It's like toast / by Susie Lubell

We had a lovely Thanksgiving at my brother's house yesterday and my sister-in-law made the most kickass sweet potato and carrot pudding (equal parts vegetable, butter and creme fraiche. Yikes). The whole meal was outstanding and for the first time ever all of the kids actually sat at the table without having a total come-apart. In fact it's usually my kid having the meltdown. But this year he and his older cousin (one year older) sat at the kid's table. The two year old cousin sat in her high chair and baby sister was in the portable high chair and the six "adults" were seated around the table passing dishes, feeding babies, cutting meat into small pieces and explaining the food to picky preschoolers. So now you have the setting. Here is the cast:

My nephew
My brother

Here is the dialog:

N - What's that daddy?
B - It's stuffing.
N - I don't like stuffing.
B - Yes, you do. It's like toast.
N - It doesn't look like toast.
B - It's little baby toasts.
N - What's that?
B - Cranberry sauce.
N - What's a cranberry.
B - It's like a strawberry.
N - It looks funny.
B - It's sweet like jelly. It's like strawberry jelly. But sour. And sweet (?)
N - What's that?
B - It's bean casserole.
N - I don't like it.
B - Try it. It's like salty soup with beans.
N - I don't like soup.
B - But it's kind of like a cake. Like bean cake. With salty sauce.
N - perplexed
B - Have some turkey.
N - I don't like turkey.
B - It's like chicken.

And by this time the rest of us are hysterical. Every thing my nephew asked about had a parallel food on the menu he usually eats from. And I was laughing because clearly my brother and I are cut from the same cloth. The other day I made fish sticks but he wanted chicken nuggets so I called them long fish nuggets and he ate them. And then I realized that, actually, everything can be categorized into three groups:

Chicken
Bread
Known fruit or vegetable.

So basically, all meat is like chicken. All starchy food is like bread. And then cherry tomatoes are like grapes, cauliflower is like white broccoli, persimmons are like apples, leek is like celery, cucumber is also like celery, sweet potatoes are like carrots which are called crunchy sticks, beans are like corn which is like popcorn.

So while last night's dinner seemed like a traditional Thanksgiving feast to the untrained eye, it was actually just chicken with baby bread, mashed potatoes and brown sauce, mashed crunchy sticks, salty popcorn cake and jelly. Y-U-M.