I recognize that I have had more than one post where I have mentioned how hard it is to feed a family of eight. I am sure it is not a surprise to any working mom that to rush home and get something healthy on the table before the kids have to go off to their various practices, rehearsals and such is a challenge as it is. When you have six kids, you also have six different palates and that adds to the degree of difficulty. Justin won’t eat tomatoes or mushrooms, Kirsten won’t eat fish but loves Mexican, Taylor won’t eat Mexican but will eat shrimp, Landon only has about two vegetables he will even consider eating – you get the idea.
Needless to say, it is pretty tough to please the whole crowd. In case that is not enough to keep a gal on her toes, last night the girls had a friend over – so we had nine to feed. And we had our first 80 degree day of the year, so turning on the oven seemed counter productive to the efforts to keep the house cool. When you are a family of two or three, you can make last minute decisions and substitute different dishes than the one you had planned to make. That is tougher to do when cooking for eight (or on this particular night – nine.) Not to worry – I had a stroke of genius. I would simply make taco salad. We had all of the needed ingredients on hand. I would not need to turn on the oven. It was quick and easy AND my brood could pick and choose only adding what they liked to their salad. Taylor could skip the tomatoes. Justin could skip the tomatoes and the beans but have plenty of corn. Landon could go heavy on the meat and beans but forego the veggies. etc. I got it all on the table and in plenty of time for everyone to make it to rehearsal. As I sat down to dinner quite pleased with myself, I looked around the table and saw each face fall. What?! “I thought you all liked taco salad.” And then my oldest and most sympathetic bonus child looked at me and said, “Oh we do. It’s just that this is what we had last night at mom’s house.” How could I have known?! Drat! Back to the drawing board. Tonight I am trying sweet orange chicken. At least I know that’s not what they had last night.