A Shiksa on a Mission

Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife
I'm a shiksa on a mission...
It may not be perfection but it's the journey that counts

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Croutons

Let's talk about school lunches....it's a battle here as I know it is in other households. And they flip flop on who will be crowned Most Stubborn or Most Picky which can be tricky when I'm only about a cup of coffee into the day.  Now I say this as a very openly picky eater. And, mom, you need not comment about how I was even worse as a child. I will admit it. I didn't like sandwiches except peanut butter. I didn't really like peanut butter mixed with jelly.  But, in my defense, I didn't each many chips or pretzels but I did take vegetables to school.  I was also not very popular come lunch trading time. So I feel for my kids and I try to accommodate but it's difficult to do that at 7am when Flannery is asking for a sandwich that is not peanut butter and jelly but butter and jelly. And she thinks it's a minor tweak on an old standard.  Not really the stellar nutrients I want to send her off to consume. Nor do I want the wrath of the teachers who will deal with my hopped up 7 year old. Emerson, on the other hand, does not eat cheese. I find this sacrilegious as a day without cheese is simply not a good day.  Both kids will often tell me what other kids are eating but they've learned that nothing that ends in "ables" is ever going into their lunch. I am happy that they do follow in my picky footsteps just a bit as they like cut up veggies. I just wish the morning lunch debate would run a little more smoothly.

I know my kids are very much like other kids. They are simply exercising a little independence.  And I'm all for independence but I'm mostly for it when it's a) other kids or b) aimed at other people.  Luckily I've made some strides with Emerson who saw a friend eating Chicken Caeser Salad and a new idea was born. The best part? It came from him so he actually likes it. The only trick came when I realized he wanted me to buy pre-made salads and I was not going to do that. So I started making him these salads myself. And he liked them. He asked for them a couple of times a week. But eventually he saw that his was missing croutons. If he just had croutons.....Okay. I can buy croutons. But the croutons had CHEESE. He loved them but deep down he knew he would not be able to hold his No Cheese Line if he was now consuming both pizza (the only cheese he would admit to liking) AND croutons. I gave him an out. One night we had a big salad for dinner and I made croutons with the little bit of bread I had left. He very wisely labeled them the Best Croutons Ever and begged me to make them for his school lunch.  I'm a sucker. I did it. And I continue to make them. It's easy and it makes him happy. Win. Win. I get the seeded millet bread from Trader Joe's. I cube about half the loaf. I coat in just a bit of oil. I bake them at 250 until they're all toasty and dry. Voila. Instant little bites of toasty love.

Now I'm wondering when to explain what Romano Caeser Dressing is.....

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