Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, May 26, 2008

That Wasn't A Dinner Party, Was It?

Izzy pondered on our way home from a Graduation/Memorial Day celebration for my sister C.

It was 7:00 pm., the time when we would normally be eating dinner. Izzy complained, "All I ate was a hotdog and now I am hungry. We didn't even have dinner." I knew it would end this way but I was powerless to change the course of events., brought on by the "Sunday Supper" frame of mind.

I was introduced to this concept of early supper in high school, thru my boyfriend R.'s family. Every Sunday they invited me for an Italian-American meal at about three in the afternoon. I would eat with them (How could I turn down the most fabulous rotisserie pork roast?) but then I would go home and by seven or eight in the evening, I would be ready for another meal. Back then two meals weren't a problem for my svelte shape, now it's a different story.

So of course, Izzy's hunger did not surprise me. It was rather my inability to come up with an adequate solution. We arrived at the party at 4 p.m. He had a hot dog within the first half hour and then was off frolicking in the grass. Between juice boxes and sugar shots (see post to follow), Izzy was too busy to think about eating anything else. He did miss some yummy offerings, especially these ribs which I had made a few years ago and still remembered. I passed on the recipe to my stepmother who promptly prepared 75 ribs! They didn't taste as sweet as I had imagined but they were still quite good.

There were platters of hors d'oeuvres, chicken legs and other nibbly snacks but Izzy just never found his way to the table. And sadly, we missed dessert since we had to leave before the cake or cookies were served. I, on the other hand, couldn't stay away from the ribs and even at a grilled hotdog (How could I resist my favorite brand?). Even so, I could have still eaten a bit more when it came to my regular dinner hour.

When we arrived home at 7:30 p.m., Izzy insisted on sitting down at the table for a light meal. He had half of a turkey sausage link, some yellow pepper slices and a small piece of bread. After eating that he insisted that his belly was still empty but I insisted that he go to bed, explaining that he would have to wait until morning.

So back to Izzy's question: Was it a dinner party? In this case I would have to say it was an afternoon of grazing especially since there was no sit-down meal. As for the early Sunday meal, I'm still not sure what to make of it or how to cope, since I, for one, can no longer consume two dinners and there is no joy in preparing another meal for my child when ostensibly dinner is over.


Anonymous said...


I have a question for you. Maybe you could help me out. My son, who is 2 years old, used to eat everything...you name it...fruits, vegs, all kinds of meat (chicken feet, and tripe included!), etc. In the last few weeks, he despises veggies. I have done nothing different in preparing them. So, I'm looking for brand new ways to present veggies to him. Can you suggest a few recipes for veggies for a 2 year old? Thanks!

Izzy's Mama said...

It is wonderful that your son has been eating such a varied diet. Kids tastes do change but if you continue to offer the same foods that you normally eat, he will come back around. Sometimes it isn't even about the food but rather about the child asserting his/her will.

In any case, butter, oil and shallots go a long way towards making vegetables delicious. Green beans with caramelized shallots, olive oil and butter are an easy example and this preparation can be used with other vegetables as well. Simply blanch the green beans in salted water until just tender (about 4-5 minutes depending upon size), then mince a few shallots and saute in olive oil and butter. Add green beans and toss. Also see my post about parsnips.

You might be inclined to think that the addition of butter or oil would not be so healthy but The New York Times just explained the benefits of fat with vegetables here: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E5DF1239F933A15756C0A96E9C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2

Let me know how it goes.

Izzy's Mama

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Shallots, butter and oil....my tiny French grandmother would have made the same. I should just think back to what she used to make for me. Mmmmmm....now that I'm thinking about it, I used to come home from nursery school and she'd make potatoes and carrots pan-fried with shallots or onions, butter and oil. Oh God, they were so lacy and delicious! My mother used to say that she made it with horse fat, but I always thought she was kidding. Could a person find horse fat in the 1970s in Long Island? I digress. I will try this with my son and I imagine he will devour whatever veggie I make with your suggested ingredients. Thanks a bunch!

I enjoy reading your blog, by the way!

Izzy's Mama said...

The French do know how to cook vegetables, don't they? I used to make all sorts of caramelized vegetables at the Cordon Bleu.

As for horse fat on the Island, doubtful..What about duck fat? Goes great with potatoes and would probably work well with some other veggies too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe duck fat. Who knows? One of my relatives who worked for Air France used to have employees smuggle all kinds of illegal stuff...triple cream unpasteurized brie and various animal parts from Africa....monkey hands included - I am not kidding! We have photos!

What you're going to do with monkey hands, I have no idea.