Friday, March 7, 2008

Does Rachael Ray even have kids?

I'm thinking "no".

I had some left over corn flakes that weren't getting eaten so last night I looked for an oven fried chicken recipe since my regular fried chicken recipe was too labor intensive to begin at 6pm. I convinced myself that my kids would get a kick out of eating Chicken Toes because 1) it was Rachael Ray's recipe; 2) it was a cooking-with-kids recipe and 3) we are all suckers for a cute name. But knowing what you do about my children and their food preferences, I'll bet that even you would have warned me against this choice. That's OK. I probably wouldn't have listened.

Allspice and brown sugar in a chicken coating? Yeah, I did give it a second and even a third glance. But then, I do what I always do when it comes to trying a new recipe... I don't trust my instincts. Maybe it's a really good flavor combination that I am not aware of. Maybe my kids will actually love it! Oh, look! Pigs with wings...

Why don't I trust myself? It really comes down to the fact that deep down inside I think I am the cause of my children's picky taste buds. Maybe I didn't make exotic enough dishes in their early childhood. Perhaps I didn't introduce them to all of the culinary experiences I should have? Is my cooking repertoire too unvaried and have I stifled their little palates?

Why do we do that? Why are we, as moms, so quick to blame ourselves? Maybe "we" aren't, maybe it's just me. In this particular case, I blame the "experts". Those people out there collectively called "they" who tell us how our children should eat, play and sleep. "They" say you shouldn't make special dishes for your children. "They" say serve them the same food over and over and over and they will get use to it eventually. "They" say it's a matter of your will vs. your child's; don't you dare give in!

Well, frankly, "they" can stuff it! (Except for these guys who actually seem to have a very balanced perspective on the subject. I especially like #19.)
I have tastes and preferences when it comes to food and so do my kids. As they mature, they will understand that at times we have to eat things that may not be our favorite food, but are good for us and can be enjoyed in some way. And in the meantime, as long as they are willing to try new things every now and then, I am going to allow them to have an opinion and a preference about what they eat. Nobody ever died from eating peanut butter crackers for dinner once in a while. And from now on, I am going to go with my gut. Brown sugar and allspice? Nah! How about garlic salt and oregano instead? No offense, Rachael, but we prefer our chicken toes taste like they walked here from Italy!


  1. She's so funny! Those poor people have to think up so many new recipes. I'm sure she was just desperate, but she's crazy just the same!
    My kids have really enjoyed going to C.Market and picking out their own soup from the soup bar. I let Linus pick out whatever he wants from the salad bar. It's been amazingly helpful for trying new foods, though that wasn't the intent. Lucy tried and loved Green Chile Chicken soup or something last week. I admire your courage with such a recipe, btw.

  2. Nope. No kids for Rachael. She's "too tired."

  3. And too busy;-)

  4. Rachel's cute, but good old fashioned mom-common sense makes for better family meals, I'm thinking. (Allspice and brown sugar with chicken??)

  5. We do not try Rachael's recipes but we did Emerial and they did not like the cornflake coated chicken "fingers" that he created either. thumbs down. and it was a lot of work too.

    Now, not meaning to be off the subject but I do find it particuarly interesting and maybe amusing that Racheal likens herself to a some ways....
    "I feel like a bad mom to my dog some days because I'm just not here enough."

    So, that would make Racheal a__________strange person!!!

  6. I have to agree with you -- brown sugar, allspice and chicken do not belong together.

    I have one on my blog that we tried back in January for the Buckeye game and it was good. We used chicken legs, but "toes" would be good too. My kids like them and they were definitely more Italian than, what, Jamaican? Not sure?

    I have one really picky (oldest) two mildly picky, but fairly adventurous, and one that eats almost anything. Dh and I are of the eat almost anything category, too.

  7. My kids have told me "sweet and meat do not go together, Mom." Gotta respect that kind of honesty.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!