If you read my silly blog last week about the mom who asked me to make Funeral Potatoes, here’s the update. The boys are still high on their last game, a shutout (10-0) against Springville. My son pitched the whole contest and was the star of not only the game, but also this Daily Herald article the next morning. Go Kincade!
Tonight’s the big dinner for 40 boys at my house. Here’s the text message I finally wrote to Baseball Mom, who wanted to serve pork, “funeral potatoes,” and dessert. She’d rejected my interest in making a big green salad:
“Hi, I am super excited to host the boys on Monday!
“It’s a big part of who I am to always provide raw veggies in yummy ways, and all the boys who hang out at my house know and expect it. My green veggie salads always get eaten….but if [your son] won’t, I could easily bring a big veggie tray AND a fruit tray instead if you prefer?
“It’s funny you mention funeral potatoes because I spoke in four Northern Cali cities last week on my book tour, and I have this whole routine on how that recipe is the worst of Mormon cooking and why they are called “funeral potatoes.” (Cheese, butter, sour cream, potato chips all in one recipe….not named that because we serve them at funerals, but because they are causing funerals? Anyway, it gets a laugh.)
“So, I don’t push an agenda of no animal food and no sugar at stuff like this—I know you will have meat and dessert there—but I have never served a meal that doesn’t feature an awesome raw-veg salad. My boys eat a big plate of it as main dish every night of their lives, so I know many kids eat it even if some aren’t used to it.
And then it makes me feel better that meals are good/appropriate fuel instead of exclusively appealing to taste buds.”
I just copied that from my phone onto the blog here….and realized it’s the longest text in the history of the world.
That’s what happens when you stew about it for days before writing it!
The good news is she wrote back saying no problem, make the salad. And get water and utensils and stuff and I said DONE and DONE! (If I am super helpful, flexible, and generous everywhere I can be, maybe people will indulge me with my standing my ground about a few things that really matter to me. That’s a core value I try to live by—be flexible everywhere possible!)
Anyway, I think I’m gonna make Spinach Orzo Ensalata from Ch. 2 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods—it’s so delicious.
I had this convo with my 11 yo son, Tennyson, after his baseball game Saturday—I found out he lied to me about two things before we left for the game (including that he left his lunch at home). So he was in a little trouble.
I say: “Well, then you get to drink half of my quart of beet/celery juice in the car now, on the way home.”
Tennyson: “GOOD! Because I **LIKE** beet juice!” Long pause. And now he wails, “WHY do you have to be weird?! Why can’t you just feed me what everyone else does!?”
[The context here is that a very obese grandma brought a bag of blue-food-coloring-dyed popcorn balls into the dugout. I’m sure everyone was thinking, “Aw, how sweet!” I, of course, was thinking, “How do I not let this lady poison my kid with the same dye used in blue jeans according to Scientific American---and high-fructose corn syrup---without being a jerk in front of anyone? I went and whispered to Tennyson to please not eat it. My ex-husband was in the dugout eating it for, like, an hour. I’m totally okay with that, though.]
(Isn’t this world we live in INSANE, when you really think about it? We should have to protect our kids from pedophiles and swimming in canals, not snacks made by nice old ladies.)
I say: “Because. You don’t think about your future. It’s my job to do that ‘cause I’m a grownup. I ‘get’ stuff that you don’t get. If you eat that crud? You see the lady who brought it? Know why she has no hair? It’s because she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. That’s where they put poison in your veins. Trust me, my friend. I have studied this stuff. You make choices to eat blue dye and corn syrup and you get to have problems like hers. You just do. Sorry if you don’t like that I draw the line sometimes, especially because you didn’t bring the lunch I made, like you said you would. Someday you’ll make ALL your own choices and you can eat all the poison you want…..I hope you don’t, though.”
[There’s a two-minute pause while I lick my wounds and Tennyson drinks beet/celery juice.]
Tennyson, small voice: “Mom. I really want to eat healthy, actually. I’m sorry. I was rude.”
Me: “Thanks, kid. You say you’re sorry more quickly than anyone in our family. I’m impressed. Forgiven.”