Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cooking The Unexpected

Anyone who's eaten at my house knows that I never make the same dish twice.

This is mostly due to the fact that I don't use a recipe; everything I make is "something similar" to something we've had before. Mrs. Nod puts the daily meat and potatoes (or chicken and rice) on the table, but weekends are largely free-form -- which is where I come in.

I view eating as a culinary adventure. I get my food know-how from my Mom and a spirit of experimentation from my Dad. The best egg omelette Dad ever made was, in fact, gray in color, due to some leftover 3-bean salad. Sounds gross, but tasted great.

I don't usually plan what I'm going to cook, I just stare into the refrigerator and cabinets until I feel inspired. It's a creative art form that you can eat.

Very often this works to my advantage when feeding the Nodlings. Presenting food in a novel way gets them to try stuff they might complain about otherwise. One day I wokked some chicken and fed them from the pan with chopsticks like little birds. (They'll eat almost anything if I let them use the "cheater" chopsticks, which is made with a folded piece of paper wedged between the sticks with a rubber band.)

Something that works well with the toddlers is "lap" feeding. No, not sitting on a lap -- running them. They run circles around the table laughing and giggling. Every time they complete a lap, you stick some food their mouths.

On Friday, I cut the top off of an orange bell pepper and drank water out of it like a cup. The Nodlings thought that was the best thing ever and wanted their own pepper cup; most other days I can't beg them to drink water.

Today, I used those orange peppers as taco shells. Here's a picture of pepper shell chicken tacos, complete with cucumbers, lettuce, red pepper, tomatoes, and cheese. They scarfed it all down because they thought it was cool to eat out of a stuffed pepper.

The good part is these shells don't break.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is brilliant. I may have to steal that one.


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