Wednesday, December 26, 2012
There were no volunteers to help clean the dinner dishes this evening. I didn’t expect any. I was just happy to see that everyone had finished their meal. It’s always a challenge to decide on a dinner plan when my wife is out of town. I don’t want to go too fancy, because I know that my efforts won’t be appreciated. I also don’t want to offer hot dogs or breakfast cereal every night, because I’m not that kind of Dad. So, I’m reduced to low-key experimentation where I decide on a staple ingredient and slowly expand its horizons.
Chicken was the clear winner tonight. My youngest wasn’t interested, and voiced her preference for ice cream. A slight shift to my authoritative voice, and a subtle sidestep to block the refrigerator, squelched that plan. Now more than ever, we were definitely going to be eating chicken. It never sounds too interesting when you say “chicken.” Add to that “boneless and skinless” and you slowly back yourself further into a corner. As a reminder that life is not always easy, the chicken thighs were frozen solid, so half the challenge would be to defrost them in time to cook them.
Moms and Dads have to get creative when cooking for their children. The fine-tuned palettes of adults, many times, don’t mesh with kids. You try to make it fun and interesting. Sometimes you succeed, and other times the dogs get a bonus meal at the end of the day. Yes, there is luck involved. But often the thrill of the attempt makes it all worthwhile. I improvised a little due to a few missing ingredients, and I might have changed a thing or two in retrospect. Overall, it was a good night.
Oh, my daughters did get their ice cream for dessert. They didn’t wash or offer to clean any dishes, but that kind of encore performance is one that I’m used to. After all, I don’t love my daughters because they do the dishes. I’d like to, but I’ll settle for them eating my tentative dinner creations.