Thursday, February 28, 2008

FOUR thumbs up!

Today, I made a late-day decision to make The Sausage and Pasta dish for the boys. I'd had this conversation with them yesterday.

"When Mom gets her new house all set up and settled into, we're going to start cooking some nice meals at home. It's really important to me that when I cook a nice meal, my boys at least try the food. We're not going to eat a bunch of pudding when we get home from school, even if we're starving. Mom's going to give you things like cucumbers and almonds and carrots and spinach to snack on until supper is ready. And then when I serve you the nice homemade meal, you must try it before proclaiming that you hate it. I won't raise two ungracious, picky eater boys. This is really important, okay? Then when you try it and you don't like the food, I'll change how I make it the next time to try to make it better. We have an agreement, right? You'll try the stuff that I cook and I'll cook more often!?"

"Okay, Mom."

Even though I'm STILL a house guest right now, I decided that I'd try out our new agreement right away. I went to Fareway and got what I thought was everything I'd need to make The Dish. Except there was no fresh basil and I totally forgot the WHITE WINE! Oh horrors! What to do, what to do? I already had meat browning on the stove (why the hell don't these people have any olive oil in their cupboards?) and I needed to make a decision fast. Water instead of wine? Beer? Neither sounded like a good option and a quick glance in the fridge revealed a complete lack of any alcohol at all. On the end of the counter, however, was my big 32 oz Dr Pepper from earlier this afternoon. Ice melted, but still mostly Dr. Pepper. I made a fast call and tossed it in. Found some dried basil in the drawer. This was probably the 2nd best "Do" on The Dish to date!

Aren'tcha proud? (Ok, don't be proud of the Dr. Pepper, but I made a fast substitution decision and it seemed to work!)

The huge success and victory part? I tasted the sauce and found it to be again, slightly zippier than I'd intended for my boy's mac n cheese palates. But I excitedly put it on the table. Finn inspected a chili flake and started to ask if it was spicy, and I said, "No, that's an herb and you can call it an herb or you can call it a herb, it's completely up to you!" (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!) He giggled at me and began to dig in. Will you believe this... he needed SECONDS! Owen also gobbled his whole plate (I'd dished a healthier serving for him, knowing that Finn was my biggest (noisiest) critic.)

I danced and dance and hugged them both for trying my cooking. Asked them to rate it with their thumbs.

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