Thursday, August 9, 2012
My children are not great sleepers. The blonde was the fussiest sleeper in the history of the world (look it up), and the other two girls were not a whole lot easier, except for the fact that they were able to sleep in their beds and not in my arms in a recliner at three in the morning. Finally. Anyways, my point is that in exchange for poor naps and almost never making it through the night without someone getting up, I have been wonderfully blessed with excellent eaters. From the very beginning, all three girls have at least been willing to try, and often enjoyed, many different types of food. I think part of it is that I was either too absentminded to buy enough baby food, or too lazy to make some, so more often than not, I just smashed up whatever we were eating and gave it to the kids. Of course I made sure it was something they could actually eat (I'm not going to give a baby hot wings, but don't ask my husband the same question - have you ever seen a baby eat wasabi? They don't like it. And neither do their mothers.), but I wasn't one to deny anything if they seemed interested in it. As a result, the girls are both hearty, and enthusiastic eaters, and often, they are best behaved at restaurants because, well, they are eating. (The shoe store is another story, but I'm not ready to talk about that yet.) The blonde is perhaps the most adventurous. While the other girls will try what is offered, the blonde is forever seeking the "alternate menu". On many occasions, she has ordered for herself from the appetizers because "she's in the mood for frog's legs". Um, ew, I don't even eat frog's legs - they still look like frog's legs! Her obsession with food has even moved into her leisure time - Bizarre Foods trumps My Little Pony's for air time, and has inspired her to hope to try fried iguana if she ever makes it to Barbados. She even reads cook books on the side. We have one called "500 Cupcakes", and you can bet she doesn't miss a page. This book stays in the back of our car and gets read aloud anytime we go anywhere. "This one is an oatmeal raisin cupcake, with vanilla frosting and cinnamon sprinkled on top. This one is a key lime cupcake with whipped cream and a slice of lime on top. This one..." As interesting as it is to hear about 500 cupcakes every time we go anywhere, it is not nearly as interesting as when the three of them begin to improvise recipes. "This one is a chocolate cupcake, but I think it would be better if you cut it in half and filled it with jello and sprinkles, and then put it back together and covered it with cream cheese frosting and put jello cut in the shape of a star on top, and then sprinkled some cinnamon on top, and then brought it to the pool for a pool party." And the brunette adds, "Or, what if, you made a majana cupcake, and put some cherries inside, and then took the majana, majana is like bread, and then covered it with cherry flavored whipped cream, and them dipped it in gombooli, and then ate it at school." Hmm, sounds exotic. The baby, not to be left out, contributes her own recipe, "What if, you make, and then, and banilla, and top, and eat at school!" A mysterious treat. These little conversations start innocently enough, but the longer the car ride, the weirder the ingredients - I'm talking grass and wolf meat. Where can you even get wolf meat? Aren't they endangered? Would these be black market cupcakes? Their cooking creativity is, well, very creative, and while I'll never take for granted that they all share both an interest and enthusiasm for trying new foods, we might put off cooking school...for now. Maybe wolf meat will be more readily available in twenty years.