food · slice of life

Grape Jelly (with a Side of Chicken and Cauliflower)

Here’s Ari… setting the table for the meal he wanted.

After a long day that included three meetings and more driving than I want to admit to, I was relieved tonight’s dinner was simple. I removed the spatchcocked chicken from the oven and set it on the counter to cool. I walked over to the fridge, opened the left door, and removed the cauliflower rice from the produce drawer. All I needed was a frying pan, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and I’d have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Best laid plans.

“I want some jelly!” Ari declared as he removed both squeeze bottles of grape jelly from the fridge. (Don’t ask me why we have two almost-empty bottles of grape jelly. That’s a mystery I’ll solve tomorrow.)

“We’re having chicken and cauliflower rice for dinner,” I reminded him.

He was unconvinced. “I want some jelly!” With his second declaration, he scuttled across the kitchen with both bottles of grape jelly, slammed them down on the kitchen table, and said, “I want some jelly!”

Aren’t you good at being two? I thought.

“I’ve made chicken and cauliflower rice tonight. It’s time to put the jelly back in the fridge.”

“I want some jelly!” he said forcefully enough to make me check the jelly-bottle caps to make sure they were on tightly.

“You can have peanut butter and jelly for lunch tomorrow. Tonight we’re eating chicken and cauliflower rice.”

I handed Ari the bottles of jelly and ushered him back to the fridge. I opened the left door and said, “Put it back in the refrigerator, please.”

He counted, “One! Two!” as he placed the jellies back onto the shelf.

I helped Ari closed the refrigerator door. I hoped he would forget about the jelly and just eat a good dinner. Thankfully, he’s a good little eater. He ran from the fridge to his booster seat, clipped himself in, smiled proudly, and said, “I want chicken now.”

We’ll work on manners tomorrow.

Bye-bye jellies!


20 thoughts on “Grape Jelly (with a Side of Chicken and Cauliflower)

  1. “Aren’t you good at being two?” – indeed! Just thinking how we wish for the time they can be a little independent … but it’s never a LITTLE thing. It’s comes in full force, doesn’t it. Though they be little, they be fierce (apologies, Mr. Shakespeare). A slice of pure truth!

  2. So fun for me to hear your side of this conversation. Never a no in the entire interchange, just a consistent emphasis on what would happen and what needed to be done. Your rocked this one! And since I spend three days a week with an almost two year old, this grandma can use the coaching.

  3. Oh Stacey, I do miss those slices of life with little ones in the house. I know it can be exhausting at times – kuddos to you for your incredible patience with him – but keep treasuring these moments and celebrating them when you can. I am down to my last daughter in the nest this year, and I’m lucky if she is home for dinner with us once or twice a week! By the way, I’m curious..what is spatchcocked chicken??

    1. Spatcocked chicken is a whole chicken that is flattened out. If you’re good with kitchen shears, the you can remove the backbone yourself. However, the butcher at our grocery store helps me out.
      The bonus of spatchcocking is that it decreases cooking time.

  4. Admirable how you redirected him and how well he responded. And lucky you to have a good little eater. I have no doubt he enjoyed the chicken and cauliflower, and he will be happy to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich tomorrow.

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