Sunday, July 8, 2007

Family diet

Ah, back from our trip to the inlaws. The week went by fairly quickly. Mostly we had a good time. The big stress from the trip was the Painter's eating habits. I think he managed to get through the entire week with about 2 portions of fruits/vegetables. Mostly, he ate breads, a little bit of meat, and chips.

One afternoon we were visiting his great-grandmother, who seemed terribly concerned that he would starve. She had a spread of cold-cuts and side dishes. The Painter willfully refused everything, except, what he seemed to really want was a roll with mayonnaise. Um... no! Frankly, Rocket & I were half tempted to just give him a bowl of mayonnaise, and let him have at it. But we resisted. And so did he. Okay, don't eat!

But that tactic was anathema to great-grandma. She was terribly concerned. As we were preparing to depart (you know it takes at least an hour to really leave a visit to family), she asked if maybe he'd eat a ham sandwich then (we don't keep kosher). I doubt it, but you can surely suggest it. I won't stop you.

So, she did, and when he refused, she offered (with her thick German accent) some chili on bread. Oh, I thought, yeah, that's a face-saving maneuver. Maybe he'll eat some chili. What's chili? he asked. She turned to me, what do you call chili? What, cham? You want some cham on bread!?

Oh my god, she didn't just do that, did she? A-yup. So... he gets himself instead of a little bit of hunger that might teach him a lesson, half a roll with a fat smattering of her homemade currant jam! What's worse, she promised him if he ate his jelly-bread, he could have a big slice of cake.

I was incensed. Once he finished, I ran interference as he was trying to sneak into her kitchen. Then, I had the very uncomfortable duty of contradicting great-grandma in her own house. No, I can't let him have that. Jelly-bread isn't exactly a well-balanced meal. But we can take some cake along, so he can taste it if he has a good meal tomorrow.

Ah, to be home again, in my own kitchen! I think we'll have mostly a vegetarian week. First night back, we stopped for sushi on the way home. He devoured the edamame, and vegetable tempura, and the avocado on his favorite caterpillar roll. A sushi restaurant is the one place we know he'll eat well and healthy.

This morning, I made my signature mango-banana pancakes:
  • 2 cups of blended fruit
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 c. wheat flour
  • 1-3/4 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Blend up wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients in a mixer (or by hand in a large bowl). Slowly pour in the wet, stirring constantly, until well mixed. Fry in a large pan (I use butter) over med-med/high heat. Flip when batter no longer fills in the holes made by popped bubbles. Cook on second side for 2-4 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a warm serving plate in the oven at ~250F.

I always finish with one large pancake from the final remains of the batter bowl, scraped down with a rubber spatula. This I call the family pancake, which is duly cut into equal parts for each family member at the table.

It's good to have control over my family's diet once again (at least, as much control as any parent of a preschooler has)!

No comments: