side of pasta or make a big salad for you and throw those authentic chicken strips on top!
- 1-2 dollops (love that word) low-fat mayo
- 1-2 squirts Dijon mustard
- 1-2 drizzles honey