Day 140: chicken nuggets and catching up with Mr. Q

Today’s menu: chicken “fingers,” broccoli, apple, bread (kids take two for their two servings of grain)

Hey, not a bad lunch! Fresh broccoli and fresh apples. The chicken finger/nuggets were on the dry side, but allright…I’m concerned that they have the same kind of fillers that chicken nuggets have just with a different name. Interesting article on the chemicals in fast food chicken. I wonder if any of those ingredients are in my food.

Let me out! I’m broccoli yearning to be free!

I poured the broccoli straight into my mouth. I meant to have a good look around the cafeteria to see if the broccoli was eaten or thrown away, but I got distracted. I’m thrilled to see fresh broccoli and I’m also happy that there is less packaging associated with this veggie side than others.

***

My husband could be described as a “non-cook.” He can boil water, fry eggs, and use a microwave. Mr. Q does know how to make one special dish, but he hasn’t cooked it in more than a year. Daily meal prep is what I do and I love to cook.

I have encouraged him when he has mentioned an interest in cooking. He told me before that he is intimidated by some recipes and when we have cooked together before (years ago) he wanted to measure everything perfectly. I also am intimidated by a lot of recipes so I understand. Recently, we went to the library and my husband picked up a book:
My husband checked out a cookbook!
Hubby loves to eat Indian food and he told me why not learn how to cook what he enjoys?  Then he went out and bought a fish:
a whole fish on the kitchen table!
Last week we cooked together for the first time since our son was born. He did the fish and I did the veggies and rice. The kid was strapped in the high chair and demanded samples while we bustled around. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed myself having my husband by my side in the kitchen. Usually it’s me by myself rushing around while my husband plays with our son in the other room. It’s great to have company in the kitchen. (He braised the fish whole — google “braised fish” for a wealth of truly easy recipes — delicious result!)
Over dinner I asked my husband, “Do you want to start a blog about your adventures in cooking?”
He said, “I have no interest in sharing my cooking with anyone but you.” I respect that so I didn’t snap a picture of the final product.
Later I asked, “Does your new-found interest in cooking have anything to do with Fed Up With Lunch?”
He thought about it for a little while, “Well, our family is undergoing a food transformation and most likely it’s related.” Then he paused and said, “If nothing else comes out of your blog, at least our family is eating better.” I was a little verklempt.
For more information on Mr. Q, he answered your questions in May.
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26 Responses to Day 140: chicken nuggets and catching up with Mr. Q

  1. Kristin November 10, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Mmm, broccoli.

    If you're ever looking for another good Indian cookbook to try, "Best-Ever Curry Cookbook" by Baljekar is an excellent resource. I've made probably 1/3 of the many, many recipes in it, and they've always been great. It doesn't just cover curries, but it details regional Indian cuisine, and also touches on a few other southeast Asian cuisines as well.

  2. Anonymous November 10, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    I have to say, the lunches certainly look better since you've started on this project. Broccoli, apple, bread, and chicken? That sure beats the old fries/chips/ground patty combos we've seen in the past. =)

  3. Ms.T November 10, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    What an awesome way to spend the evening together. It also shows how a simple project can grow into other ares of our lives. I've noticed the same thing happening in my home. The more I learn, the more my choices change, the more my family learns, the more they make better choices. One step at a time things can get better. 🙂

  4. Laura Martin November 10, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Go Mr.Q! That's awesome! His approach is definitely the right one – gives him the motivation he needs to learn. Maybe he can get your son involved when he is a little more confident too so they still get their time together.

  5. Anonymous November 10, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Main Entry: verklempt
    Part of Speech: adj
    Definition: overcome with emotion; clenched; also written ferklempt
    Etymology: Yiddish

    I'd never heard of this word before… and thought while I was looking up the definition that I should post it here, in case others hadn't heard of it either. Guess you are "homeschooling" all of us! Thanks for a new word, it's just too bad it will probably not work in my online Scrabble games!! Glad the lunches are getting a little better…

    Denise – way up on the Canadian Prairies

  6. summerific November 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Especially your use of a word I will now have to Google – verklempt 🙂

  7. Anonymous November 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Mrs Q,

    I don't think you should be verklempt about what Mr Q said. He's feeling a very real difference from what you are doing. That is a good thing. All the "people" you reach out here in blog land aren't real to him, and the "school food movement" isn't something that he can easily see or measure your impact on. I think he was trying to pay you a compliment, and to tell you that you are a "leader" in your own kitchen/home. He is impacted by your efforts, and appreciates that. Good job, even if it never amounts to any more than that(but we all know it certainly has to us)!

    Miranda

  8. Lisa November 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Mmm… braised fish. I'll have to try making that sometime soon. I'm excited for your family and your new relationship with food. It's inspiring.

