Dear famous TV chefs-
Every time I make successful toast for the kids I think of you. No I don’t toast to you. I think of you when I make toast. Because that is REAL world with parents and kids and carpools and deadlines and a laundry list of things to do before people start their day. I know the Barefoot Contessa loves to entertain in her mansion and cook delightful three course meals for the husband. I know the Pioneer Woman somehow has time to cook gourmet meals in her five star kitchen while the family is wrangling cattle at their home on the range. Paula, Giada, Bobby and the rest, your true test should be the average home on a school day. Let’s see you roll out of bed at 6am after five hours sleep and get the kids ready for school, while balancing breakfast and lunch, and still get them out the door on time with your spices and searing and dash of happiness. Argh!
Today the kids and I got up and we entered our usual debate about what they’d like for breakfast. Oh sure you say, “Every kid likes (fill in the blank)”. Whatever the blank is, my kids don’t like it. And if they do like it, they never like it at the same time. Today was one of those days. They didn’t want oatmeal. They didn’t want cereal. They didn’t want eggs. And never mind what I was going to make them for lunch. That’s round two and we hadn’t gotten there yet. So dad got creative. It wasn’t any 30-minute recipe, Chopped all-star, Iron Chef creation, it was Dadmissions imagination. If necessity is the mother of invention, then this dad was the father of the mother of food invention. Something like that anyway. No lights, no camera, no makeup. It was just dad in his boxer shorts with bags under his eyes on a mission. I went in the kitchen and searched the shelves. I looked high and low. I thought and I thought and then it hit me like a cast iron Caphalon skillet stored above a Vulcan 10,000 model gourmet cooking range, in a hotel quality kitchen on some TV soundstage being used by a celebrity chef who’s never met my picky kids. And then Jeeves was born.
He still had boxer shorts and bags under his eyes. But he was a party waiter with a thick foreign accent from some known country. Jeeves was there to serve party appetizers to two little girls getting dressed for the day and about to enjoy a very unusual breakfast. Jeeves then rolled through the house with a towel on his arm and a plate held high in the air announcing the hors d’oeuvres for breakfast were served.
Course 1: buttery toast circles: You grill toast. You cut into circles. You serve.
Jeeves went back into the kitchen.
A couple of minutes later he went around with The second course
Course 2: pizza stripes: You cut leftover pizza into stripes. You heat and serve.
The kids were onto the game by this time. And they ate it up. There were no perfect serving spoons, preheated ovens, pre-measured ingredients, or staff to clean up the mess afterwards. There was just Jeeves, his boxer shorts, and his imagination.
Other mini appetizer courses went on to include:
Baby Bell Cheese sliced to perfection
Blueberries drizzled with honey
Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
Mini Entenmann’s muffins
Indian naan bread heated
Orange juice cocktails
All were delivered by Jeeves. All were delivered with a smile. It may not have been the most nutritious breakfast. It may not have been the prettiest breakfast. It may not have had a sear, char, dash, pinch, homemade, made-from-scratch feel, but screw it. The kids ate. The kids enjoyed. And that was good enough. By the way. I was serious about what I said. Maybe all those TV shows need to get real.
Shows I’d watch:
“Holy Crap These Kids Are Picky”
“50 Ways To Reheat Oatmeal”
“Mac And Cheese 24/7- Dear God Not Again”
Or how about the Dadmissions Dad-Kitchen.