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Dad Brings Witty Banter and Toddler-approved Recipes to New Column: Dinner vs. Child

Cooking for kids isn’t easy. Cooking for kids and a pregnant wife is nothing short of impossible, but Nicholas Day is taking it on with ease — and a side of wit. In his new biweekly column on Food52.com, Dinner vs. Child, Day asserts that he will be “cooking for children, and with children, and despite children. Also, occasionally, on top of.” We’re excited. Find out more about about this new column, after the jump!

His first post wittingly delves into cooking with the culinary world’s most boring vegetable: beans. And he isn’t proud of his distaste for cooking with this lackluster legume. “Not liking beans is like not liking your really nice next door neighbor just because he happens to be boring. It feels like a moral failing.”

Moral failing or not, this dad does his best to conquer it through a chana dal (yellow split peas) recipe. While it may have been easy to get his pregnant wife to eat dal, he had to improvise with his toddler. His tips for tweaking recipes so that even a toddler will try them are simple, easy, and could translate into cooking with [enter any vegetable here]:

  1. Don’t try very hard
  2. Lower the spice
  3. Raise the sweetness
  4. Learn to live with yourself

Using these rules, Day adapts a recipe for sweet-hot chana dal with golden raisins from Raghavan Iyer’s Indian cookbook, 660 Curries, and makes it preschooler-approved. Any recipe that gets our kids eating peas and raisins has us sold. Check out the recipe here — and be sure to stay tuned for more witty repartee (and a recipe thrown in for good measure), as Day chronicles the challenges of cooking for his toddler on Dinner vs. Child.

Oh, and in case we didn’t mention it, Day blamed his “wife’s placenta” on the travesty of having to cook with beans. Do with that what you will … — Jenn Gimbel

Photo credit: Nicholas Day of Dinner vs. Child

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