“Eww. I don’t like squid!”
Halfway through a bite of chicken, my middle daughter perked up to the dinner conversation–”Squid. I don’t like eating squid!” My husband and I had been discussing how to come up with some new recipes–grilled squid came to mind. He hunted down an Asian market in our area that sells fresh seafood–no more packets of 20 squid frozen in a large block of ice. He wanted to try marinating and then grilling the little critters.
My middle daughter would have none of it. “There’s no way I’d eat octopus!” (I’ll save the finer points between distinguishing an octopus from a squid for another time…)
My oldest piped in, “Yes you do. It’s calamari and we have it all the time. Plus, it’s the title of mom’s blog so you have to like it.”
“I don’t eat squid,” she repeated as only a younger sister can with a bit of whine on each consonant.
“Don’t you remember on vacation when we had it and you were eating the rings?”
“Yeah, but those were onion rings,” she insisted.
“No, those were squid,” my oldest gleefully informed her.
Funny enough it was my middle child who inspired my blog’s title. When we lived in New York we had a nearby fresh seafood market where we’d pick out shrimp, squid, clams. Occasionally, you’d see a crab scampering down an aisle. My middle daughter at 3 was faster at de-veining the shrimp and prepping the squid than even my husband. See you have remove the head, then carefully take out the cartilage (and guts, my husband reminds me) before you start prepping it for cooking. My middle daughter’s tiny fingers were perfect for the job. I still remember bringing in a foot stool to the sink so she could work.
Along with bringing back memories, the conversation reminded me that even if you think you have your kids hooked on a particular food they won’t always love it a second time–but then they’ll love it the third–turn up their noses the fourth… Kids tastes can be unpredictable, that’s part of the fun of parenting (and cooking!).
And if you haven’t had a certain food in awhile your kids may have forgotten that they actually like it. The experience also reminded me of something I try to do when my kids are sampling new foods–I tell them exactly what they’re eating. Sure, calamari is probably a more palatable term than squid, but kids are little adventurers. I try to tap into that–”Hey, look at the tentacles, what do those taste like?” “Purple peppers–those sound cool.” “Why don’t we try making zucchini into noodles instead of regular ones.” Promise, it doesn’t always work, but I like making meals more of an adventure than a battle. Sure, we have our share of plain grilled cheese dinners, but we also have our smoked gouda garlic sourdough grilled cheese nights too.