The black beans tonight at dinner were smack-ya-mamma good.
Too bad Chica didn’t figure that out until she was almost the one getting the smackin’.
We’re in a bit of a dinner time rut. We bought ¼ of a cow recently, so every meal includes some kind of beef. We stopped trying to be creative, and we’re stuck on a predictable cycle of pasta, hamburgers, hamburger steak, and calzones. Seeing as how Chica doesn’t do beef in any form (by her own choosing), feeding her is quite a challenge these days.
In theory I really like the idea of making both kids’ plates with exactly what we are eating and just saying, “too bad, so sad,” if they don’t find something they like that night. We’ve tried that, and some nights when I’m feeling particularly strong, we give it another whirl. But most nights we just feed them what we know they will eat because, well, we’re tired. And we’d rather enjoy a conversation about our day then endure a battle over the plate. So it’s macaroni and cheese or pasta or grilled cheese or hotdog….over and over and over again.
Beside the usual sides of carrots and craisins, I usually serve her one more thing from our plate, hoping that one day she’ll magically morph into a kid whose menu includes more than just ten items. So tonight it was the black beans. And the rule was one bite. One lousy spoonful. Our standards have reached a new low.
What follows is a brief survey of some of the tactics used over the 30 minutes of dinner in efforts to get her to down that one spoonful:
“MMM…..maaaaan, these beans are good.”
“Ohhh, Bubba likes these beans. They must be good.”
“They taste like bacon and salt….two things you like.”
“I’m going to have ice cream. Don’t you want some too?”
“You don’t know that you don’t like them because you haven’t tried them.”
“No, you can’t get up until you’ve had that one spoonful.”
“You can have some more pasta when you’ve eaten your beans.”
Meanwhile, the offer-it-and-maybe-they’ll-like-it strategy has worked for Bubba. He’s downing them like they’re going out of style.
When he finishes his two servings and helps to finish mine, I finally ask Jay to take out Chica’s one required spoonful and give Bubba the rest of her serving.
So while he’s literally licking the bowl, we’re still fighting her. Finally we busted out the, “Enough. Eat them now or we will start yelling and there will be a consequence,” line, and it worked.
“Hey. They didn’t taste like anything! They were good. Can I have some more?”
And so it goes.
Smack-Ya-Mama (And Not Your Four Year Old) Black Beans
1 can of Walmart brand black beans (drained but not rinsed)
1 cup of chicken broth
¼ cup bacon bits (the good kind…not the crunchy ones)
Combine in a small pot, and cook on medium heat until the rest of your dinner is ready. Serve hot, but don’t expect anybody to eat them until they’re cold. They’ll still be good. Promise.