Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Road To Hell...

I made a terrible mistake today. I don't know what came over me, really. But Larry took all the kids out kite-flying and picnicking all afternoon (and no, you cannot have him - he's mine!); and I was feeling so refreshed from being able to clean the bathrooms and do my taxes in blessed peace and quiet, I decided to make everyone a special dinner tonight.

Reubens. Honest-to-goodness Reuben sandwiches.

I've been meaning to make these for going on 20 years now; but I have never had all the necessary ingredients in the house at the same time. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that not only did I have the sauerkraut (unexpired), the rye bread (essential), and the swiss cheese (small miracle); but, lo and behold, there was an entire cooked corned beef in my refrigerator. (Don't ask - massive St. Patrick's Day fail around here...)

[I consider it no small coincidence that this marvelous confluence of events occurred on the selfsame day as the House's passage of the health care reform bill. Certain things can only happen about once every 50 years.]

Also? Fresh cantaloupe. Yum!

So I buzzed around the kitchen and mixed up my Russian dressing (mayo and ketchup - from a kid's perspective, what's not to like?), slathered the rye bread with it, shredded the beef, topped it with the cheese and sauerkraut, and fired up my panini grill. I was totally channeling Betty Crocker by the time I diced up the cantaloupe and put it in dessert bowls.

Larry and the children came back just as I slipped the first sandwiches on the grill. I was smiling, the spring air was pouring in the windows, angels were singing...

"What's that?" Rachel demanded.

"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches!"

"Is there mayonnaise on them?" she asked in alarm.

"Well, yes, but..."

"What are those?" asked Susie, as Rachel broke into paroxysms of wailing.

"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches! And, look! Cantaloupe!"

"No! I don't want those!"

Now we had a duet.

"What are those?" asked Brian, hearing the fuss and looking apprehensive.

"Reubens. They are a very special treat!"

"But they're on rye bread!" he said, in the sort of horrified tone most people would reserve for saying, "They are crawling with cockroaches!"

David walked in. No hope there; he's a vegetarian.

So we ate dinner, Larry and I, to a chorus of wails and complaints and with the sight of big, fat, sloppy tears (Susie's) dropping onto cantaloupe. And I am never, ever going to cook dinner for these ingrates again.

[Photo credit to SheKnows]


  1. My kids are never as thrilled about the grilled eggplant and Provolone paninis as I am.

    Yay healthcare reform--next step? Make it better.

  2. How do you make corned beef? I've always wanted to know.

    I am hungry, I would have been happy to eat Susie and Rachel's portions, I hope that I might have stopped short of David's. I just can't get excited about cereal and milk for dinner the way my kids do.

  3. You have a teenage vegetarian too? Mine is 15, and between her and my picky, picky 7 year-old, I might as well just be cooking for husband and me. Because we're the only ones that eat. Will you send me a Reuben? Yum.

  4. My 23-year-old daughter was asking me the other day, Mom, you used to cook this and this and this and this, and, why don't you seem to like cooking anymore?

    I don't want to talk her out of having kids of her own some day, but...

    Although I did learn one thing over the years: if the kids turn up their noses at something, don't push it. Just keep putting it on the table from time to time, and all the sudden, about the third time, usually, it's magically morphed into Normal Food in their eyes and they actually EAT it! Without complaining!

  5. (Adding a slightly-suppressed jumpingupanddown of, it passed! It passed!!!)

  6. Been down that road a time or two myself. Ingrates at my house got to make themselves a PBJ. Or a bowl of cereal.

  7. My kids are never happy with anything I cook! Nothing. I can totally relate to this post...except the whole husband taking the kids out for the afternoon part...

  8. I hate it when that happens.

  9. Tell you what...I'LL come eat them!
    PS You admit your ingredients? If they ask me, "Is there mayo?" I have been known to, uh, avoid a direct answer.
    And I hope you enjoyed them at least. My fav meals are the ones that ONLY I enjoy...sigh...

  10. Between too many evening activities (only 3 kids, though) and picky palates, I feel like I hardly cook at all anymore, and when I do, it's stuff like... spaghetti.

  11. I'm with your kids on this one. Then again, if someone was cooking ALL my meals for me, I probably wouldn't complain. I like to tell my kids how if I didn't like something my mother cooked (which happened often; she didn't give one whit about anybody's preferences) I either ate it anyway or went to bed hungry. LIVER, I had to eat. An organ designed to clear out toxins. Who decided that should be dinner???

  12. And THAT is why I refuse to answer the what's for dinner question. You'll see when it's on the table.

    It doesn't prevent the revolts or refusals to eat but it does postpone the breakdowns.

  13. I LOVE Reubens. And I LOVE your post title.

  14. I would have been happy to eat a Reuben sandwich! I'm pretty sure my husband would have loved one, too. Instead, I was cleaning out the fridge and finding... nothing. I fed him cheese, crackers, and cucumbers while I tried to think. I finally opened a couple of cans of tuna (and yes, I mixed the tuna with mayonnaise) to make sandwiches. MusicMan ate 3 of them, and cantaloupe, too.

  15. I have learned that eating out is the secret to Momma's happiness. The family runs a far behind second.

  16. Exactly why I hate to cook for my family.

  17. man kids suck sometimes! LOL I picked up some pan steak this weekend for my older kids, since me and the hubby and the younger ones are vegetarian...I went out to the BBQ to start the grill, and came in to my hubby telling them...look she has been planning it all week, don't ruin it for her! hahahah like he had to tell them to enjoy it and to his surprise they really liked it!

  18. i, for one, would have so appreciated a reubens sandwich.


  19. I should send my husband over. He loves Reubens. I am more like your children in tastes as far as that is concerned...

  20. I feel your pain. The longer it takes to cook and the more you like it, the more likely they will be to complain.

    I say, "Let them eat cake." We know they all like cake. Right? RIGHT?! Oh, sorry, I put raspberry cream in the chocolate cake. Never mind...

  21. But who's going to manage The Partridge Family now?

  22. That'll teach you to cook on your time off. Also, my 9-year-old announced her new vegetarian lifestyle. "Except chicken and hamburger." How come I'm not that funny?

  23. Shame on you for preparing special sandwiches!

    Thanks for the laughs, and for letting me know I'm not the only mom with ingrates for children! :)

  24. I was SO happy to hear you say Russian and not Thousand Island...everyone thinks a Reuben should have Thousand Island...they are wrong.
    If it makes you feel better I would have eaten with you. And you rock...especially for doing the dishes for the last 10+ months...;)

  25. They look absolutely scrumptious to me, but my kids would have reacted with equal horror.

  26. Your children are obviously related to me. I don't like mayo, rye bread, or sauerkraut either. But hey, I would have been happy with a pile of shredded corned beef and a pile of Doritos. ;)

    My kids almost turned up their noses when I put out a different kind of cheese (still yellow!) for tacos last night. I completely understand your pain. My mom considers it payback when my kids won't eat. :)

  27. I am craving a reuben sandwich right now SO badly. Thanks a lot!

    I'm very familiar with the giant-tears-dripping-silently-onto-the-offensive-food scenario. My 7 year old is a pro.

  28. My oldest son bought that sign for me last mothers day. I LOVE it!!
    I feel the same way about making dinner.
    We have tears in our food too! Sheesh. Food is much better without soggyifying tears.

  29. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    I've been telling my kids that the fish were having for dinner is chicken. They never knew the difference until they were at least 10!