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It all started with a lie. 
Jan. 19, 2013 3:53 pm 
Updated: Jan. 20, 2013 6:25 pm
Thirty years ago my mom proclaimed me the world's pickiest eater. I could count on one hand how many vegetables I would eat: 1) corn, 2) potatoes, 3) raw carrots, 4) cucumbers, and 5) lettuce. Then I got married and had kids of my own. The crown of world's pickiest eater was transferred to my son and a new challenge began -- how to trick him into eating healthy when PBJs and Spaghettios were his Cuisine du Jour. As a parent, one can only lie so long before the truth of vegetables hidden in the casserole is discovered. An added challenge is that my son has mouth sensitivity. If it's too squishy he won't eat it and if it has too much texture he won't eat it--let's call it a side benefit to high-functioning autism.

Over the past 14 years, the family has begun to know what my son likes and what he doesn't. He once proclaimed he was a member of PETA so that he would get out of eating the nice roast I cooked. I had to explain what PETA stood for and that he eats the chicken nuggets at his school cafeteria. He told me that was because they tasted good, unlike my food. And then I found the recipe that changed our lives and the lies began.

Meatballs. I wanted to know how to make the best meatballs for spaghetti. I found a recipe with ground pork, ground turkey, ground beef, Parmesan cheese, and spinach. Even I did not eat spinach but, it was worth a shot. As I prepared the meatballs, I drained the frozen greens and minced the living daylights out of the spinach until it resembled a fine green paste. I added it to the meat mixture and baked until they were done. As I pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven, I was overcome with a strong desire to taste the forbidden vegetable. I proclaimed the meatball satisfactory and the plan to get my son to eat the spinach was hatched.

Everyone knew but him. We were all in on it. We put the meatballs in the spaghetti sauce and served it on a nice bed of noodles. We sat around the table as he picked apart his food and said, "What's that green stuff?" Although I was unable to look him in the eyes, I shrugged and said, "Oh, that's just the spaghetti seasoning." Nobody would look at anyone else and the silence was pronounced. Would he buy it? He took a bite and then a few more. The hard part was over.

We waited until he was done with his second helping and then the smiles came out. Someone even snickered. He asked what was so funny and we finally ended up telling him that the meatballs contained spinach. He threw his arms high in the air and shouted, "SPINACH? I HATE SPINACH! YOU FED ME SPINACH?"

He was so distraught over this lie that the next day he had meatballs as the after school snack.
Jan. 19, 2013 4:11 pm
Nice blog! You and I would have been in the running for world's pickiest eater, I hated everything. I only would eat corn or carrots for veggies. Chicken or pork chops for meat. Then I got married and my son became the new picky eater. I can't tell you how hard I tried to get him to eat veggies. He's now almost 24 and still eats very few. He claims he eats the animals that eat the veggies so it's all good. I'd love to try that meatball recipe - sounds delicious!
Jan. 19, 2013 4:30 pm
I had to look and look for a recipe!

This is most similar. I am a cook by look person. Unless I am baking, I make up my own quantities for things. I do saute a finely diced sweet onion and add that to the meat mixture before I make the meatballs. This is SO good!
Jan. 19, 2013 4:38 pm
Thanks! I just tried to look at the recipe, but it says the website is down right now! I'll check back later.
Jan. 19, 2013 5:33 pm
That's funny and just so typical. I remember when my aunt made a stew that had rabbit in it. No one would tell my father since we all knew he wouldn't eat it if he did (who knows). Well as you can guess, he devoured the first round and was mostly through the second when he exclaimed, "This is one of the best stews I've ever had". My aunt replies, "It's rabbit Mike". He sits upright, pushes away his plate and that was that.
Jan. 20, 2013 6:36 am
That is so funny! I have to admit, I don't think I would try rabbit. I tried to try some meats (lamb) but could only put it on my plate. I could never make it connect with my mouth or taste buds. The interesting thing is, if I didn't know what it was, I'm sure I would have eaten it!
Jan. 20, 2013 1:55 pm
LOL! I can so relate to your blog. My mother felt ever so vindicated when I handed my picky crown to my son. His father gave him his too. It's been a challenge to "hide" food with in food for the both of them. Loved the blog!
Jan. 20, 2013 4:05 pm
I love your blog! Makes me smile to see the things people go through to get the kids to eat vegetables!
Jan. 20, 2013 6:19 pm
Great story! The meatballs sound delicious...can you share the link to the recipe?
Jan. 20, 2013 6:25 pm
I have embedded the link! Hopefully it works great now. Thank you to everyone for asking. It is truly a great recipe!
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About Me
I'm a look cook. If the ingredient looks about the right quantity, I cook it. Unless I am baking, the recipe is only a suggestion.
My favorite things to cook
Meat and vegetables (but don't ask me to eat the vegetables). After watching Julie and Julia I fell in love with cooking with wine. My kids ask me to fix Julia's hamburgers with a tarragon wine sauce -- that's my absolute favorite, too!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Saturday and Sunday I cook all day. The rest of the week gets leftovers or quick meals but the fancy things are on the weekend when I'm not working and have more time to experiment. I will make food for the troops even when there are only three of us at home for the night.
My cooking triumphs
My best feat is making yummy food for the family get together and have people ask for the recipe.
My cooking tragedies
Curry and tofu. I don't even want to remember the two nights in the past 11 years of marriage that my husband was disgusted with the food I made. Statistically, he said I have a good average.
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