Last night a bunch of little kids ate over at my house. Naturally, I decided to serve the slam-dunk meal for kids: American Chop Suey. Word on the street was that two of the kids hated onions, so Mike, who was acting as the evening's prep cook, puréed the crap out of them until they were undetectable in the final product. Yay, Mike! When it was served, four of the five kids lay into it like starving jackals.
But there was this one kid--let's call him Max--who absolutely hated it. He literally spat his first bite back into the bowl right there at the table! There were extenuating circumstances--his mom had just left him in his aunt's care for a few days--so we decided to coddle him just a little bit. I did something I'm not proud of but that I will lay odds that every mother has done at least once in her lifetime: I rinsed it off.
Now, this is not the first time I've ever rinsed off food to placate a kid who just can't stomach all those darn flavors. This summer I sprayed the seasonings off of a perfectly good macaroni salad. Here's the photographic proof:
Before: Macaroni Salad. Yum yum!
After: "I can't believe I'm doing this."
So, I rinse off the American Chop Suey, right? Then I set it before Max, who stares at it uncomprehendingly. I asked him, "Would you like some ketchup?" He answered yes, so out came the King's Condiment, which he proceeded to load into the bowl. Well, if you rinse tomato soup concentrate from the American Chop Suey then add ketchup, you've basically replicated the recipe. Which Max discovered with the first bite.
His aunt's no dummy, so she asked him, "Max, how old are you?"
"Seven," answered Max.
"Then take seven big-boy bites." Ooo, snap!
Max took seven of the lamest bites that could have been characterized as "big boy," then was mercifully excused from the table.
Guess you can't please all of the people all of the time.