Friday, October 15, 2010

If only I had Golden Arches in my kitchen

I know you've heard the research that says eating together at the dinner table strengthens the family bond. Personally, I'd like to chat with those researchers. Oh, I don't doubt their findings. I'd just like to see what's on their plates.

I happen to have given birth to two of the pickiest eaters on the planet. Now, my husband is exceptionally easy to please, and I'm always looking for new ways to tempt my palate without expanding my waistline, but my offspring, on the other hand, examine every new offering closer than those guys on CSI.

My son, at the age of 6, made the pronouncement that if he hadn't tried it before, he didn't like it. My daughter would prefer to exist on a diet of salad, Hawaiian bread and chocolate ice cream.

Unless, of course, food from the Golden Arches makes an appearance at the table. Then the sun shines, angels sing and radiant smiles instantly appear. Don't let the clown suit fool you - that Ronald McDonald is a big hit with kids.

Consider this: the other night I decided to make some ginger chicken. It goes on top of this really tasty pizza we call "190 North" pizza, in honor of this fun Chicago-based entertainment show that once had a segment spotlighting Chicago pizza places that inspired us to get creative.( The chicken was simmering on the stove while I worked on the computer.

My daughter walked through the room. "Did you feed the cat tuna again?" she asked, scrunching up her perfect little face. "Because I'm smelling that tuna smell."

I rolled my eyes. "No." I said. "There's no tuna. Just chicken."

My son wandered through next. He coughed. "Ugh," he said. "Get some Febreze."


A few weeks later, I had to work late, and just didn't have the energy to cook. I stopped at McDonalds, which was right next to the crafts store. Hesitating just a minute, I decided to run in - I just needed to find one thing. But the line took forever. I ran in the house, late, disheveled and apologetic.

"I'm so sorry!" I said. "This stuff is probably really cold."

But it didn't matter. It could have been coated with frost. The kids were already digging through the bag, giddy with delight, munching on their lukewarm nuggets and chilly fries.

"Delicious!" pronounced my son. My daughter nodded happily. "No one makes fries like McDonald's," she said.

Of course they don't.


  1. There have been several stories in the news lately about how McD's food doesn't change after being left on the shelf for several days, weeks, or months. Have you seen the documentary, Super Size Me? However, these stories don't stop me from having an occasional McDonald's Big Mac (or Filet o Fish) attack...

  2. Sometimes I forget how much I miss you, then I read something like this and it all comes rushing back. Dang, I thought I was the only horrible, terrible parent whose child worships at the Golden M.

  3. Yes, I've seen Super Size Me, and I cringed at the part where the kids recognized Ronald M. but not Jesus. AND I just read some horrible story about some parent who kept a Happy Meal hamburger on a shelf for six months and it didn't do anything - it's still, like, exactly the same. My kids wouldn't care. They would probably think that was really cool. So, I know, I shouldn't let them eat it. YET I DO!!! ARGHHHH!!!! (It's a cult - I'm obviously brainwashed!!!)

    p.s. I miss both of you tons.