Monday, January 12, 2015

The Way to a Man's Heart...(Or NOT)

With a couple of growing boys in the house, it seems like the topic of FOOD gets more than its fair share of attention. For example, we recently suffered through what can only be described as..."a gastronomic crisis of epic proportions"...well, if you're to believe the teenager's version of it, that is. What happened was, we left town for 2 separate trips during the kids' Winter Break from school, meaning we were gone for the better part of 2 weeks. Naturally, minimal shopping occurred during this period, as we attempted to create some kind of...culinary magic...from our pantry and fridge, especially focusing on using up perishable items.

However, I must admit that this resulted in a rather...barren, forlorn kitchen landscape when we finally returned home. A few pretzels...dry cereal...frozen vegetables...condiments...okay, it might perhaps have skewed a bit to the "dire" side. This left Derek to face the prospect of scrounging for sustenance on the meager pickings in his sight. (Because, you know, I just wasn't willing to get right back in the car and rush out to the grocery store immediately after setting foot in the house...I know, I know "Bad, Neglectful Mommy!" So...Wheat Thins...and, um...butter...never killed anyone. Suck it up for one night!) Instead of using his considerable talents productively, he chose to let loose with a dramatic mini-tantrum. "Jeez! There's NOTHING here! What am I supposed to eat? I'm gonna staaaarrrrve!" (Completely in jest, of course, but an impressive performance, nonetheless.)

Therefore my excursions to the local grocery establishment and the "ginormous-containers-of-edibles...warehouse" for Operation Restock the following morning proved unusually expensive. But we ended up with shelves laden with goodies, enough for even a bottomless pit 14-year old to be satisfied. Sadly, his contentment only lasted until his father jokingly pointed out, "Hey, we didn't eat any meat at all yesterday--we were temporary vegetarians!" (Sigh...THANKS, honey...) Derek was instantly outraged (again, in that fake-but-emphatic way he's perfected), "Oh no! Vegetarians are awful...Oh, hi, Mom!" (This last part delivered with a huge smirk, after turning around in "surprise" to see me standing behind him. Yeah, hi-lar-ious, son. You're so grounded...)

Although I know better, I responded anyway, "Hey, there's nothing wrong with vegetarians!" Riley picked this moment to chime in, "You're vegan, aren't you?" "Um, nooooo, I'm just a regular vegetarian." He knows the difference, really, but apparently he was feeling argumentative, because he continued, "Yes, you are!" Thinking to win the debate with logic (silly, silly me, right?) I countered, "What's the definition of a vegan? What do they eat?" He pretended to think about it for a second, then triumphantly shouted, "Nothing! They live on...Keurig, so you ARE a vegan!" (Look, my beloved child, I'm already envious of the frequency and amount of your extravagant food consumption, due to your raging adolescent male metabolism...let's not rub it in, shall we? Oh, and you're also grounded...)

Okay, I officially gave up on that pointless exercise, knowing I was outnumbered by the carnivores...and outvoted by the testosterone. It just so happened that quinoa was supposed to be the dinner plan for this evening--a dish that everyone likes, by the way--but I had gone to Costco again, so we had other options. One thing I purchased on a whim: Mickey Mouse-shaped chicken nuggets, which I used to keep in the freezer at all times when the boys were younger. I showed Derek the bag, expecting him to join me in a moment of nostalgia, and look forward to the cute little morsels on his plate. He just stared at me with an expression of disbelief and snorted, "You know I'm gonna need about 14 of those to fill me up, right?" "But...but...Mickey nuggets and cheesy potatoes...doesn't that sound like a feast?" "Suuuuure..." he agreed, "...for a SIX year old!"

For the record, he ate the damn things...and enjoyed there! And he'd just better watch himself, because as the person who plans the Bill of Fare...and obtains all of the necessary items to assemble the Daily Specials...he'll be lucky if he gets his hands on any animal products for the rest of the week. That'll show him...mwah hah hah! Okay, then...unless there's suitable flattering, bribing of, and/or currying favor with the Queen...part-time vegetarians, it shall be!

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