My daughter, Jessie (almost 12), has always been a picky eater. Her dad and I used to joke how Jessie only ate 5 things, growing up, and one of them was ketchup. I’m pretty sure she would have starved if it weren’t for chicken nuggets and apples. When she decided she didn’t like chicken nuggets anymore, at about age 7, we scrambled to find something to replace her source of protein.
For a while there, I thought Jessie was becoming a vegetarian: she just wouldn’t eat anything resembling meat. It’s not the worst thing in the world, for a child to become a vegetarian, but since Jessie didn’t like beans, eggs, or most dairy products, I was a little concerned about her protein intake. How much milk can one little person drink?
Once again, Janet came to the rescue. She ran across a recipe, in Rachael Ray’s magazine, she thought Jessie might like. It’s the recipe for Turkey Pucks made with ground turkey, corn flakes, evaporated milk, cheese and spices. Janet said, “Maybe if we have Jessie help us make dinner, she’ll become emotionally invested in the food and like it before she even tries it.” Brilliant.
Jessie had a great time mixing the meat and cheese, forming little patties, and dipping them in the milk and corn flakes. She even helped Janet fry them on the stove (I was allowed to break up the corn flakes with my mallet) and pat the excess oil off. Jessie loved every minute of it and ate two whole pucks that first night. Our new meal was a success! This success led to another experiment, also thought of by Janet (the brains of this operation): Destination Dinners.
“What if,” Janet surmised, “we pick a country, found their national dish, and made it for dinner. That way, it will be new and interesting for all of us.” When I asked Jessie how she felt about destination dinners she said, “Great! I pick Italy and pizza!” I was momentarily stunned and Jessie laughed hysterically and said, “Just kidding, Mom!” I’m so glad she’s developing a sense of humor; she was a very serious child for a while there.
So, Jessie picked Morocco and we researched their national dish. The Moroccan national dish is tajine, a lamb or poultry stew, served over couscous. The only thing I did was cut up the chicken; Jessie did everything else. It turned out to be delicious and Jessie realized, not only that she liked tajine, but she also really liked chickpeas. We will definitely make this dish again in the near future.
Janet and I stumbled upon another great way for Jessie to try new food: CostCo. We love going to CostCo to try new and interesting things and if we don’t get filled up on freebies, we head over to the deli for a hotdog and soda meal for $1.50. You gotta love CostCo!
We went to CostCo last month, probably for cheese and 5 hour energies, and Jessie wanted to try a meatball a kind woman offered her. She absolutely loved it and mentioned it several times while we dragged her around the store. She convinced us to go back for another try and then asked us if we would buy her a package for home. Jessie wants to buy food with protein in it? You betcha!
We asked the woman where we could find the meatballs and she replied, “You can find these delicious Chicken Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs just to my right in the freezer on the end.” You should have seen the look on Jessie’s face: it was the ‘What did she say was in them?’ look. Jessie scrutinized the packaging, looked over at me, shrugged, handed Janet the package and said, “Oh well, I still like them.”
Now, if I would have asked her, “Jessie, honey, would you like to try a teriyaki meatball made with chicken and pineapple?” She would’ve not just said no, but given me the look: the ‘are you just meeting me for the first time?’ look or, as I like to call it, the ‘what? Are you new here?’ look. I can’t blame her: I know I give her weird looks, too. I mean, she is a pre-teen.
I started writing blogs, this week, on a website for women who like sports and like to talk about them. There are quite a few of us out there. I wrote my first blog, titled ‘Thank You, Seahawks, for Giving Me Hope’ and posted it on Tuesday.
I wasn’t sure how easy it was to find my blog posting so I went to the website, www.hergamelife.com and tried to find it myself. I couldn’t find a spot to search so I was scrolling through the front page when I saw a blog titled, ‘Thank You, Seahawks…’. I thought, “Hold on! You thief! That’s my title…Wait a minute! That’s my blog! Holy Crap, I’m on the front!”
I would like to think my post is on the front because it’s pretty good and not because they rotate posts, or because the Seahawks are hot, or they always put your first one on the front. If you want to go and read it, just click on the link above and scroll down to the Hot Topics section and it should still be there. Hot Topics…I know, right?!
I originally started this blog to talk about my writing and in particular the book I was working on at the moment (but it’s evolved into a blog about things I find interesting, or funny, or scary. That way in case I ever have fans they’ll know a little bit about me, if they so desire.) There’s a lot of blogs on the hows and whys of writing and I didn’t want to get into all that…I just wanted to write about my work and what I’m doing at the moment. Then I realized how boring that would be after a little while.
“So, today I sat down to write and was stymied by my imagination for a while. I decided to play a game of spider solitaire to get the juices flowing. (Scratch that, Janet reads these.) I wrote several paragraphs, read them over, and deleted them as they were crap. I think I’ll write an essay on the joys and sorrows of Sudoku. I’ll call it Sudoku: The Bane of Erasers Everywhere or Sudoku: Can There Really Be 3 Sixes in This Box? How about: Sudoku and The Pivotal Moment Where You Realized ‘Oh Crap, I Screwed Up Somewhere’.”
Now, some of you might find this interesting (please, get help) but I’m pretty sure, after I sent it to Janet, she would reply back with just the one word: Really? Followed closely by: This is what you do all day? Luckily, my ego can handle harsh criticism. Oh, you didn’t know that? What? Are you new here?
p.s. There I go forgetting about the book again. I finished the first draft of book two, Alex’s Story, before we moved back to Washington and just started the second draft this week. It’s coming along really well, although I am biased, and I should hit my target of somewhere between Feb 1 and Feb 10 for a release date. I’ll let you know the closer I get to being finished! Book one, Devan’s Story, is out there if you want to read it before book two.