Recently I came across an article claiming that the UK is considering banning artificial food coloring.
My mother-in-law has said for years that red food coloring makes my husband go batty, so I showed him the article.
He said, “I don’t eat anything with food coloring.”
Oh, yeah? How about that Crunchberry cereal you insisted I buy at the grocery store? Fruit roll-ups? All that candy you eat? (He is a candy addict– many’s the time I’ve found him in a dark room, stuffing gummy bears into his mouth before anyone discovers them.)
He said, “Well, don’t buy that stuff anymore!”
Um, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. For months. Only, there is this ever-present complaining voice, and sometimes it gets really loud and on my nerves.
And it’s saying there’s nothing to eat, there’s nothing to snack on, I need at least two desserts in my lunch because I need extra calories because I am such a hard-working man. You just went to the store! How come there’s no food? There’s just meat and fruit and vegetables and cheese and grains! Are you trying to poison me? Starve me?
He said, “I won’t complain as long as there’s snack food. I swear. But it has to be cut into individual portions already so I don’t have to do it. And carrot sticks don’t count.” (I had attempted to sneak these into his lunchbox that day.)
This, my friends, constitutes a major victory in the Elton family Food Wars. Sad but true.
As luck would have it, I had those pie cherries I bought at the farmer’s market in the fridge. And so, I decided to make a pie.
No fancy lattice crust, as the recipe was quite rigid about keeping the crust cold and it was over a hundred degrees in my kitchen. But handmade crust all the same. I was not allowed to do anything “weird” to the pie, no subbing wheat flour for all-purpose or butter for shortening. Strictly by the book. ( The book being, as always, The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.)
Now, I am not a pie person. Or a cherry person, for that matter. This was my first attempt at pie crust, my first cherry pie. But I tried some, thought it was pretty darn good. Allow me to preen for a moment.
Jeff also sampled the cherry pie and proclaimed it “not poison”.
He finished his slice only after setting up the stereo to play Warrant’s “Cherry Pie”. On repeat. I kid you not.
Since I don’t turn on the oven unless I can cook multiple things at once, I also made a yummy banana bread ( with wheat flour and homemade yogurt) and Jeff made a key lime pie.
That slice in the picture above was the last one. And after taking the picture I shamelessly ate it. It was REALLY GOOD.
So far, so good. Three days have gone by. He gets a sandwich, a fruit, “something crunchy”- this week it’s pretzels- and (sigh) two desserts in his lunch, and so far no complaining.
Baby steps, right? Let’s turn a blind eye for a moment to the fact that key limes and bananas don’t come from the farmer’s market.
He has become used to real meats in his sandwiches over sodium-filled deli meats, and now, his desserts are sans artificial food coloring and have very little sugar. That is progress.
Next, I’ll figure out a way around the “something crunchy”.