  9. QueenMab November 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Well… I think his reply was rather sweet and romantic. (this from someone who has been married 16 years, and whose husband has just begun to get in touch with his inner chef)

    And as the one strapped in the chair, I do believe your kid had the right mindset! 😉 Maybe as he gets bigger, he can help with the cooking, and snitch his own tidbits.

    My family is happiest in the evening when all 4 of us are engaged in dinnering chores. One chops. One spreads. One stirs. One sautes. And chatters all around. It is warm and happy- and I hope THIS is what they remember one day.

  10. JoanieLSpeak November 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Clearly no one here watched Coffee Talk on SNL in the mid 90s.

    The fact that your husband is cooking with you… I'm getting verklempt! Talk amongst yourselves… I'll give you a topic. The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss…

  11. Krista November 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Getting him into the kitchen sets a really good example for your son. My husband will not cook, the extent of his culinary skills involve heating a tortilla and adding sliced avocado (mind you I slice the avocado!). My 6 year old though, he cooks with me, and I plan to keep it that way. I keep telling him his future wife will appreciate all the efforts!

    I'm happy to see fresh broccoli-I hope the kids actually ate it-but man I really wish there wasn't so much processed chicken going into those tummies.

  12. Woolridge ES Green Club November 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Apparently some of your readers have never seen "Coffee Talk" on SNL.

  13. Anonymous November 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    that made me smile…)
    although, regarding the lunch, I bet the kids did not know what to do with the broccoli.

  14. The Table of Promise November 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    I love this. I am always happy to hear about people challenging themselves, trying new things, etc. So great.

    Why do you think that some people are intimidated to cook. Is it that they are afraid of messing something up? Is it that they don't want to pay for expensive ingredients just to be let down by a dish? I am curious. I bet this influences alot of people to buy readymade products….

  15. The Table of Promise November 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Oh Yeah–did the kids eat the broccoli???

  16. Amanda E. November 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    It's so nice to see fresh fruits and veggies on the menu, especially ones that don't require five minutes of peeling to get at the fruit.

    It's amazing how much taking an interest in what you're eating can change your attitude about cooking. Up until a couple years ago, I pretty much just cooked the way my mom and grandmothers cooked, which here in the South meant a lot of beans, variations on biscuits, and fried food, veggies boiled to oblivion then salted and buttered, and gravy. It's tasty, but not exactly the healthiest stuff around. The family histories of diabetes and heart disease in both our families made my husband and me take a good long look at what we were eating and feeding our girls.

    After that, I've taken up a whole new interest in cooking and the "theory" behind what does what in a recipe, and Hubby's started trying to learn how to cook as well. It's a blast, and I hope you and Mr. Q continue to have fun cooking together as a family.

  17. Kori November 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Yay for those with Coffee Talk…LOL

    It's Like "Budda" 🙂

    I love the mental picture of you Mrs Q with the little one in the chair and your hubby cooking….I've been there , with the little guy demanding taste tests…lol

  18. Renee November 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    While I agree with other readers that the kids might not have eaten the broccoli, I'm thinking that maybe just seeing it is good for them. That way they're learning that it is a food the school considers appropriate lunch fare. If they see it often enough, maybe they'll try eating it.

    I always think of those kids in Jamie Oliver's video, where many of them had just never seen most vegetables in the their natural form.

  19. Krystal Meyer November 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I don't know about your husband, but since reading your blog I've been thinking about food differently also. I've been trying to eat healthier and exercise and I've lost 30 pounds so far. I've felt so much better and as a fellow teacher I feel like I can keep up with the kids better. I'm even toying with the idea of starting my own blog and trying out a new recipe each week so I can get more ideas for cooking at home instead of the old boring standbys. Thank you for your inspiration! (BTW I've noticed a change in our school food this year too since reading your blog. Whole grain pasta is one of them.)

  20. WordVixen November 11, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Aw, good hubby!

  21. Krisfromparis! November 11, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    everyone says this is looking like a better meal..sorry for contradicting, but to me it looks bland and unappetizing!! who would eat plain bread like that…or broccoli without sauce? really, it's all in the presentation- i am not criticizing the food itself! and– good job Mr. Q. for buying some fish and cooking a little!!!

  22. Mrs. Q November 11, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    I appreciate all of your sweet comments! you guys are tremendous. Thank you.

  23. Mr Lonely November 11, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    nice blog.. have a view of my blog when free.. http://www.lonelyreload.blogspot.com .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog…

  24. Zoolsterr November 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    aww… how sweet is Mr. Q?!

    would it mess with your anonymity to disclose what age (or range) your son is?

    With almost 5k followers and many more readers I know there is much more happening with your blog.

    Keep it up Mrs. Q 🙂

  25. Mrs. Q November 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    (whispering: he's two! And I love it!)

    🙂

    Thanks for asking!

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