Thursday, October 8, 2015

Soup & sandwiches

Not long ago, I added a "soup and sandwich" night to the dinner list. Between the chicken terriyakis and beef-and-broccolis, the raviolis and flatbread pizzas, my kids -- I realized -- would be happy to have Campbell's Chicken Noodle-O's for dinner, plus whatever I guilt-served on the side.

That thing was sandwiches, which seemed to make it into a recognized "meal."

I worked out the math as follows: Each child would have noodle soup and half a sandwich, according to preference (son - turkey, daughter - grilled cheese). I would have a bowl of split pea soup and both the other halves of their sandwiches. This was a lot of food, but I felt I could handle it.

Next to each combo, except mine, I would throw a few baby carrots, as if to say: I'm feeding you three things! Message: I care. 

It worked out perfectly, except that the kids would only eat a few bites of their sandwiches (message: they didn't care), despite my protestations that both sandwiches were delicious, were they kidding me?

Then they would take their bowls to the kitchen -- "No, no, leave the plates," I'd mutter -- and scamper off, while I devoured the remaining two halves of their sandwiches in a voracious spray of crumbs, like Cookie Monster.

Then I would have to go lie down.

Obviously, S&S night needed some tweaking. Could I perhaps not make the sandwiches quite so yummy? Could I omit the grilled cheese -- my greatest nemesis -- altogether? "You kids are having soup. Ya hear me? Soup."

Chances are, the only change to S&S night will be that I serve homemade soup (sausage and white bean: coming up) so that the kids eat neither their soup nor their sandwiches, but only three carrots, which they will supplement at 9 p.m. with a sleeve of crackers.

Cookie Monster will be very pleased.

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