Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This weekend, my stepson and his cousins will be visiting. If it were just my in-laws, I would have gotten milk and eggs, maybe some fruit, and called it a day. We would all be perfectly happy to eat red beans and rice and drink wine.

But kids aren't typically hip to eating pesto, beans, and gussied-up restaurant leftovers, so I had to break down and buy some junk food. Sandwich bread, lunch meat, cereal, juice, tortilla chips, plus fixings for a barbecue (pork roast, hamburger buns, cabbage for cole slaw, canned baked beans, and some sausages), plus the regular stuff I already needed: milk, eggs, cream, potatoes, etc. $150 on food, and I haven't even bought the fresh fruits and vegetables yet. (And I didn't buy the usual compliment of junk food, like hot dogs.)

I guarantee you he'll eat nothing but spaghetti, turkey sandwiches, and cereal next week. It'll be like pulling teeth to get an apple or a carrot stick in him.

If people raised their kids to eat the same things the adults eat, everyone would spend a lot less on groceries.

So the rest of the week will be spent prepping food for everyone, since I'll be working all next week. A huge batch of tomato sauce, frozen pizza dough, vanilla ice cream, and veggie sticks with dip (plus probably praline, fudge, and some form of cookies), and bread for the adults.

For the two of us, I've turned this week's batch of restaurant leftovers into mushroom risotto with asparagus and sea trout. (Also procured: peas, chives, and parmesan cheese.)


  1. I love reading your blog. I hope you don't mind taking a suggestion about feeding children of guests or even picky guests. Don't give in - just deconstruct. A kid might not like the texture and mixing of foods in a quiche, but he might eat a scrambled egg, which is a decadent choice outside of breakfast.

    Please never feel like giving in to junk food for kids. Skip the chips and give them pizza dough to play with, then toss on the grill with a brushing of olive oil and some garlic. Cheaper, healthier, and more fun. We don't buy soda, juice or any beverage other than milk, but we do buy lemons. You know what kids love more than lemonade? Using the electric reamer to juice the lemons. Kids are fat and unhealthy these days because cheap, readily accessible empty calories are available. Our duty as adults is to slow down the process and teach them that slow food is better than a chicken nugget or corn chips. It is also cheaper - my neighbors are Costco shoppers, and I still haven't figured out how they are saving any money coming home with megapacks of snack foods and add-water-and-stir foods. Part of the joy of eating popcorn is the anticipation - the clink of the kernels against the pot or popper, the gentle rhythm of the popping, the smell of the air, and the first crunchy bite with salt and butter. You don't experience that memory opening a bag of Doritos.