Food stuffs

I did not know how to cook until I was 28 and pregnant with Little Dog. Prior to that I had no interest in cooking at all. Kitchens were merely places for storing my smokes and caffeine. Restaurants were invented for people like me.

I learned to cook one reason: I was pregnant and I was hungry! I ate like an elephant, but thankfully never looked like one. I consistently lost weight and ended up weighing 2 pounds less when I delivered than I had when I conceived. I had tiny little bird legs and a big huge belly full of baby. 

During the pregnancy I craved my mom’s old fashioned cooking. She made me meatloaf, roast with potatoes, macaroni and cheese and even Jell-O with Cool Whip mixed in. She would tell me dinner was ready and then warn everyone else to watch out for my flailing limbs as I frantically shoveled huge helpings onto my plate.

So, while my mom cooked me dinners, that still left breakfast and lunch unmanned. At the time my entire experience with “cooking” consisted of making nachos in the microwave, heating a can of Campbell’s and memorizing the pizza delivery number.

Nine months later I had become quite an accomplished chef! By the time RB and I were married I was putting a full meat-and-potatoes meal on the table every night. I was dazzling friends with my new found culinary skills. Of course since I no longer had a baby inside me who sucked away all the calories for his own nourishment, I also got fat. I considered it a small price pay for chicken cordon bleu with wild rice and steamed asparagus … for lunch!

I was also adamant that Little Dog would never eat processed baby foods. Nothing against the Gerber baby, but to me, if you are going to feed your baby that processed and preservative laden crap you may as well just go ahead and feed him or her little bits of plastic directly. Bojo tried to tell me that now they have “all natural” baby food with no preservatives. That, my friends is bullshit. You cannot steam some fresh green beans, puree them, slap them in a sealed container, ship them across the country and then let them sit unrefrigerated on a shelf until purchased and expect them not to be absolutely rancid unless you add a bunch of preservatives. It just cannot be done.

So, I simply pureed some of whatever we were eating for dinner to feed to Little Dog and it worked out great!

Little Dog was a vegan until he was about 1½ years old, and then he was a vegetarian until he was 7. Around then he discovered that he loved ground beef tacos and fajita chicken. Now that he is 14 he is once again thinking about choosing vegetarianism. He has always been a big advocate for animal rights and now he is questioning whether or not he feels okay about eating meat. I told him I would back him up whatever he decides. I am not a big meat eater myself, so no biggie to me.

What is a big deal, however, is the fact that despite my best intentions with regards to his diet, Little Dog grew into the pickiest eater in the entire world. He eats what I like to call the “beige” diet. If it is not beige, he most likely will not eat it. Chicken, cheese, breads, tortillas, potatoes…even hominy, are all on his approved list. Tomatoes (including ketchup) green vegetables and most fruits are most definitely NOT on his list.

When he was young I did the following things:

Asked his pediatrician if he could get scurvy. (She said no.)

Refused to let him have anything “special” for dinner. It was either our meal or no meal. (He went without eating on those nights)

Forced him to try “just a bite” of, say, carrots or spaghetti. (He gagged. It wasn’t pretty.)

Finally gave up and accepted the beige diet. I packed his lunch box with a bagel and Golden Delicious apple slices; bought him plain cheerios and corn flakes for breakfast; learned to cook chicken about 87 different ways.

So, when he suggested he might go vegetarian it did take a certain measure of control not to laugh. But in the end I am supportive. I have bought him books on the subject and stocked the larder with options. We will just take it day-by day and see how it goes.

It does not, however, bode well that so far he has rejected three different homemade soups, refused tofu outright, and thinks veggie burgers taste like "pieces of paper mixed with chewy stuff."

I do believe he thinks being vegetarian means eating cheese pizza every night.

I have news for him: I forgot the pizza delivery number back in 1992.