Recently, during the all too short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which this year flew by even faster with a new baby in the house I decided to take some dinner help from a can of Sloppy Joe mix. Touting a serving of vegetables in each portion, it seemed a home run. A sure thing. What could go wrong? To top it off the stuff was on sale at the store. But then again, I have a feeling it always is. Since dinner was coming out of a can, I even decided to lay off my health kick and bought white Kaiser rolls to go with the Sloppy Joes. Why be a kill joy and try to offer up whole wheat rolls?
In the sliver of time I had between breastfeeding sessions, I browned some ground beef, cracked open a can of Sloppy Joe, mixed the two, and voila! Dinner was done. Now, I did not grow up eating Sloppy Joes, but judging from the sheer Sloppy Joe induced glee of the kids I’ve babysat over the years, this stuff is like manna from heaven. Plus my little one loves any kind of food that’s messy to eat. The messier the better, and what’s messier than ground beef mixed with tomato sauce, eaten with your hands? The name itself couldn’t be clearer about its messy nature. I was so proud of myself when I delivered Missy’s plate, fully expecting to be able to sit back and let her have at it, whilst making a megabath worthy mess. I was already planning to stock up on ingredients for a healthier home-made Sloppy Joe mix that could become a staple of our dinner table. I’m sure you, dear reader already know where this is headed.
Missy would not even give it a try. I’m talking hysterical wailing, flailing arms and kicking legs. Who would have thought food could elicit such a passionate response? I know it’s supposed to take up to ten tries for a kid to accept new foods, but I’m not sure I’m willing to go through that kind of drama that many times. What I didn’t get is this kid loves the main components of a Sloppy Joe: tomato sauce, ground beef, bread. None of the flavors were new and I didn’t think the veggies hidden in the mix could possibly come through strongly enough to be a turn off for the kid, but still it was a no go. Even my fail safe trick of eating off mommy’s plate didn’t work (not fail safe anymore, I guess). Maybe next time I need to try a deconstructed Sloppy Joe… Let’s see, freeze dried tomatoes, vegetable crisps, beef Carpaccio, and toasted croutons. I think I’ve been watching too many cheffy shows.