Monday, March 28, 2011

flavor of the week

Well, it's that time of year again. Haven't I done this before? Like, a couple of times?  I know that this kind of thing is part and parcel of the school experience for kids these days, I'm sure as hell glad I didn't have any "Person of the Week" type stuff when I was a growing up. I was super shy and I had all this anxiety about speaking in front of the class and performing and just generally breathing in public. If I had to present some posterboard about myself in front of everyone, I probably would have just cried the whole time. (I think I cried every day at school for the entirety of first grade, as a matter of fact.)

Cal's a little older now, so we just kind of gave him free reign with the poster, handing him pile of markers, the posterboard, and a pile of loose pictures that we had lying around from Christmas card season. Have at it, Cal. Of course I think that 80% of the things that my kids do are magical and delightful (75%?  Fine, 68%) I do find it particularly adorable that for his own Person of the Week poster, of the nine pictures he chose for the poster, fully seven of them are of Mack. Which proves that though the dialogue in this house seems solely to consist of:

"Stop it!"

"No YOU stop it!"

"No, YOU stop it!"

(continue ad infinitum or until I intervene with some suitable distraction--TV, snack, Ketamine dart, louder yelling, what have you)

...the kid really does love his brother.  How gratifying.

I'm on call tonight, which means that tomorrow I'll be post-call and therefore able to go in to give that "cooking class" that I'd mentioned before.  You guys had given me so many good ideas--I was originally going to go with vegetable dumplings, because I figured it was different and culturally relevant and fun, what with the dumpling skins and whatnot.  But then I was looking at the ingredients on the dumpling skins and I remembered that there's at least one kid in the class who is gluten-intolerant (not that it'll kill him or anything, but he does get a pretty bad rash).  So in the interest of making the activity fun for everyone, and minimizing the unknowns (I also realized I had no idea what kind of heating elements, if any, I would have access to--very Top Chef Quickfire Challenge) I decided to go with something simple and easy and healthy.  Healthy-ish.

Cal and I made a test batch yesterday (what, you don't think I would go in cold, without practicing, do you?  If so, you don't know me very well--before the Oral Boards, I took a test drive to the exam location at least three or four times, and it was only ten minutes away) and it turned out pretty well.  We even put jalepeños in--turns out they're not really that spicy if you scrape the seeds out.  And if some kids don't like guacamole (Cal doesn't like avocado himself, but he does enjoy guacamole) I got, like two giant bags of chips.  KIDS LOVE CHIPS.  Except for that no-gluten kid.  I will just give him a spoon and a bowl of guacamole.

(Hey wait, I'm looking at the poster again, and I think Joe helped him cut out the Statue of Liberty figure.  Cheater!)


  1. hahahahaa, my first thought when seeing that poster was that Cal has marvelous scissor skills for a five year old. When I was five, I was struggling with triangles

  2. I do think he cut out the rest of it though, including the "CAL 5" which is, I presume, an homage to Bruce Patman's license plate "1 BRUCE 1" in Sweet Valley High.

  3. Constance2:07 PM

    Hee hee! Bruce Patman from Sweet Valley High! For the 29385710128th time, you are awesome. For a myriad of reasons, but one of my favorite is the random pop culture reference you sprinkle in your blog and comments. Bruce Patman! I haven't thought of Sweet Valley High in a million years!

    P.S. I deem Cal's poster as officially adorable.

  4. if the chips are of the tortilla/corn kind, you'll be safe. no gluten in most corn chips.

  5. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Ditto, corn chips are gluten free.

  6. Fun post! I seriously can't get past the mental picture of you cooly loading a ketamine dart into a little Charlie's Angels-esque combination pen/laryngoscope/dart gun, the din of a repetitive childhood scrap in the background. Classic!
    Cheers to you and your sweet (hopefully quiet and content at this moment ;) ) boys!

  7. That poster is ADORABLE.

    That is it.

  8. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Maybe deseed the jalepenos before letting the kids anywhere near them? Seeds in the eye... or hands that touch the jalepenos and then rub the eyes could end very, very badly.

  9. Yes, I am going to de-seed and clean the peppers ahead of time, as well as dice them, so kids can just spoon them in if they want. Good tip, It does burn. Don't ask me how I know.

  10. Richard9:31 PM

    Is it possible that you can do both guacamole and a simple tomato salsa (or bean salsa). It think when it comes to both things, its either you like it or you don't. For me, I dont like either but at least it gives the kids a choice.

    Here is a recipe for bean salsa.

    1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
    1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
    1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  11. Richard9:33 PM

    Here's a shorter one.

    3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained
    2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, partially drained
    2 tomatoes, diced
    2 bunches green onions, chopped
    cilantro leaves, for garnish

  12. My two boys used to go at it all the time. and there were times I wished I had a ketamine dart or two (no worries, I know you're kidding. Right?)
    As they got older into their teens & fights would occasionally escalate into full blown testosterone rages (that's what I call them), I would tell them "You two are actually best friends...except you don't know it yet."
    Now son #1 is a freshman in college & son #2 is a junior in high school & have just realized that Mother knows best.

  13. Anonymous1:51 AM

    heh, ketamine darts.

    cal's poster is just adorable.

  14. Guardian9:01 AM

    It isn't actually the seeds that have the capsaicin in peppers, but the white membrane the seeds are attached to. So you can scrape out the seeds and and still have a lot of spicy left. Also, since capsaicin is really sticky and hard to clean stuff (as in I recently cut up some jalapenos and then caused some serious pain touching a vulnerable spot four hours later after several hand washings), I recommend gloves be used by anybody working with them, kids especially.

  15. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Oh, 1 BRUCE 1! Are you going to read Sweet Valley Confidential (the new update)??

  16. Anonymous3:51 PM

    I remember reading Sweet Valley University too. I wonder if they're going to incorporate any of that into the Sweet Valley Confidential.

  17. Amazing... the mere mention of a "ketamine dart" and this blog entry ends up selected by the MedWorm 'ketamine' news feed, right after "Glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptor Antagonists Rapidly Reverse Behavioral and Synaptic Deficits Caused by Chronic Stress Exposure" and "Effects of Midazolam/Low-Dose Ketamine Conscious Intravenous Sedation on Pain, Swelling, and Trismus After Surgical Extraction of Third Molars"! Prediction: You're going to end up with the lion's share of the coveted ketamine researchers' readership.