This is an actual picture from my kitchen tonight.
For now, let’s avoid the fact that there are no vegetables on the plate, and focus on the burnt mini corn dogs. This dish was not the original meal I fixed. The first – a stir fry with broccoli and chicken – was burnt beyond eating.
After scrapping the stir fry, I put a handful of frozen mini corn dogs under the broiler. Which I also burned.
Fortunately, a few of the bite-size corn dogs were salvaged, and I served them along with steamed broccoli, spaghetti noodles (because it’s the one thing I know my son will finish), and sliced strawberries (because nutrition, or whatever).
This all happened after ranting to a six and ten year old for a solid five-minutes about how this year I was not going to fix separate meals for everyone.
“No more cooking two different dinners just because one of you doesn’t like what’s on the menu,” I said.
And then I burnt everything and had to make…two separate dinners.
The universe is exceptionally skilled at letting me know when I’m acting like an idiot, ranting and raving as if I were standing on a podium trying to convince everyone to drink strychnine.
My husband is home now and has turned on a Hogan’s Heros rerun while explaining the rules of Stratego to the kids. Hogan’s Heros because it’s the only show he could find that didn’t reference oral sex or S&M every other commercial break, and Stratego because he promised to bring them home a surprise to make up for mom’s pre-dinner sermon.
When he first got home, I met him in the kitchen and said, “Look honey, I made you spaghetti and burnt corn dogs.”
Without a hint of sarcasm, he responded, “Yum, I love burnt corn dogs,” and then ate all four.
I don’t have any pithy commentary on what I learned after burning the corn dogs. I am no better at being a parent – or chef – than I was this morning. Honestly, I’m still a little exhausted from it all, and can’t help but look longingly at Colonel Hogan’s cigarette – even though actual cigarette smoke usually makes me gag anymore.
I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe I can narrow my cooking efforts to one dinner, and pull back on my habit of sermonizing every little parenting detail.
At that point you just open a can of tomato sauce and call it spaghetti and corndogs.
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#truth! I learned many moons ago that making multiple dinners at night was not going to be a staple. Although I admit I fall back to good ol hot dogs and chips (with grapes if I go ’em) when I have the occasional dinner fail.
Kristie, you are my hero – I don’t know how you do it. I have two and feel like a stark raving lunatic 90 percent of the time.
I made separate dinners for too long. My son would only eat white foods: white bread, white cheese, white pasta, white potatoes, cheese-only pizza. Not a vegetable in sight, without a fight. It was exhausting.
I applaud your throwing that spaghetti on a plate with some mini corn dogs. And i applaud your husband for appreciating it.
I think we have the same son born (approx.) 20 years apart. mine would eat nuggets/spaghetti/pizza every night if he could. I cut up tiny pieces of broccoli and then we still negotiate how many he eats. he also has to make a show about eating them, refilling his water so that he has a readily available drink to wash down each bite as he scrunches his nose up and fans his hand in front of his mouth as if he smells something bad.
For the record, I could eat spaghetti and pizza every night too.
My son now eats salads and onions and mushrooms, and seeing it in person never fails to completely blow my mind!!
I feel like finally, when last child is 15, I’ve reached the point where I don’t have to do the separate dinner thing. At last! The kid ate quinoa, kale and corn fritters last night. And kale soup the night before. That said, even though he CHOSE Sprecial K cereal on our supermarket adventure, I saw the sugar jar out last night, next to the empty cereal bowl.
I love your burnt mini corn dogs too. I would’ve wolfed them down in a heartbeat.
i feel it’s only fair to come clean here – most nights i ended making something entirely different for myself than what I make for the kids (so, in reality, it appears i subscribe to the “only mom gets a special menu” philosophy).
a kid that eats kale sounds like a prodigy to me!
I burned frozen corn last night. My kids weren’t impressed and my MIL was judgmental, but my husband thought I was a genius for ‘inventing’ fat-free fried corn. I don’t know how to react to that . . .
My seven-year old hates all cheese, unless it’s melted on a pizza. She actually recoils and whimpers if she notices any non-pizza cheese within a two foot radius of her body. I understand that she doesn’t care for the stuff, but her reaction is annoying.
When I offer up cheese and crackers for a snack, my seven year old says, “okay, but only with real cheese” which is how he defines velveeta slices – the very opposite of real cheese.
part of my rant the other night included me saying, “…and no more telling me what you don’t like about what I just cooked. you think i like cooking food i have to beg you guys to eat?!”
Oh, mercy — never argue with my older daughter about what “real” macaroni and cheese is. She’ll concede that orange powder isn’t “real cheese” but that is her only concession!
I too was a short order cook for many years. I can’t say I miss it since I’m still living with other kinds of food tyranny.