Thursday, February 12, 2009

Double Whammy Wednesday - and the drama of picky eaters

We didn't do Terrifying Tuesday because our school had a fundraiser, asking us to eat at Mama's Island Pizza and Baskin Robbins. Our school playground is so close to it's monetary mark but not there yet, and the construction has already begun! Yesterday we were blessed to have our Representative Cynthia Theilan's son donate an auger and recruit the Hawaii job corp to dig post holes using the auger. How awesome is that?!! Plus they used leftover lumber from our boardwalk to construct work tables (very green) and did a lot of other stuff in preparation for the build.

So, yesterday we had double whammy wednesday. Double whammy because I made the planned Valentine's dessert and then I made a recipe I found on the internet. Where to start? With the food or with the drama that accompanied the food? Let's start with the food. I have pictures today! (not good pictures...)

For dinner I made a recipe I found on the Vegan Dad blog I'm going to post the recipe because I have some comments on changes I made and such.

- 5 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cloves
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 onions, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1" piece ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2/3 cup plain soy yogurt
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2/3 cup hot water
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. Get water boiling in a pot. Add rice, cardamom, tumeric, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Parboil for 3 mins, drain, then return to pot and cover to keep warm.
2. While water is boiling, heat oil in a large frying pan. Dry onions for 8-10 mins, until a deep golden brown. Add chickpeas, spices, lemon juice, and season to taste. Fry for 3-4 mins, until heated through.
3. Place chickpea mixture in the prepared casserole dish and top with cilantro. Top with enough sliced tomatoes to cover the chickpeas. Spread yogurt over the tomatoes, then top with cashews and raisins. Top that with rice, and pour water evenly over the top.
4. Cover and bake for 60-65 mins, until liquid is all absorbed and rice is cooked. Serve topped with more chopped cilantro.

My notes:

1. I don't have white rice in my house any more, so I had to figure out how to parboil brown rice. (what is parboil anyway??) So, I boiled my jasmine brown rice for 15 minutes, drained it and left it in the pot until I was ready for it.

2. I also picked out the cloves and cinnamon stick. They didn't specify that in the recipe, but who wants that surprise?

3. ground cardamom costs $13 for a 2 oz jar! cardamom pods cost $10 a jar! I chose just the ground cardamom and guessed at how much to use instead of the pods. I had all the other spices.

4. the recipe calls for sliced onions. I think it would be better to quarter the slices, because they were big and unwieldy and hung out together in the casserole (it was hard to get them evenly distributed)

5. I used regular dairy fat free plain yogurt. So that makes my version not vegan.

6. I wouldn't know where to find raw cashews, so I used planters lightly salted.

7. don't be intimidated by the ingredient list. It's mostly spices.

Here are the pictures. I forgot to take them before we served ourselves, so excuse the carnage. (yes, my dishes are Buttercups on Blue - I meet lots of people who have Poppies on Blue)

My comments about this dish.
  • I was afraid the rice wouldn't cook, but it did. In my serving, there were 4-5 hard rice pieces - so I guess they all didn't cook.
  • This smelled soooooo good when I was cooking the chickpeas. Even my kids commented about how good it smelled.
  • I liked it, with the exception of the tomatoes. I thought for sure the tomatoes would be great - but they tasted sour. ?? How weird is that?
  • new addition: last night I thought it was the tomatoes for sure that were sour tasting, but maybe it was the maui onions I used? I'm eating it for lunch right now and trying to pick it apart - I'm confused...
  • Plus the yogurt seemed to coagulate in clumps on the tomatoes. Yuck. I think it probably should be stirred into the chickpea mixture.
  • I would be tempted to make the whole thing without the tomatoes, but I bet they add a lot of the moisture which cooks the rice. So maybe completely cook the two elements separately and just layer on the plate? I dunno.

The family reaction? Thumbs down from the kids and a so-so from Gary. I will be eating a lot of leftovers. I pulled out the tomatoes and packed up a baggie for the freezer. I think this recipe is worth tweaking and I welcome suggestions.


Now on to the big drama. The dessert. I chose a recipe from my Pink Ribbon Special edition BH&G checkerboard cookbook. It's called Berry Clafouti and I even bought cute little quiche dishes. I won't duplicate the recipe (because I'm lazy and would have to type it out...) but it's just a layer of berries covered with a light batter and bake. I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. (I couldn't commit to just one kind!) It smelled like heaven!

Again, I forgot to take a picture before I started eating it so excuse the carnage and bluriness!

It was wonderful. I think we all agreed that the raspberries were the strongest in tartness - so if tart is not your thing, you might not like it.

The drama: Ryan's first bite he said he liked. But I think the bite was the size of a microbe. He started to refuse to eat any more, which is frustrating since he said he liked it! Then he started crying!
I should have seen it coming because he had been harrassing me about supper ever since school got out. I can tell he had built it up in his mind that he was not going to like it, all he had to do was eat one bite and be done with it. This child can go a long time on very little food. Of course, I had been putting up with attitude all day, and I had specifically chosen a non-chocolate recipe for him, so I was quite upset by this time.

I wont' go into all the details, but I suppose you could call me an ogre for wanting him to eat his dessert! I gave him all the lectures a mom gives. He's heard them all before. This kid has had eating issues from the get-go. Some of it is physical - it certainly started that way. But there is also the mental aspect. If you think it's going to taste bad, then it will. I've got to hand it to him, he's quite brave when he does try new foods. Eating a grape to him is as scarey as eating a bowl of worms.
Anyway, I resorted to my usual "you must eat x number of good sized bites" (he can't handle being told to "eat it all") and we ended it with a hug and cuddle. No one was hurt during the exchange, but I certainly felt like bashing my head against the wall.
Ryan is a super good kid. This is the ONLY area we struggle with. It hurts my heart sometimes because feeding my family is my favorite way to show my love. I have to remind myself that he doesn't mean to hurt me, it's not personal. I also have to remind myself that over a LONG period of time and after thousands of "just one bites", he does sometime come around. He has come a long way, and maybe by the time he is an adult he'll be eating vegetables and fruit. (I apologize in advance to his future wife)
Okay, before this turns into a novel, my final parting thoughts. I've approached TT with a attitude of mystery. I thought that would add to the fun. But I need to rethink that. It seems to have added to the stress for Ryan. I'm torn between thinking that if he knows what we are going to have he'll have time to decide to dislike it, and thinking that if he doesn't know then he'll work himself up into a tizzy of worry. And my other thought is that 2 mystery dishes was just too much. One at a time from now on.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I thought they both sounded great. But, tart flavors are not my thing. I'd try the rice recipe though. BTW...I have that same glass dish. I recognized the pattern.
Thanks for sharing.