As a working father married to a stay-at-home mother, it was occasionally my duty to make dinner for our girls when mom was away from time to time. Thankfully, this wasn’t too often as my skills in the kitchen leave much to be desired. Sure, I can follow a recipe with reasonable success, but trying to put together a full dinner and have all of the various pieces hot and ready at the correct time is a skill that eludes me to this day.
Consequently I usually prefer to make all in one dishes like casseroles as it is harder to screw these up. One such recipe that also happens to make enough food for several days worth of meals is Chili. My wife and I enjoy this meal immensely, but the girls are not so fond of it. The youngest has started to come around, but it was not always this way.
One day, when the girls were still fairly young, Mom was out and had left ground beef thawing and instructions for making our Chili so that I could take care of dinner for the rest of us. I was busily working on preparing our meal when the girls wandered into the kitchen with the usual queries of, “What’s for dinner?” and, “When are we eating?” I had visions of my answer being met with, “Yuck!” and, “I hate Chili!” and I was in no mood for this. In one of those fleeting moments of quick thinking, I replied, “I’m making Hamburger Stew.”
Well, this was something new and the girls were excited by the prospect. “We’ve never had hamburger stew,” they said and they happily resumed their play. Dinner came and went and there were no complaints about the food and I was a happy dad. When Mom came home later that evening, the girls raved about the wonderful Hamburger Stew that I had made for them.
I can’t explain why neither of the girls figured out that hamburger stew tasted a lot like Chili, but they didn’t and we enjoyed hamburger stew quite a few more times before we finally had to admit that Chili and Hamburger Stew were, in fact, exactly the same thing. Chili by another name may still be Chili, but a new name on an old dish may just be enough to get your kids to think differently about what they are eating.