May’s “dinner” was a challenge for us. Sure, we have had challenges with previous dinners. At times we feel rushed or unprepared, and we nearly always forget supplies and have to make emergency runs to the grocery store. And this month we met all of those challenges. But they seemed so small in comparison to one very new challenge: cooking for children. A child’s birthday party, in particular. So not only did our food have to appeal to kids, but it had to look like the standard, sugar-laden party food that anyone expects (and hopes!) to find at a birthday party.
Yes, we spent many brainstorming sessions trying to think back to our youth, asking ourselves, “Would I have eaten that when I was three?” We tested a few recipes, and sometimes the answer was a resounding, “NO.” We finally landed on a menu that we felt was (for the most part) kid friendly, festive and nutritionally sound.
Despite the stress and uncertainty leading up to sweet Valentine’s third birthday party, it was the most rewarding of days. Pretty much all of our worries melted away when Valentine and her friends started gobbling up everything in sight. Honestly, they were so cute I don’t think we would have cared if they hated everything we had prepared.
Interviewing the party goers proved challenging as well, since they obviously had more important things to do (i.e. hide-and-seek, cupcake eating and lounging by the sandbox) than to talk to the cooks. After bonding over dinosaur figurines and burying toes in the sand, however, we were all buds. According to the kiddos, some highlights from the afternoon included “just the games… and the cupcakes”, as well as the homemade corn chips. Jax Eidson, 3, of Webb City described them as “really hard to eat”, and later told us that they were his favorite food at the party. We even received a weather report for Joplin, Kansas City and Muskogee, Oklahoma. If you’re ever wondering when to pack that umbrella, just ask Alice Epperson.
We offer a sincere thanks to Anna and Logan, who so graciously let us cater Valentine’s party though we had absolutely no experience cooking for children. And to all of the parents who allowed your children to attend the party, you are generous and encouraging souls. And last, but most certainly not least, thank you Valentine for turning three and being the most optimistic and appreciative three-year-old we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.
Stay tuned for a recipe post later this month!