I was doing a simple rosemary potato dish – nothing terribly imaginative but always comforting and delicious - and Lucy was practicing her knife skills on hunks of potato.
We let her cut with an adult knife if she meets 2 conditions – 1) she is seated on her bum and 2) she is being supervised by an adult. We do this because when I was growing up, my folks, and my Grandmother in particular, were so sure I would hurt myself, I was 16 before I got my hands on a knife that could cut more than soft butter and even then I had to say to them, “I’m 16 I‘d like to use a knife that can cut more than soft butter."
Anyway, Lucy was cutting lop-sided wedges of potato and I gave her a big pan and directed her to throw the chunks into the pan. She was keen on this job and was doing suprisingly well until I explained that I was going to douse the potato nuggets in olive oil, garlic and Rosemary.
She looked up at me and said very calmly, “No rosemary”.
“Cute” I thought, “She’s making culinary decisions already and she’s not even 3…My kid is a short Emeril Lagasse.”
I did my stump speech about how it wouldn’t be called “rosemary potatoes” without the rosemary and she watched me with glazed eyes as I explained a myriad of reasons why we needed to put those bristly little green trees in it and why she likes it because she has eaten so many dishes with rosemary in it.
“Do you understand, Sweets?” I asked at the end of my warbling.
“No rosemary,” she said adamantly, unphased by my lengthy arguments.
She picked up a bunch of the stalks and tucked them up under her shirt. And for good measure she put her arms around herself and hugged, so that you would have to be Houdini to get the rosemary away from her.
I figured if I wanted rosemary potatoes my best weapon was to move onto another topic and wait until she got distracted. But, of course, it was me who got distracted and the next thing I knew, while I was trying to keep Edie (our very own little condiment thief) from putting a jar of Sambal in her mouth and sucking on it, Lucy had taken that moment to stash the rosemary…someplace.
I looked in every inch of the kitchen - utility drawers, kid cupboard, the trash, the crisper drawer, under the sink next to the Drano and the dish washing soap, even inside the barrel of the washer/dryer. Nothing. The twigs were gone.
And Lucy wasn't talking, so I took her not-so-subtle hint to heart. I mean how many ways does the girl have to say "No rosemary, dammit Mommy!!" before her mother gets the idea.
I re-conceived the dish. I had a drawer full of fresh herbs and I cobbled together a lovely herbed potato dish with a touch of cream and parm-reg. Lucy was just fine with this re-conceived version. No complaints. No protestations. No stealing the herbs.
This morning I found the rosemary floating in her potty.