Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 |

I sit here today, pondering the age old question that has plagued mothers and fathers for generations before me.  How many times in a day, a week, a month even, do we as parents listen to the forever grating  “MOM! There is nothing to eat!….I’m starving!”   As you walk into the warmest room in the house – the kitchen. the smells from the pantry over take you as you witness, once again, the child with whom you have bonded, laughed, cried and conversed with countless times at the table, in the car…hanging onto the pantry door, sullen as they stare into the mass amounts of snack foods, nuts, crackers, ramen noodles and baked goods at the ready.  You look the child in the eye and admonish with “Are you serious?”…
My children over the past 25 years have had this discussion with me no less than three times a week…given that I have 5 girls, 52 weeks, 25 years 3 times a week…Good Lord, how terrible am I?… I have allowed my children to ‘starve’ no less than 19,500 times all together.  I am a terrible mother.  Me, the mom who owns a baking company and there is baked goods available almost daily….Myself, who diligently shops each week, counting coupons and savings, and I, who has rose to the occasion yet again to find the pantry not only stocked, but to be met by the sullen dazed look of a teenage girl who is in actuality is  asking me to make her dinner….because after all she is ‘starrrrrving!”
 I chuckle to myself as we begin another old age game of “what would you like dear?”….they growl at me if I say to them “I don’t care…”, yet I am to be attuned to the fact that this child who throughout the day has had breakfast, lunch, two snacks, and countless other grab from friends is ‘starving’.   Please….They haven’t a clue!  Menu planning for the week aside, I inform the latest despondent creature who is sure to shrivel to nothing at any moment, that dinner will be ready momentarily…and please if they could set the table. This is met with an exasperated sigh… occasionally a whine if the vocal party currently happens to be 15 (we seem to have outgrown the ever grating “Oh my gawd mother!”, and just as I picked out her burial suit too!) and dinner miraculously appears from the oven and is ready to be dished and placed on the table.  Never caring if the meal took hours of prep time, or if the items may be fresh or frozen…children dig in with a voraciousness that bemoans the manners previously taught.  Among various choruses of  “Elbows off the table NOW”…”Pass the pepper please”…”don’t saw your meat please”….the child begins to share her adventures of laughter, embarrassment and anguish at the latest elementary drama….which, is then met with even more enticing drama from the high school junior.   Laughter ensues, giggles are shared, and the meal is enjoyed while discussing what we learned that day.  For 45 minutes we come together and laugh at life lessons learned, who hates who, who is this weeks winner of “I can’t believe she said that…” and I as the negligent mother hear out of the mouths of babes….”Thanks Mom, dinner was good.”
My child, who not an hour earlier was sure to perish to nothing is satisfied once more. Well  satisfied for at least for the next 90 minutes, as we will inevitably begin the “Mom, can I have…?” game, and fruit will be sought….lol.  These are my children.  The little me’s who are not afraid to share their day; not afraid to let me know that I have failed them in insuring their immediate needs are met, when they had to wait five minutes for dinner to be put on the table; these creatures of kindness and good who will one day be calling me, and saying “Oh my Lord Mom, I cannot fill this child!”…I will laugh and say “It’s fun, isn’t it?”
Looking for something Quick n Easy for them After school?  This recipe is easy to prepare, easy to Clean up, and crowd pleasing!
1/3 c   Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 c   planko crumbs
1 tbs. Herb & Garlic Seasoning
1-1/2 lb.  chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

HEAT oven to 400°F.

ADD cheese to coating mix in shaker bag. Moisten chicken with water; gently shake off excess. Add 2 or 3 chicken tenders to shaker bag; shake until evenly coated. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining chicken. Discard shaker bag and any remaining coating mixture.

BAKE 12 to 14 min. or until chicken is done.