Tag Archives: food

There Is a Tablecloth On My Battlefield

If there is one thing that might make me snap as a parent, causing me to fly through the house punching holes through walls and tearing down wallpaper with my fingernails, it will be my daughter’s eating habits.

My 6-year-old wonderful, artistically gifted, verbally advanced, sensitive darling who is the pickiest damned eater I have ever had the misfortune to live with and be unable to employ threats of violence against.

If she had her way, her diet would consist of the following, and probably only the following:

  • Milk, chocolate milk and orange juice
  • Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • Bacon and hot dogs (occasionally supplemented with chicken or steak)
  • Green apples, grapes, mandarin oranges and the occasional banana
  • Annie’s Shells & Cheese
  • Tootsie Roll lollipops and gummy anything
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Processed cheese sticks and extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • Hot fudge sundaes
  • Yogurt
  • Corn, but only sweet summer corn and only on the cob, heavily salted
  • Gravy (mashed potatoes are considered an inefficient delivery device that merely impedes her ability to drink the gravy)
  • French fries
  • Salt or soy sauce, with or without food that requires it, and preferably deposited thickly enough that you cannot see the food beneath it

Now, of course, I give her credit for eating fruit. More power to her. But she’d still rather eat her weight in bacon instead (with the exception of fresh summer strawberries). Also, she occasionally has good taste in cheese and likes yogurt. But as you might notice, the emphasis is on grease/salt/sweets and there is nary a vegetable to be found except for the corn, which is available for only a month or two during the year.

I get that kids can be picky and might eschew veggies. But this is a child into whom we must struggle even to get “normal” kid foods sometimes.

She eats hot dogs, but without any bun or condiments. She will grudgingly eat a hamburger, but just the patty. She hates spaghetti.

This is a girl who recently dipped her French fries into her chocolate milk and declared it delicious, yet won’t eat pork cooked in a sweet mandarin orange sauce even though she likes both of those foods, too, individually.

We can’t get tacos in her. Or sandwiches (except for the occasional jelly sandwich). A banana chocolate chip muffin is acceptable, but rarely is blueberry, and never is a cinnamon-crusted one, much less anything that trends toward pretending to be healthy. She professes to like scrambled eggs but I suspect that’s just an excuse to have something on which to pour salt so that she can hasten her arrival at gross hypertension before she reaches college, because she always picks at them and dawdles when eating them. She’ll eat pancakes, but mostly to get the maple syrup, which she will try to scoop up as often as possible while avoiding the pancakes.

This is a girl so stubborn about eating that if you give her a meal she doesn’t want to eat, she will feign being full or ill and go to bed starving rather than eat a single bite.

It’s maddening.

And to top it all off, if you give her food she adores, she’ll beg to eat it in the living room while watching TV rather than sit with her family.

So many parents wish their kids wouldn’t eat them out of house and home.


I’d give my left nut for her to make us go broke buying her organic zucchini, Brussels spouts, mixed greens, broccoli and green beans.

But for now I’ll settle for her eating her hotdog with a bun or shoving some spaghetti in her craw.

Leftovers with Deac: Veggie Slider Edition

In the continuing evolution of my blog from religious/spiritual commentary to that plus political/social stuff to all that plus family stuff to, apparently, now being about whatever the hell random thing I feel like posting on any given day…well, I’m rolling out a new feature called “Leftovers with Deac.” It’s sort of a recipe post thing with a small dose of “There are children starving in the Appalachian Mountains right now so don’t you dare just toss out that food unless it’s gone bad.”

Yeah, I’m a gangster reduce/reuse/recycle and be-a-good-steward-of-the-Earth kinda guy that way.

First, some background.

Growing up, there is something I learned and took to heart from watching my dad and the way he approached food. First thing I embraced: The father/husband should eat the most burned/unattractive servings of food so that his family doesn’t have to. Second thing: Use your leftovers, even if you decide to mix them up in weird ways.

I’ve done this since I was a kid and a teen, and it extended into the years during college and for about 7 years thereafter when I was a lonely virginal geek freewheeling bachelor. I tended to use up my leftover food rather than keep cooking new stuff (or buying new stuff, if it was takeout or delivery or something).

So, leftover cheese pizza and leftover roast beef? Well, looks like roast beef pizza for dinner to shake things up.

In more recent years in my marriage, leftovers have gone to waste more often because Mrs. Blue isn’t as enamored of the “use it up” policy with food, and tends to be ruled more by what her tastebuds crave, whereas I’m happy to eat whatever as long as it tastes good, even if it was last night’s dinner. Lately, I’ve been able to slowly get back to my leftover-finishing days, and I’m going to share my periodic advice to you for new, simple dishes you can consider that I discovered through the fusion of various leftovers.

First on the list, in this blog post, is my spicy veggie sliders.

This recipe comes about courtesy of Son of Blue returning to college. Because he took up vegetarian eating (lacto-ovo-vegetarian) a year ago I guess now, we stock up on various fake meat products, particularly those from Morningstar Farms, which seems to be one of the best companies at making imitation meat taste good. When he heads back to college out of state, though, that stuff either needs to go in the trash or get eaten.

I choose to eat it, unless it tastes like crap.

So, among the things left behind this time were two of Morningstar’s spicy black bean veggie burgers. These bastards won’t fool your tastebuds into thinking they’re ground beef burgers, but they are damned tasty, whether put on the grill or cooked on the stovetop in an oiled or buttered skillet.

Also had three King’s Hawaiian brand Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls left over from a recent meal. Plus some deli-sliced American cheese.

Well, sliders it is then! It’s not as if I have a White Castle fast food place near me anyway.

I recommend you cook the patties up in a skillet with a little butter over medium heat until they get nice and browned.

While they’re cooking, get out your rolls and slice them in half, and get your cheese (if you’re not a milk-product-consuming vegetarian, get some soy cheese or something, or a vegetarian-friendly sandwich spread). If you are using cheese or an imitation version, tear the slices up so that you can set a piece down on the bottom part of each roll with just a little overlap on the edges.

When the patties are done, slice each one into thirds like pie chart. While the shape may not be all pretty and round at that point, it will fit the Hawaiian sweet roll nicely.

Myself, I put one nice hot piece on top of each bit of cheese, then put a bit of sliced cheese on top of that and the another third-of-a-patty on top of that to make a spicy double cheeseburger slider.