Jenn, this blog is for you, as a follow up to our conversation about how hard it is to find new foods to please our picky eaters.
In an effort to broaden and vary the protein my family eats for dinner, the other night I decided to try flounder. Although my sons (age 13 and 5) like catfish and salmon, my daughter hates fish. So I decided to go for the mildest and least offensive of all fish — the flounder– and offer it two ways- Pan seared with butter and herbs and beer battered fish -n- chips style. Well, I’m ashamed to report, the meal was a disaster. My little guy couldn’t stand the smell or get over the idea that his fish looked like a chicken finger yet had a very different taste. (I was surprised since he loved the battered zucchini blossoms from summer and they also resembled a chicken tender.)
My older son was tragically disappointed to learn that his fish—n-chips in fact, had no chips with them. A bit of false advertising, he protested. And my daughter, the best eater in the family, actually shoved the plate away in disgust as if I had just served her a plate of worms. Yes, I had a failure in the kitchen this week, and I am reminded of daily by the lingering stink of fried fish.
To make matters even worse, I had another blooper last night involving a heavy hand in the five spice seasoning. My kids usually fight over every last chicken drumstick but last night, barely even ate one. The side dish, sautéed Asian noodles were barely touched as well. Maybe I used a bit too much oyster sauce???
Yikes. I am so happy that it’s a new week. And if there’s one common denominator to my kitchen failures it’s that I cooked all of these dishes alone. (You know I had to bring cooking with friends into this somehow.) But it’s true. Maybe a friend would have told me NOT to try flounder on my kids or maybe she would have noticed that I used too much oyster sauce and five spice seasoning. But alas, I was without a friend and thus, crashed and burned.
We all have mess ups in the kitchen. Sometime meals just don’t work. Our kids are often the most difficult please, but they seem to bear the brunt of our culinary failures. Many of us, afraid of failing, fall into a rut that we can’t get out of and continuously serve them the foods we know they will eat — chicken fingers, noodles with butter, pizza. But variety is the spice of life and we need to rebound, get back on our feet and try again. And you can bet that next time it’ll be with a friend!