... requires no less ingenuity than feeding a Bhablet, I find. In between that post and this there were a couple of years when the boy gobbled up everything you put in front of him (more or less) and yelped for more and had things like raw fruits and curds every day. As he grows older and more articulate he has more opinions on what he will and will not have. Peas, for instance. So mealtimes now resemble one of those workshopping sessions all management types will recognise. Where thinking 'out of the box' is mandatory.
Those of you who know and love Calvin and Hobbes will see what's coming. Those of you who don't, will get the picture from this strip.
So one day, when the mother-in-law lovingly brought some pasta over for her ungrateful grandson, I only got him to eat some by promising him that it was in fact 'pasta poka' (pasta insects). Little grubs that had been cooked with vegetables in white sauce. And then the child gobbled them up.
My mother got him to try Chicken a la Kiev at Mocambo this January by telling him that those big, round things were 'ghoNra'r dim' (horse's egg, a nonsense word in Bengali). And, of course, he gobbled his up. She has also fed him sundry other things under the generic name of 'beral'er boo' (I have no idea what that means) -- so he associates good food with 'beral'er boo'.
In Madras two weekends ago Baba took us to lunch at Mainland China, where M Bhabbles refused to touch anything. Until I showed him the little bits of 'cheese' (tofu) that were swimming in my soup and trying to escape from him. I even had to do tiny voices crying out in fear as the Bhabzilla slurped the soup to trap them in the spoon and then gobbled them up. Sometimes, he needed a bit of spinach or some corn to help catch them.
Two nights ago I made three-layer parathas with masur dal cooked with paaNch phoron and onions. He came into the kitchen, asked what I was cooking and instantly announced that he wouldn't have any.
Eventually, he consented to have some 'boltapoka'r dal' (lentils with wasp) -- the white bits that floated in the dal were the wasp wings and bodies, while the paaNch phoron was actually the eyes.
These days, I read Calvin with a bit of a shudder.