Sunday, February 14, 2010

Win or Fail?

I love my husband dearly, and he had many wonderful qualities. The ability to figure out a reasonable schedule that ensures we eat dinner roughly on time is not one of them. For some reason that is obscure to me, he likes to do our weekly grocery shopping at the end of the day on Sunday. Sometimes Pumpkin will go with him, but usually she wants to stay home with me and Petunia. This pretty much guarantees that I will not be able to start dinner until he gets home with the groceries- even if by some miracle I have all the ingredients that I need before we do our weekly shopping, I have yet to figure out how to get dinner started while also caring for one hyper toddler and one baby whose sole clingy time of the day is the late afternoon. (This is going to be a serious challenge in March, when my parents will be back home and no longer caring for Petunia during the week. Right now, my Mom helps with Pumpkin, Petunia, and/or the cooking. But I digress.)

Tonight, I decided that I wanted to try a new recipe for dinner: carrot cake pancakes. (Yes, I'm a big fan of breakfast for dinner, particularly since bacon is one of the few meat-like substances that Pumpkin will eat.) We eat dinner between 6:15 and 6:30 most nights. Most of my recipes take between 15 and 30 minutes to make. It takes Hubby an hour to do the grocery shopping and put the groceries away. Given all of this information, you can easily determine that Hubby needed to be leaving to go grocery shopping no later than 5 p.m. So what was he doing at 4:45? Yard work. FAIL.

I managed to get him inside and heading towards the store by 5, but then his phone rang, and he spent the next 10 minutes talking to a good friend from New Zealand. So I was predictably about 15 minutes late starting dinner. FAIL. Then Pumpkin threw a fit after one of her potty breaks because I wan' Mommy to wash my hands!!!! (Big mess of FAIL.) And when I told her that we'd have to hurry because I was making dinner, she looked up at me and smiled. Can I help? "Of course you can, honey," I say, while thinking that his will make us even later. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

Amazingly, Pumpkin was a good little helper while we made pancakes. She stopped banging the measuring cup against the bowl when I asked. She did not put her fingers in the egg mixture when I told her not to. She watched me pour the 2 cups of shredded carrots into the batter and asked What is that?. Now, Pumpkin is no fan of vegetables (she's no fan of many foods, actually). In fact, there is not a single vegetable that she likes. The most vegetable-like food item that she has ever eaten willingly is a sweet potato fry. So I certainly didn't want to tell her that the mass of orange stuff I was pouring into the pancake batter was carrots. Think fast, Cloud. Tell her it is something cool. "That's magic stuff, honey." But what is it, Mommy? "Uh.... magic, yummy stuff." MAJOR FAIL. (Late in the day on Sunday is not one of my more creative times, but to be fair, I still can't think of what cool thing I could call a cup full of shredded carrots. Ideas, anyone?)

Around this time, Petunia starts fussing. It is getting late. She wants to be nursed. Hubby manages to distract her for awhile, but pretty soon, it is clear that she will not put up with her evening meal being delayed much longer. I start getting flustered. I look at the pancakes cooking on the stove and get impatient. I turn them too soon. They don't cook all the way through. FAIL.

Hubby and Pumpkin sit down for dinner. I nurse Petunia. Hubby puts the second batch of undercooked pancakes back in the skillet, but to no avail. They remain gooey in the middle. Luckily, there are four nice ones, one of which is on Pumpkin's plate.

She eats three whole bites of a pancake with carrots in it. I like it, Mommy! she proclaims, before turning her attention to eating a blob of butter off of her plate. WIN.


  1. Ahh the joys of cooking with two. Coming from a mom of a very picky eater, I say it was a win. Now you have recipe you can use in the future that she may eat again. Does she like cheese? If she does, you could say it was shredded cheese.

  2. Hah, sounds pretty much like my house. My husband does the majority of the cooking because if I try to cook, The Kid will not leave me alone.

    We don't even attempt to eat dinner at a consistent time. Sometimes dinner is pizza or Chipotle burritos, and he picks it up on his way home with The Kid and we eat right away (around 6:30). Sometimes dinner is something quick and easy, and we eat around 7ish. Sometimes dinner is something fun/ambitious/complicated, and we eat closer to 8:00, which is problematic because The Kid's bedtime routine starts at 8:10.

    Oh, and despite occasional attempts to do so, we've NEVER been able to shop in advance and buy a week's worth of food and have dinners all planned out. Oh well.

  3. Yup, that's how it is over here, too. We have a problem with the dinner schedule, and the bedtime schedule, and the breakfast schedule and the lunch and snack schedules...basically, I try not to micromanage dad and E time but then little by little everything gets pushed further and further back and before you know it, E's going to bed at 8:30...until I kind of snap and spend a week getting everything back on regular schedule and then let it slowly get away from us again so as not to spend all of my time being the enforcer.

    Have you tried making kale chips? It's super easy and E loves them - probably because they have the highly coveted "chip" in the name. Take a head of kale, wash and dry it, chop it up into small pieces, toss it with olive oil and the seasoning of your choice (sea salt is our favorite) and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

    And I don't know what part of the country you live in, but if you can get your hands on malanga (taro) or cassava (yuca) they make delicious fries and chips. When I lived in FL, they were everywhere and now and then I can find them at the natural food store. They're both root vegetables very similar in taste and texture to the potato, but higher in fiber and maybe better in other ways, if none other than being something other than more potatoes.

  4. Oh Cloud, this one made me chuckle with familiarity. Sometimes I wish I had a stereotypical "wife" (i.e. someone who can execute a household plan w/out needing me too wipe their proverbial ass) instead of a husband! Though I love DH dearly, sometimes I just wonder WTF was this dude thinking? ;)

    @nej - I am salivating at those suggestions!

  5. Aubergine Kenobi4:30 AM

    I also think it was a win, specially because now you can vary this recipe and add some other sweet-tasting vegetables like zucchini or pumkin and see how she reacts!
    My C loves to cook! Whenever he sees me getting ready, he'll grab a stool, and climb on to it and start "helping" soo cute!. I think it's a great way for him to get familiar with food and its transformations. I have also noticed that he tends to eat everything we prepare together (vegetable or not), so even if it's a little bit slower to cook with him, I always welcome him as my "sous chef".

  6. Hey, I think one WIN is all you need some days!

  7. Cloud,
    I'm here from Moxie- I post there under many names, but came over to *finally* check out your blog. Where have you been all of my life? These pancakes make my very picky eater ingest ACTUAL CARROTS. This was a huge win for me. Thanks for making it happen.
    Marta :)

  8. Thanks for the nice comments, everyone!

    @Marta- I'm glad this helped someone's kid eat some carrots! I'm going to try the recipe again next week and see if Pumpkin still likes them. She can be very fickle about food.

    @Nej- Pumpkin won't eat potatoes in most forms, either. I can't get my head around a child of mine who does not love potatoes. I practically lived on them when I was a kid!

  9. Ooh, what to call it. Bunny food? Flora (as in, opposed to fauna)? Shredded taproot?


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