Monday, July 5, 2010

The Squashed Gourmet.

Excitedly, I handed him the quick list of things we needed at the grocery store.

"What's this?" he asked.

"Oh I found this great recipe for Red,White and Blueberry Pound Cake. Don't you think the kids will like it?"  And without hesitation my ever so honest husband bluntly answered, "No".

I must have looked like a kid that was just told that Santa Claus was not real, The Easter Bunny is a man in a costume and the Tooth Fairy, no matter what the movie with The Rock revealed, is just plain old mommy and daddy.

"I know but...".

"No." he insisted.

"Not to upset you. I'd love it, but then they'd make those faces." And he imitated them perfectly, scrunching up his face, in that look of disgust the kids make. He even imitated the way Sophia acts when she trys something new that she doesn't like. When you asked her if she likes it, her lips press together and her nostrils flare as she mutters a yes through clenched teeth.

I couldn't help but giggle.

"And then they'd say, ewww...what's this?" as he imitated their little voices. The way their voices raise about 3 octaves when faced with new food, or something they are unsure about.

How could I help not to crack a smile?

"And then they'd say, 'oh I just want fruit snacks', And push it aside and you'd be upset." 

He's right.

There are three things I really love to do, exercising, writing and baking. I love to bake and cook.

Before we had kids, I imagined making traditions, not just with things we do but with food. Baking deserts for the Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or the 4th of July, red white and blue, images of cakes, cookies and pies, dancing around in my head, all homemade. It's not just baking either, it's food, getting them to try new things, new meals, meats vegetables, and combinations of foods. Laying out the table like Martha Stewart, floral decorations and home made table cloth ensembles. And tables of food, entrees, multiple courses and various deserts. Ha...

But reality check.

My days of making a gourmet meal or even a semi-gourmet meal have been numbered. I have children that prefer, plain baked chicken to Chicken Parmesan, boxed Cheese Macaroni to homemade Cheese Macaroni and plain Spaghetti and Meatballs to Spaghetti Bolognese.

They love turkey burgers because I tell them they're Crabby Patties and Spongebob gave me the recipe. They eat only Breyers yogurt because they have pictures of Lightning McQueen and Hannah Montana. And Life Cereal is about as far as my son's breakfast taste buds expand.

And since table clothes get pulled, the flower petals become picked at and the candle sparks get blown out before the first bite is taken. I've come to accept the Thomas the train and Tinkerbell place mats that light up their faces every time they set their plates down.

So, when my son asked what we were having for our July 4th dinner and I explained, Crabby Patties and Chocolate Chip cookies, he smiled, his face brightened up and he shouted out a "YAY!" 

I knew I'd made the right choice, at least for now.

For any other Squashed Gourmets looking for a good Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, here's mine.

1 stick Crisco Baking Stick, butter flavor (I don't make them often, so I don't mess around.)
6 teaspoons of water
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt (I don't always use this.)

Chocolate chips (as many as you want, the more the better. I use a full 12 oz bag. )
Lots of chopped walnuts (optional. I usually make a dozen cookies without walnuts and then add about 2 cups of chopped walnuts to the rest of the batter. My husband loves walnuts.)

In one large bowl, mix together the Crisco and water. Then add the sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat good. Then combine with the flour, salt and baking soda.

Drop by teaspoon full onto baking sheet and cook at around 10-12 minutes at 375.


  1. Your chocolate chip cookies sound yum (as did just the mention of red, white and blueberry poundcake)! I can't wait to try your recipe. Your kids remind me of a commercial that used to come on PBS where a lady in a white uniform is watching a cooking show and preparing this beautiful trout almondine complete with parsley garnish, etc. Then, they show two little boys standing in the lunch line saying, "We wanted fish sticks!" I love it. Keep trying with the little ones. I find that my tween and teen are pretty good eaters, but when they were smaller they ate what they created. If I put carrots in the salad they complained, but if I made a "salad bar" for them to build their own, the would eat just about anything they piled on own their salad, including the carrots or whatever else. -EW

  2. I'll try to find that pound Cake recipe again! It looked good and easy but I got so mad that my husband correctly suggeted I shouldn't make it, and I discarded the link I'd saved.LOL!


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