I had a problem. I came up with a solution. Daily life is not always a smooth-running, well-oiled machine. With some issues, it’s good to toe the line (like when your 14 year old daughter wants to go to a boy/girl sleepover). Sometimes it’s best to give in (I want Mexican food; he wants Chinese. Let’s go for Chinese). Often, compromise is the best solution.
Problem: “I’m starving” right before dinner.
We all have busy lives. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s coming and who’s going. But we make it a point to all eat dinner together as often as possible, which is actually quite often. I’ve always believed family dinners are the glue to the family. And because I feel so strongly about it, I put quite a bit of effort into the meals I plan and prepare. I love doing it, and the family appreciates it. But I can’t tell you how many times the kids or husbands (mine and my sister’s) come walking into the house toward the end of the day, as I’ve got something cooking on the stove or braising in the oven – something I’ve been crafting for the better part of an hour – that’s 30 minutes from being served, and then I hear it…. I’m starving! And they head for the bag of chips or a stack of Oreos. And inside, I’m fuming… I’m standing over a hot stove, or mincing or chopping, or breading or sifting, and I’m watching everyone spoil their appetite right in front of my eyes! I’m honestly not even sure why it bugs me so much, but I must confess, it does.
Solution: Chocolate Covered Grapes
For a very long time, I toed the line: NO SNACKS BEFORE DINNER! And then it became clear to me that this was one of those issues that was best left to compromise. Although by and large people respected the no snacks rule, and reluctantly followed it, they were miserable and “hangry,” which made dinner prep more stressful than fun. Not good. Not good at all. Yep, it was time for a compromise. I still couldn’t quite get my head around cookies and chips being consumed just before dinner. I figured a piece of fruit would do the trick. Uh… not really. So I upped the ante – I dipped clusters of juicy, plump red grapes into rich, silky, melted Ghirardelli chocolate, popped them in the fridge to set, and there you have it… Chocolate Covered Grapes! It took almost no effort, and now when I’m faced with the dreaded I’m hungry right before dinner, I just pull out a cluster of refreshing, yet a little bit decadent Chocolate Covered Grapes and everyone’s happy! (And if they don’t want these, then they’re probably not really that hungry and they can just wait till dinner.)