Monday, September 1, 2008

The family dinner evolution

We used to sit down together and eat the same thing at the same time. We still do, but I gotta tell you, now that I have tried the alternatives, I think it's over-rated. We have been trying this new technique lately, where we feed the kids, get them all situated, and then feed ourselves. It's pretty sweet, and I may have this be our new family eating set-up. I fundamentally believe that kids should be encouraged to try different foods, and eat what everyone else is eating - I am not feeding them chicken nuggets and pizza when they eat earlier - they just eat, well, earlier. The exception was the other night when Johnny whipped up the ahi - because i sure as hell wasn't wasting fresh seared ahi on little kids. If one of them had made even a murmer about not liking fish, I would have freaked out on them. I mean, who doesn't like caught-that-day ahi prepared in your kitchen by a professional chef ? That's just unacceptable, if you ask me.

Tonight I was feeling crappy and tired, and the steaks weren't quite defrosted, and I had forgotten to marinate them anyway, and Lucy wanted ham, and so we made them a quick dinner of ham, steak quesadillas with fresh salsa and avocado, and they sat with us and ate while we started our "grown up dinner". Now they are watching Star Wars and we are sitting down to crab cakes and potatoes au gratin and sauteed spinach for ourselves. Everyone seems pretty happy with the arrangement.

The food preparation is more fun when the kids are already eating - they aren't asking every 5 seconds when their dinner will be done, and they actually help out with suggestions and stirring, and eating bits of whatever we are making. So we are expanding their palettes, gently :)

Here are some scenes from dinner tonight - hopefully there are no shots of my bedhead and fuzzy bathrobe, which were also part of our evening. What? At least my underwear matched my bra, and I *had* a bra on - that is progress.

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