As a parent, you’re constantly looking for ways to motivate your kids. Sometimes rewards work. Other times that motivation can come in the way of fear.
When I was younger my parents used fear in the form of a can of pork and beans. The threat went like this: if I got a detention in school my supper would be a can of pork and beans. I hated them growing up.
It was effective because I never got a detention. The closest I ever got was in middle school band. Probably 6th grade. The entire trumpet section got a group detention. I was nervous to tell my parents but made the case that it wasn’t my fault so I shouldn’t be held accountable.
Apparently, I did a good job presenting my argument because I got what the rest of my family had for supper that night.
By the way, my aversion to pork and beans is gone. I realized about 15 years ago that my tastes had changed and that I didn’t mind pork and beans.
It was on a guys week away horseback riding with my father-in-law and brothers-in-law in South Dakota. Our evening meals consisted of grilled meat and beans. On the second night, I thought, “I should try pork and beans. See if I like them now.”
Turns out they weren’t bad. Still not my most favorite, but I don’t mind a serving every once in awhile. Especially with a burger or BBQ.
Once I realized that I could eat beans I set out to try them more often. I found out my absolute favorite beans are my aunt’s homemade baked beans. They’re delicious and I’d happily eat them anytime. They’re a favorite of my youngest daughter’s too! I need to get that recipe to add to my collection.
What food would’ve kept you from getting a detention?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about steak. If you read my latest “What I’m Into Right Now” blog post, you know that I recently got a new grill. I really want to grill up some ribeyes but our family schedule and the weather haven’t cooperated to make that happen.
It got me thinking back to the way I ate steak when I was a kid and how it’s much different than the way I enjoy steak today.
When I was little I remember having steak with some regularity. It’s probably because there was almost always a side of beef in our deep freeze in the basement. It helps when your family gets together to cut and package the meat together.
My Dad would usually do the grilling on a small gas grill permanently cemented into the patio next to our driveway. It was hooked into the house’s natural gas line so there was no propane tank. Just a dial to turn the gas on and then you’d use a match to light it.
In my memory, the grill was fairly small. About a half the size of the smallest grill I’ve ever owned as an adult… but it was big enough to grill up burgers and steaks for our family of four.
I’m not sure whether is was on purpose, or by accident, but most of the steaks we were served as a kid were well done. No pink in the meat at all. Maybe that’s why I’d alway dip my bites of steak into ketchup.
Now the thought of eating a steak cooked well done… or with ketchup makes me bristle. I’m not sure when the change happened but now I like my steak cooked medium… and as much as I love ketchup, the thought of eating it with steak is just plain wrong to me.
Even though I didn’t turn out enjoying my steak the way my Dad made it my girls certainly have learned to like their steak the way I do. “Make it pink in the middle, Dad,” is a phrase they’d often tell me when they were younger and knew I’d be grilling steak.
All this thinking about steak has me really wanting a ribeye!
How do you like your steak?
Summer break is in full swing for my kids. Not going to lie… I’m a little jealous. The thought of having 3 months off sounds great to me.
It got me thinking back to Summers when I was a kid. My Aunt, who is a couple years older than me and more like a sister, watched my brother and me. We’d spend our mornings around home and afternoons at the pool.
Perhaps the thing I remember the most was lunchtime. We had several “go-to” meals. There were ramen noodles… sometimes it was beef, other times it was chicken flavor.
Then we had our own special recipe that I can only accurately name “Butter Noodles With Soy Sauce”. The recipe is just what you’d think. Make and drain pasta (any shape), stir and coat with butter, and season with soy sauce.
We’d also make mac and cheese. I’d deviate from the directions on the box. I’d skip the milk and increase the amount of butter. Catch a theme here? Yeah, I’m a butter fan!
It didn’t matter what we’d make for lunch, we’d always eat it watching Days Of Our Lives. That’s a little something we picked up from my Grandma. She’d always watch the Noon news making sure to catch the grain markets… and then she’d watch Days.
It’s been decades since I’ve made butter and soy sauce noodles. Might have to make some soon. It is Summer break after all!
What foods do you remember eating during Summer break?