2 hours ago
Nico recently moved "up" to the toddler room at his daycare. He mastered the requisite skills (walking, feeding himself, taking a single 2-hour nap in the afternoon) and, quite frankly, if I were the parent of one of the newborns in his old classroom I would be forced to inquire as to why they were letting a boy Godzilla march around near my preshus baybee. (The other day Nico and I were playing peek-a-boo on the bus and he, getting frustrated with how long I was taking to get to the "boo" portion of the proceedings, tore the handkerchief we were playing with right in half. Baby hulk MAD. BABY HULK SMASH!!!) This is not a kid who belongs in the baby room. He is a full on, full steam ahead, full frontal toddler.
Anyway, giant baby monsters notwithstanding, I found out that in addition to housing awesome mini-Dirt Devils and slides and Lego tables, the toddler room is also blessed with a plethora of snacks. Another parent told me she had seen waffles around; animal crackers, Nilla wafers, pretzels and...Cheez-its were also spotted. Then she told me that on Tuesdays you don't even have to pack lunch because they get...(hold me)...Papa Johns. I was kindly informed that if I didn't want him to eat these things he could eat his snack/lunch apart from the rest of the kids.
Now I don't know how much you know, gentle reader, about 1 year-olds. But they don't take kindly to being taken away from the group, particularly when that group is eating pizza as, like, a GROUP. But, we haven't even given Nico pizza at home yet, and this is our pizza made with homemade dough and sauce, cooked in our oven with veggies and real cheese. Papa Johns? No. Just no.
All of this places me in the dubious position of being That Parent. Being That Parent is a slippery slope, and one that is best negotiated with care. First you are lobbying for better day care snacks and before you know it you are barging up to people's homes doubting their commitment to Sparkle Motion.
So I guess my question is...when do you decide to be that guy? Is good food the hill I want to die on? Am I being unreasonable to expect that, even if the day care doesn't get some of my choices, they wouldn't, on their own, make the decision to offer Nico all manner of food I would never give him at home?
And, leading into this month's challenge, how can I reasonably take such a stance on healthy vs. non-healthy foods when Rob and I spent last night slow cooking pork shoulder and then mixing it with its own fat to make what is essentially a meat spread?
Charcutepalooza is almost over- I can't believe it has been nearly a year. I've been so busy, in fact, that I didn't see until today that the powers-that-be named me in the top ten notable posts for last month's challenge. (Thank you Kim and Cathy!) I discovered this when I forced Rob to look at the winners to prove to him that we hadn't a chance of even being mentioned, let alone of winning the grand prize. And then he was all: "Well, that's you right there." and I was all "Huh? NO!" at which point many patronizing head pats ensued.
Condescending head pats aside, I wouldn't be keeping up with my Charcutiere responsibilities if it weren't for Rob, who has not only continued to encourage me but has leant much more than a helping hand every month. He's kind of awesome, in case that hasn't come across in the last 4 years.
If you've been following along at home, you should know that this month, "Packing", presented an approachable challenge with generous results. If you've been thinking of joining in, this is the challenge for you. Meat is cubed, slow cooked with vegetables, herbs and spices, then blending with the cooking fat and put in containers to set. We used some Ball jars and a ramekin.
The final result is rich and creamy shredded pork, spreadable on bread or crackers. It's a fatty dish, best cut with the tang of cornichon and a crisp white wine. Not a bad idea actually...I might ring up some friends.
posted Saturday, October 15, 2011