No fooling my kids.
One of my favourite meals when I was growing up was Chicken and Noodles. My mother always pressure-cooked the chicken, peeled off the meat and put it back in the broth, then brought the whole lot to the boil again before dropping in a whole packet of wide ribbon noodles.
I was 21 when I went back to the US to meet family, and while there, my grandmother taught me to make noodles. As my children grew up, Chicken and Noodles was a regular menu item and I usually made the noodles.
However, there were the odd times I tried to pull a swifty on them, by cooking packet ribbon noodles, and they always knew. Then I hit on an idea that just might save me time and effort – fresh pasta from the refrigerator section of the supermarket. I eagerly purchased a pack, took it home and spread it out on my noodle board and cut them into strips and disposed of the packaging before anyone saw.
With much ado, in front of them all, I dropped the strips into the boiling chicken broth. Moments later it was done and served. There was silence as they tucked in and I waited with anticipation. Finally my son twirled a single noodle around on his fork and studied it intently. ‘This isn’t home-made, is it?’ he asked.
‘You saw them sliced up on the board,’ I said innocently.
That one comment was enough to get the rest of the family looking and tasting their noodles. ‘They’re not home-made, are they?’ demanded one of the girls. ‘What did you do?’
What could I do? I confessed. Although it was funny at the time, and there was much banter around the table that night about me trying to pull one over on them, I never tried to pass off pre made noodles again. I learned something that I never forgot. If I’d told them before dinner that I didn’t have time to make the noodles, they would have been disappointed, sure. But they would have understood what they were getting.
So be encouraged, and make sure you are the ‘real’ thing when you present yourself to others, because they’ll soon spot the fake in you if you don’t.