Dear Hungry Readers,

Do you enjoy eating? Do you like to cook or prefer someone else to cook? Do you like to eat out or stay home and eat? Do you like gourmet or quick and easy? Well, I realize that Gabriel, now 12, and Lucas, now 7, love to eat. Food is a daily topic in our home.

Gabriel went to a friend’s home. He snacked there. However, when he walked into our home, his demeanor changed. Gabriel enthusiastically yelled, “You cooked. Can I eat? It smells so good.” It was 10 p.m. I made rosemary potatoes, dill salmon, and a green salad with avocado. Gabriel moaned and groaned in delight as he famishly satisfied his hunger and appetite. “Mom, you can cook. You could have a cooking show!” I inwardly laughed. What child doesn’t like his/ her mom’s cooking? Well, there may be some children. That is for another time. Gabriel puts his plate in the dishwasher and shouts, “Woman, you can cook!” A satisfied boy.

We went on a cruise over the Thanksgiving break. Gabriel observes the menu. Waiter comes to take his order. Gabriel proceeds, “I’ll have the lobster, please.” He puts his lobster bib on. Dipping his lobster in warmed butter. He is a satisfied boy.

We enjoyed dinner at Mondo. Gabriel complimented the waitress on the food. She was so impressed with his culinary appreciation. Gabriel asked, “Can I tell the chef how much I enjoyed it?” I didn’t prompt him. I’m sitting back, enjoying my red wine and the savory food. Chef Susan Spicer comes to our table. And again I sit back and observe this moment. Gabriel takes off, “How you marinated the peaches… And the shrimp dish with the basil and the combination of spices… And the walnuts on top…” Well, he floored her to say the least. She appreciated his kind words, and he appreciated her zest for cooking. She asked, “Have you ever thought of being a food critic?” Hmm. Gabriel could do it.

culinary-2Gabriel at Mondos

I selected fish at the grocery. Gabriel, my four-year-old at the time, softens his eyes and asked for mussels. So, I bought a pound. Steamed them. Added olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper. Put the big bowl in front of him. I sat across and watched him eat the mussels with sheer excitement and joy. And I heard the notorious moan… once again.

Now, Lucas gets in the car. The first thing he says, “Mom, I’m starving?” Well, he ate a big breakfast, snack, and lunch. So, I know that’s not quite true. But I roll with it… everyday! I suggest, “Open your lunch box and eat a snack.” Lucas fidgets, “There is nothing.” There is something. Just not what he wants. We go home, and I watch this child eat a banana, almond butter and apple, yogurt, chips, pepperoni. I guess he really is starving.

culinary-3Lucas’s 7th Birthday at California Pizza Kitchen

We went to The Ivy in Los Angeles. They didn’t have a “kid’s menu,” but they could oblige your request. Meatballs, spaghetti, grilled cheese. Lucas shyly tells the waiter, “I’ll have the crab claws.” The waiter chokes up, “What about meatballs?” Lucas shakes his head no. “The crab claws.” The waiter’s eyes widen. He replies, “Kids usually don’t order that.” I think to myself… my boys’ appetite are not usual. Believe me. I’m with them daily. I thought the crab claws were an appetizer portion. In Louisiana, we order crab claws as an appetizer. But Lucas’s plate was delivered. It was overflowing with enormous crab claws hanging off the plate. Lucas smiled because he definitely ordered the best meal.

But in the mornings, they delight in omelets, pancakes, berries, and turkey bacon. Lucas will ask for a second plate every morning. And if time allowed, I believe a third plate.

culinary-4Daddy Made This One

My boys can eat! They love to eat!

Pierre informed me that there are three things that make men content:

  • Sleep
  • Food
  • Sex

I guess the men would have to reply to his list.

culinary-5My Men… Serious & Not So Serious

What I learned about my boys… Culinary appreciation in every form! They love my cooking. They love Pierre’s cooking. They love other people’s cooking. They love to eat home and love to eat out. In-N-Out Burger works and so does P.F. Chang’s. They love gourmet and simple, easy.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, they are in charge of their own breakfast. If they love it, they need to make it sometimes. Teaching them the art and preparedness for the future. Their future wife and children will appreciate it.

My rule is try it — You don’t know if you like it until you try it. Like Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ ” And for every meal, there has to be a fruit or vegetable (preferably both) on the plate.

Enough about my boys’ eating. What do you like to eat? What to do you like to cook?

All this talk about food is making me hungry. I’m off to my kitchen! Enjoying my box of medicine – fruits and veggies. And maybe a hint of chocolate.