Friday, February 27, 2009

Grosso Gourmeto

Sort of in keeping with my last post, I'm going to carry on the subject of foods.

Growing up, we mostly had inexpensive, healthy, home-cooked meals. As we got older, my sister and I helped out in the kitchen. We learned how to pick out vegetables and fruit at the grocery store with mom. We learned the basics. Knowing how to steam fresh veggies is only a success if you know how to pick out the best veggies available. Yellow broccoli is not going to taste as good as purple broccoli no matter what. Your dish can't be any better than the quality of the produce added.

Off topic. Re-directing.

Quite often my family would try new recipes. My dad cooked as much as my mom and he was usually a little more daring. Mostly this comes from having been in places like Thailand and other overseas locations. He would come back and teach us a new dish.

Mostly, I don't remember many flops. But there was this one time. Mom decided to do a gourmet, cold, black bean soup. She also made her famous banana pudding...but she cooked it in the microwave.

So my sister and I are looking at this cold soup. Hmmm. And its black. Hmmm. And then you put a big spoonful of sour cream in it and add some raw onions (ick) as garnish. Now, sour cream in cold soup does not mix in and become a creamy delight. Nope.

So we choked down a few spoonfuls. I don't think either of us made it through the whole bowl. But there was another all important rule that we were very careful to adhere to.

NO MAKING NOISES OR SAYING UGLY THINGS ABOUT FOOD. This was a very serious rule. You were allowed to say you did not like something. You were allowed to ask not to eat it. You must try it. And there were no rude words allowed. Yuck. Ewww. Gross. Disgusting. Ugh. Or any ugly faces either.

This was considered the height of rudeness and disrespect. The person sitting next to you might love this food -- and you have no business insulting them like that. And I admit that I have carried this rule over into my own household as an adult. Wasn't easy to train my husband either. But the kids were raised this way. The rule is explained to nieces and nephews and vistors alike. (But they don't have to try things at my house...only my kids do.)

Anyway, we got through the soup somehow. Sis and I are cutting our eyes at each other and making faces when mom is not looking. Dad is pretending not to see. Somehow, we make it to dessert time. LOVE mom's banana pudding. And we dig in and take big bites. Complete silence. We sit there and chew. And chew. Or at least we try to....but our tongues are stuck to the roof of our mouths.

Yes, I'm quite sure that my mother discovered the recipe for wall paper paste, made in the microwave. Thank goodness it was banana flavored or we might have broken all the rules.

At this point my mom starts cracking up. She did like the soup...but the dessert was rather too much. And she says we just don't know gourmet food. At which one of us (I can't remember which smart alec it was) returns with...."but we do know Grosso Gourmeto!!!"

This has become our family code word for "I'm not eating that!!!! No way! No how!!"

Luckily, we have not had many of those in our house over the last 22 years. Considering how often we try new recipes that is really rather good. I can only think of about 3 times we have actually left the table and went and got something to eat elsewhere.

The first time DH and I were newly weds. I tried this chicken casserole recipe. Don't remember what it was called but it had some cream of tomato and other soups in it. And it was cooked in the microwave. (You can already guess where this is going, can't you?)

It was disgusting!!!!!! The chicken was like rubber and it was just nasty. We shoved it aside after the first bite!! DH was very nice about it and put it up on the counter top to cool so we could ditch it, and took me out to eat. Sadly, when we returned home and I looked at the sparkling clean casserole bowl and thanked DH for cleaning up.... we realized the doberman had jumped up on the counter and eaten it all. YUCK!!!!!!!! And he didn't even get sick.

So, a piece of advice for those that are new to cooking. DO NOT COOK IN THE MICROWAVE. It's good as a reheater, or for bacon or baked potatoes. Otherwise, just don't do it!!!!! Plus there are studies out there how microwaving changes the structure of the foods and this might pose health risks. Google it if you are curious. Hasn't stopped me from using a microwave, but I don't use it as often for sure.

And back to the rule on not making faces or being rude.

Then came Mighty Mouse.

First, you cannot make her eat anything she doesn't want to. She will starve herself rather than put something in her mouth she doesn't want. We know for a fact she will last up to 2 1/2 days without food. Been there. Broken down after 2 1/2 days. Whoever said a kid will not starve themselves or go hungry over being made to eat something was WRONG. DEAD WRONG. There are kids out there that are strong willed enough to harm themselves over putting something they don't want in their mouth. And it has to be the one who doesn't weight enough to make it worth the threat of CPS being called after dropping 3 pounds and hitting failure to thrive weights. Not kidding. Boy have I been trained 100% in the opposite direction on thinking you CAN get kids to eat good food. How foolish of me.

We have been able to keep Mighty Mouse from using ugly words. But that's because she never makes it that far. If you present her with something she thinks she won't like the gag reflex kicks in. She immediatley starts retching and gagging. Not a put-on! The real deal. And no amount of threats or punishment stops this relex of hers. So we spend the time trying to get her to cut it out...while tears are streaming down our face from the sheer comedy of the tears running down her face due to the force of the retching!!!! What a circus!!!

But this has been a good week. We had two new recipes that are keepers...unheard of in one week. Plus, the only retching this week was over an escaped green balloon on returning home from the grocery store. And that was the funniest yet. SCREAMMMM ..retch ...SCREAMMMMM ...retch, retch, retch ....SCCCCCRRREEAMMM.. retch ..fall to knees. And mom is trying to get her to stop, laughing her butt off and trying not to wet her pants because it is sooooo stupid!!! And the neighbors are standing in the yard staring and wondering why this child is screaming like I'm beating her. And I waited the next hour with my breath held wondering when the cops were going to show up. Not kidding. This little fit lasted an hour and a half.

Child needs a good dose of peas.


  1. oh that's funny... and I thought I had a picky eater... I'd love to get some of those family favorite recipes from you. I'm in desperate need of something new around here!

  2. I cannot get my kids to try new things! Drives me crazy.

  3. My kids go through picky phases, none last for too long thankfully.

    I was the one who cooked when I was growing up, both parents worked so I started the dinner when I came home from school. Usually something simple like spaghetti or tacos. Sometimes soup on the weekends or roast or fried chicken.

    We don't use our microwave except for heating potatoes and water, or thawing a bagel or similar. I have never liked to cook in it, even way back when I was a teen and we got our first microwave! I just wish the darn thing didn't have to be so freaking huge! Its almost as big as my oven and really in the way. I've considered getting rid of it several times but my kids like being able to heat a potato in 6 minutes.