Since we're taking our son with us when we go to Ukraine, we want him to experience the culture and food of that country while he's there. Neither my wife nor myself see the point in taking him to a foreign country so that he can only eat the food that he can get here, such as McDonald's.
One day, he and I went online to look up Ukrainian food. He was very fascinated by the meat on a stick, which I promised him we would try once we were there. Benjamin was also glad that they had kielbasa, which is something he already likes.
So when I was thinking about what I could fix for dinner, I decided we could have our first Ukrainian meal at home as a kind of practice for Benjamin. Wanting to ease him into trying new food, I decided it was best not to start him off with borscht (He balks at beets despite never having tasted one) and started, instead, with kielbasa or kovbasa as it's called in Ukraine and pierogies or pyrohy. The ones I made were stuffed with cheese.
As is standard procedure when I'm making dinner, Benjamin comes in to inspect what we're having so he can pass his judgment, which is typically, "Can I have something else?" To which I reply, "No, this is not a restaurant, I don't take orders." Seeing the pierogies, the picky eater frowned and said, "I'll only try one, but if I don't like it . . ." Already setting himself up to dislike a food he's never tried.
When the time came for us to eat, I told him he had to eat at least one pierogie before he could eat anything else. He was less than thrilled by this decision but did as he was told. He took his first bite.
"Needs spaghetti sauce."
Yeah, this trip will be very interesting.
Still, I got him a small bowl of spaghetti sauce for him to dip his pierogies in. He ate them, but as he did, I wondered what Ukrainian dish I would fix next. He's definitely not ready for borscht.