Molly doesn’t eat her vegetables. Probably every one of you who are parents have started to laugh. But since I really want her to eat her vegetables, I’ve decided that from now on, dinner will begin with a plate of vegetables. If Molly eats them, she may have her dinner. If she doesn’t eat them, she may not have her dinner and will be sent to her room. (She often watches some Loony Tunes or Animaniacs after dinner.)
Now that you’re back from calling WA Dept of Social and Health Services to tell them what a horrible father I am, I can tell you about dinner tonight.
With the help of our friends at Corner Produce of the Pike Place Market, I picked out some coloured carrots (yellow, orange, and purple), sugar snap peas, and some orange tiny tomatoes. All guaranteed to be delicious and enticing to a small fry.
Molly helped me by washing all the carrots, peas, and tomatoes. Then I prepared a plate of veggies for her: 6 carrots sticks about 2 inches long, 3 tomatoes, and 6 sugar snap peas. They were arranged so that they made the face of an alien with 3 eyes and multicoloured hair above a mouth of green tentacles. What can I say, my daughter’s a bit odd.
She sat down to eat her veggies around 5.30 pm. And I returned to the kitchen to prepare our actual meal: filet mignon with a black berry and red wine reduction and smashed red potatoes.
- One cup red wine — I chose l'Ecole No 41 Recess Red, because I love l'Ecole wines and I was looking forward to drinking the rest of the bottle.
- ½ cup of honey — if I knew something about honey, I might be more particular, but as it happens, I know nothing about honey except that it comes from bees. And it’s delicious.
- 1 basket of fresh black berries — Molly’s boyfriend, Adam, from Corner Produce hooked me up with an overflowing basket of plump sweet black berries.
- 18 oz of beef tenderloin from Fero’s.
- Combine the wine, honey and black berries and cook over medium heat until reduced by 2/3rds.
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Rub steak with salt and pepper. Don’t fear over doing it, you won’t.
- Coat the steak with a light layer of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Get a skillet really hot and then put the steak in.
- Don’t touch for at least a minute, then flip, and resist temptation again for another minute.
- If your skillet is suitable for an over (mine isn’t), just put the skillet in the oven. I had to transfer everything to a oven dish sprayed down with Pam.
- Bake 5 min, flip, back another 5 min.
- Remove and let the meat sit for 5 min.
I served the filets with the black berry sauce and some smashed red potatoes. The veggies were already on the table — Anna and I had been noshing on them for some time already. And don’t forget the wine.
When I served myself and Anna, Molly had only eaten one of the carrot sticks and the tomatoes. I reminded her that she wouldn’t be served her dinner until after she finished her veggies. With unhurried luxury (we don’t often have beef), Anna and I started our meals. When we finished, Molly had made some progress: she’d eaten all the peas out of 3 of the 6 sugar snap peas leaving their shells, and she’d eaten a couple carrot sticks.
I reminded her that she wouldn’t get any dinner until after she finished her veggies. I then started washing up all the dishes. When I was nearly done, Molly was still 3 sugar snap peas and a couple carrot sticks away from starting her meal. Being optimistic, I prepared her plate: I cut her meat, drizzled some of the sauce over the meat, and put on a dollop of potatoes. I placed the plate in front of her. I then served Anna the remaining steak and smashed potatoes (she’d had a smaller cut of filet than I did). Then I fished the dishes.
About 1 hour after Molly first sat down to eat her veggies, I finished the dishes and sat back down at the table. I refilled Anna’s wine glass and my own. Then I took Molly’s plate, set it in front of me, and took a bite of her steak. Predictably, she went crazy.
It took three more bites of her steak (yum), before she finally finished her bloody veggies and received her dinner.
After all that, almost one and a half hours after the ordeal began, Molly finished her dinner and completely unprompted said: “Thank you, Daddy, for making such a yummy meal.”
Now you know why we haven’t sold her to pirates or fed her to the lions at the zoo…