I have already seen 3 stories this morning on the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatricians to redesign the hot dog so that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard for kids. On each story, the comments come in two flavors: parents are to blame when their children choke on hot dogs for not watching them closely enough, and parents who want to redesign hot dogs are overprotective helicopter parents who won’t let their kids have a real childhood.
As a relatively new parent, all I can say is: We just can’t win. We’re either not protective enough or we’re overprotective. We’re at fault for everything our kids do and everything that happens to them, but we have to stop smothering them. No wonder most parents I know, including myself, feel like we’re slowly going insane. My solution: Use common sense when dealing with your own kids and ignore everything that anyone else has to say about it.
As for the hot dog issue, I think perhaps some parents aren’t aware of the hazards they pose. Or choking incidents may occur when kids are in the care of others. Contrary to popular Internet commenter belief, parents do not, should not and cannot watch their children 24 hours a day.
Enough ranting. Last night for dinner, I made a strange but tasty pureed potato soup. I started from a recipe but quickly veered into the unknown. The base was roasted peppers, onions, garlic and tomatillos, spiced with cilantro and adobe seasoning. To that I added mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes. I simmered until the potatoes were tender, pureed the soup and topped with crumbled bacon. It was very tasty for a dish that mostly served to use up all the odds and ends in the refrigerator.
But the real revelation was the edamame, or green soybeans, I cooked as a snack for the baby and me. Instead of simply boiling and salting them, I just covered them with water and added some olive oil, garlic salt and dried herbs. I simmered them for 20 minutes. They were extremely tasty and could serve as a substitute for cocktail peanuts as a before-dinner nibble. I also think they would be good mashed a little and spread on crusty bread with some grated salty cheese. Stored in their cooking liquid, they should keep for a few days. I will definitely keep frozen soybeans on hand now for snacking.