Posted in stuff

Restaurant Review

Okay, I’m not a restaurant reviewer , but I had a good experience last night, so I’m giving it a shot.

Last night Tom and I were looking for a restaurant that didn’t have an hour wait. (Good luck, at 6:30 the Saturday night before Mother’s Day.) While turning around in a gas station we spotted a little place called Prelude behind a Dunkin Donuts. “They have a spoon and fork on the sign! Let’s go!” (I am a sucker for giant flatware.)

The lobster fettuccini was the best meal I’ve had in ages. Huge chunks of lobster and fresh fettuccine. the portion looked small but I couldn’t finish all the pasta. We shared a sweet potato bread pudding for dessert. I asked that dessert to marry me, but ate it up before it could give me an answer..

Prelude, in Methuen, is owned by Tommy Grella, a finalist on Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” (http://m.yelp.com/biz/prelude-methuen/). He’s a charming guy, I can see how he made it to the finals.

When he asked how we’d heard of the place, he was probably expecting me to mention TV or a magazine article, not “we saw your sign from the gas station”. He laughed and complemented my honestly. More people should do that, damn it.

Make reservations if you’re going on a weekend, as the place is tiny. And consider bringing me with you. Please.

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Posted in parenting

Hope for Parents of a Fussy Eater

Hi, my name is Jody and I am the parent of a recovering fussy eater.

For years, my son would only eat one or two foods. Those foods would change over the years: where once he would only eat chicken fingers, he switched over to pasta with red sauce and never wanted chicken fingers ever again. He basically loved beige foods: chicken nuggets/fingers, french fries, dinner rolls, apple sauce, bananas, green grapes, dry Cheerios, toaster waffles, pancakes. All beige/yellow. All carbs (excepts, I guess, for the chicken, but really, processed chicken is probably more a carb than a protein.)

The boy was breast-fed (for 11 months), made the transition to solid foods at the normal time. He’d eat anything. Green goo, orange goo…it was all good. He loved his rice cereal mixed with apple sauce. To the point where he had it for breakfast every day for about 4-5 years, until he made the switch to toaster waffles, where he stayed until they discontinued his favorite brand a few years ago.

When he was being fussy, we worried and took him to the doctor. He was off the charts for height and weight (but in proportion) for his age, ate a ton of fruit, and only had red sauce (tomatoes) on his pasta, so the doctor declared he was actually a pretty healthy eater, all things considered. So he told us not to stress about it, because making food a source of stress is never a healthy thing to do. So we didn’t.

My son didn’t like hamburgers or meatballs until he was about 10. Then he loved them. He suddenly started loving salad with Italian dressing. No creamy dressings. Nothing creamy. In general, he rejected all dairy as something he didn’t like. We later learned he’s lactose intolerant, but seriously, when we went out for ice cream he would pick sorbet because that’s what he wanted.

I remember going to Disney with him when he was four, and planning every meal around whether or not the restaurant could serve pasta marinara. Any restaurant that has ANY kind of pasta dish can usually pull it off. Disney is the greatest place to take people with food allergies, etc., because they go so far above and beyond to make sure there’s something for you to eat. I will ALWAYS remember we went to the buffet at Crystal Palace and they only had mac and cheese on the buffet. Our server went down Main Street to Tony’s Town Hall restaurant to fetch my son a plate of pasta with sauce. (My friends, THIS is why Disney rocks my world.)

We had heard people say their kids outgrew being fussy eaters, but when you live with one for 10+ years, you start to think maybe they just meants small changes; and quite frankly, those were welcome. He added steak to his list of okay foods, which opened up a LOT of restaurants. Hell, even adding burgers did that.

But then something happened last spring. He was 12, and we were again at Disney, traveling with my sister’s family. My sister’s kids were always bottomless pits for trying new things. My BIL had a hard time understanding why we couldn’t just force my son to eat new things. He never lived with a fussy child so I suppose I shouldn’t have expected him to understand.  Prior to the trip my son and I talked about the restaurants we’d be visiting, and my son declared he’d use this trip to “try new things”. I thought that was a great idea.

