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As you know, we have our grandsons over for dinner at least once a week.  It was and is NOT a problem, per se-until our eldest of 3 has gone from “I love your cooking grandma” to “Ew, I’m not eating that.”

He’s 6 you know.  Aidan, a mere 1 year younger still will eat almost everything.  The boy even tried fried crickets and claimed them yummy and a worm.  He said the worm wasn’t as good as the cricket.

Brave boy our AD.

Dyl though, sigh, now has a review on almost everything:

Grandma-your black bean brownies are delicious, you should go on TV and show people how to make them and your eggs.

Grandma, you made my chicken too spicy (this statement was followed by gagging and tears).  BTW-the spice was salt and garlic powder.

Grandma, why did you make different banana bread?  I don’t like the icky stuff on the top! (The icky stuff was some old-fashioned oats)

So tonight, by a last minute decision, the boys will join us for dinner.  I had taken out a tri-tip roast.  My original plan was to coat it in a cinnamon/chipotle rub and grill it along with some corn on the cob that I brushed with evoo, fresh garlic and sea salt.  Plus, I was going for some cole slaw done in a lemon dressing.

Then another storm kicked in. No grill for us.  

I’m still doing the tri-tip, but now I did half with the spicy rub and the other half with plain sea salt.  I had already put together the corn so I’m hoping it’s sweet enough that he won’t notice (we’ve already been remarkably surprised by the 4 we’ve already eaten-like candy!) and while dh and I will have the carrots and sweet onions that I’m using for a rack under the meat-I’m going to slice some gala apples for the boys.

When creating a menu for various tastes and ages it’s important to remember that it’s okay to be different.  You don’t have to do the same thing for everyone (as long as it’s a manageable crowd like the 4 of us).  

For me- I prefer to keep it plain and simple and put the sauces/seasonings on the side.  It’s easier for someone to add the salt, pepper, hot sauce, salsas, etc and make it their own than it is for me to create “something for everyone“.

With kids-keeping it plain is also a safer way of getting them to try new things!  If you’ve got one like our AD, there’s never a problem. But if you’ve got one who’s hit the “I hate everything phase” (and they all get there), don’t overtax their taste buds with too much. Make a big deal when they try the various things on their plate and last:  do not give in to terrorism.  If they don’t want to eat or try the entrĂ©e-don’t make a big deal out of it, but don’t give them dessert either.

My only other rule:  When everyone’s done and I’m through with the evening’s clean up, the kitchen is closed and NO I won’t be re-serving anything to the picky guest.

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