Last week, my oldest Oregano requested lasagne. Truthfully, in our house, lasagne is a New Food. We were venturing into new territory. I decided, since this was something new, I’d make a small 8″ x 8″ pan for dinner, enough for everyone to try it and probably enough for leftovers for Jake and me.
I followed the steps on the box of no-boil lasagne noodles for a 2″-deep ban, then prepared and baked as directed. I didn’t want to frighten the girls with extra ingredients like green spices (eek). I thought it looked pretty grand myself. Note to self: I really need to master the art of cooking a dinner and snapping pictures at the same time! So, imagine, if you will, the delightful picture on the front of any box of no boiling required lasagne noodles.
I served the smallest amounts, spooning out proper ratios of noodles to ground beef to cheese to tomato sauce. Everyone looked at their plates and then wordlessly dug in.
Yum! It was disappearing fast. We were pleased, girls were eating, stomachs were filling, and then…
“This would be so good except for the tomato chunks.”
There it was. The assessment. The criticism? Observation? Condemnation? Chunks. Of tomatoes. Clearly, a setback.
I actually get it, I really do. When I was a wee girl, I hated spaghetti with meat sauce. Those meat chunks were too chunky. I picked them out and put them on the side of my plate. My parents never said a word. Anyway, I understood where the sweet girl was coming from in regards to chunks of food, be in veggie or meat or starch (don’t get the 10-year-old me started on improperly mashed potatoes [shudder] with lumps). Eventually, I outgrew my aversions to chunks, and I am still living to share my tale with anyone who will listen, especially my children. I took in a deep breath, ready to empathize and encourage eating despite the offending chunks.
“But, Mommy, you can’t plan for that kind of thing. Chunks are in tomato sauce. Could I please have a second helping?”
I exhaled and smiled. Seconds? That’s something we all understand, and we all agreed to seconds. More lasagne all around!