What happened during that trip was that I had to start a log of all the new foods he’d tried, because nobody could believe it. Sushi (he loved), scallops (he loved), bison (he loved), etc. etc.  There was NOTHING he wouldn’t try. We were all floored. And then it continued. He went on a trip with his father and tried pot roast and lamp chops – loved both. He continued the trend by ordering things even I thought he wouldn’t like. Trout at Longhorn Steakhouse. On another trip this past January, he ended up trying 4 different kinds of new fish (flounder, mahi-mahi, smoked salmon). He’s since ordered mahi-mahi at the local Mexican place. He orders these dishes and cleans his plate. Last Saturday we went to a Tapas place in Waltham and he tried everything – including a cold crab and mango salad, a shrimp and lobster ravioli, ceviche, duck, an onion and potato omelette and goat cheese. He loved almost everything he tried. He’s starting to freak me out! He orders his burgers (previously plain only, not even ketchup on them) with onions, pickles and mustard! He’s also become quite the expensive date compared to the days of chicken fingers and ziti with marinara sauce. But my God, the options for restaurants!

I’m not saying this will happen to every fussy eater; my son may have be a statistical aberration. But his father is now officially fussier than he is, and food is no longer the biggest issue in our house. It’s really a different world now.

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Posted in humor

Weight Loss Plans I Just Invented

Okay, I could sell these diet plans and make a bunch of those little piles of cash that you see in cartoons, you know the little bundles that thieves are always pulling out of wall safes? Okay, those.

Now these weight loss plans have not been verified as safe or effective by anyone, including me, doctors, or the lady who has to re-fold the shirts after I pull some out and hold them up to see if they have long sleeves or not.

Plan 1: Laptop Fat Melt
I’m pretty sure that I’m rendering the fat off my legs with this laptop. Even through the laptop lap pads I’m using (YES! TWO OF THEM AT ONCE!) it’s still pretty damned warm. I like to think of this as George Foreman Grilling myself. Of course, this should only remove fat from your thighs and not from any of the rest of you so be prepared to have people stare at your new Popeye-like calves.

Plan 2: The Airplane Diet
This plan is only as expensive as the destinations you choose. So you start at an airport near your home and find a flight that will cover at least one meal, preferably two. Then you fly and only eat the food they serve on the plane. Except that food is so gross that nobody wants to eat it. Voila, weight loss. The key would be to just keep picking up new flights in each place you land so that you never eat any meals that aren’t served on a plane. You could very well die of starvation, so please use this plan under the supervision of a qualified travel agent.

Plan 3: Pica has a Purpose
For you gals who’ve been pregnant, remember when they warned you about pica? Ya, I guess pregnancy triggers pica in a lot of people. Also kids between the ages of 1 and 6 tend to get pica, and you know most of THEM are pretty thin! So according to Google health people with pica (or on the Jody Pica Diet) may eat

  • Animal feces
  • Clay
  • Dirt
  • Hairballs
  • Ice
  • Paint
  • Sand

I’m going out on a limb and recommending you stay away from any kind of feces. Look, we want to lose weight, not get thrown in a mental hospital.

I know they tell you to consult with a doctor before starting any kind of diet. I’d like to point out that if you consult with a doctor before beginning any of these diets, I’d rather not have my name mentioned. Ever. I’ve never seen you before in my life. Get out of here, you knuckleheads.

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Posted in Uncategorized

First Weekend of Summer

This weather makes me want to nap. A lot. Had to get up early for a 9am appointment and ran two errands but now the rest of the day is free. Except for the need to get groceries, but who wants to do that. I’m sure I can make a meal out of items found around the house. I can pretend I’m on Iron Chef, or that show they used to have where you would hand a chef $10 worth of stuff you bought at the store and they would have to make a meal out of it. My $10 worth of food could be made up of canned goods. What can I make out of baked beans, canned yams and chicken noodle soup. Mmmmmm, that’s good eatin’!

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