For those of you who are just joining, here's a quick recap: I'm in a dinner rut and to get out of it I am working my way through an advanced copy of Dinner: A Playbook. At the beginning of the week I picked some recipes and made a meal plan for seven days. I've also been following some of Jenny's tips for how to make dinner easy and breezy (which I will recap at the end of the week).
Here's Tuesday night's dinner: whole wheat linguine with broccoli and anchovy bread crumbs.*
The results? Josie ate the entire bowl of pasta, including the broccoli. Win! I did have to gently remind her that if she wanted ice cream, then she would have to eat her broccoli. I feel mixed about such acts of bribery at the table. I can see that it works. The minute she sat down, she removed said broccoli from the top of her linguine and proceeded to eat the linguine. Then, as she was coming to the end of her linguine I told her that she had to eat the broccoli if she wanted dessert. She scrunched her nose and ate the broccoli.
The dessert bribery model is a new one in my house. I went through a long phase where I would place dinner in front of her and that's it. If she ate it, then great. If not, then I woudn't try incentives or threats. The hypothesis underlying this strategy is that kids sometimes flex their independence at the dinner table. Instead of turning dinner into an insurgency, I wouldn't give her anyone to rise up against: it was up to her what she ate. The outcome usually ended with her not eating the nutritional parts of the dish. No battles, but was I really winning?
I still have no idea which strategy is best - bribery or no battles. You hear that? I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING.
What did the adults think of this dish? It was tasty enough for a week night dinner, but guess what - I've made it (or some variation of it) about 100 times.
I'm still in a rut.
I'm still in a rut and it's MY FAULT. When I looked at the 80 or so dishes presented in the book, I have made a lot of them. But there are handful that are totally new for me. I need to pick more new and less "I got this dish" recipes. I need to stretch and feel a little uncomfortable.
I need to try making Chicken with Barley Soup. That's what's up next, so see you tomorrow.
*I will not be posting recipes from the book. You will have to wait until the book comes out and buy it for the recipes. Or visit Dinner a Love Story, maybe some day Jenny will share it with you. In other words, as I say to Josie 5,000 times a day, you have to be patient.