One of the benefits of enjoying cooking for my family is that we have leftovers. And one thing that I've actually gotten RIGHT in my years of marriage/parenting is the instillation of love for all things pre-prepared.
So, every once in a blue moon I will find myself with an overflow of food that is just begging to be eaten. Those days I declare "Queen's Treasure" and everyone gets to chose one meat, veggie, fruit, and carb that they want to lay claim to in the fridge.
The only rule? First to obey and get hands washed and into the kitchen gets to pick first. That means last to the kitchen may end up with mashed pinto beans and olives. Quite an incentive, huh?
Today, on the menu, was "Q.T." for lunch. Our neighborhood picnic is this evening and I am preparing meals to send with Hoo to camp*, so it was quite natural that I would want everyone to have leftovers.
There were several choices: turkey salad, regular salad, carrots, apples, mango, ham, biscuits from breakfast. Both Hooman and Nickels made their way through Mom's restaurant and ate to their heart's content.
Then came The Babe. "Picky when I wanna be" Babe.
He had already thoroughly downplayed the concept of any meat that is grilled, cooled, seasoned to perfection, tossed with mayonnaise, seasonings, almonds, and celery. He was having none of that.
A quesadilla, freshly grilled, was also the stuff of pagans in small Scandinavian countries.
So, I offered a peanut-butter and jelly on a tortilla**. I would even go the extra mile and GRILL it, for his highness.
To which he said "I don't like that."
Since I had never prepared such an animal for my youngest, I said "But you've never tried it." He is my one child who thrives on a food challenge. I could have a live squid, squirming on the floor in front of a vat of boiling water, and say "You haven't tried this!" and he'd ask for the ketchup.
"But I tried it at my friend's house." That ubiquitous friend, who has no name.
"OH REALLY? You had a grilled peanut butter and jelly on a tortilla at someone else's house?"
Well, I'll be jiggered. Or have my leg pulled...off my body.
He finally settled on a fruit and yogurt parfait with crumbled cereal flakes on top. Probably tastier than a grilled tortilla pb&j anyway.
Now that the challenge of Queen's Treasure is over for the day, I'm thinking about where to buy that squid.
*Yes, that may sound strange to some, but if I don't, he's sure to react to something and end up barfing all over the place or develop a severe migraine. Hence, in the interest of protecting his camp experience and maximizing our hard-earned coin, I spend a day before camp making sure he has enough to take with him to eat for a week.
**Fresh out of bread, can you tell?