If your child loves a particular food or recipe, you find yourself bending over backwards to make this dish to bring them happiness. Middle-Child has a number of oddities about him that make him stand out in a crowd. And it’s not middle-child-syndrome, as he was born this way and has acted in this manner from birth- when he was the baby in the family, before middle-child-status. One of his funniest habits, let’s call it, is his obsessive compulsive qualities. When he likes something he LOVES it, and I’m sorry for you if you serve him something he doesn’t like.
Middle-Child is obsessed with pickles, olives, artichokes and hearts of palm. When Santa came to visit last Christmas, a small jar of olives was found in his stocking. When family members come over to our house, they bring him olives or pickles, and get a big hug and smile in return. At super bowl parties, you can find my little man quietly munching on the little green cocktail olives and cleaning out the bowl of condiments.
One of his favorite breads is, you guessed it, olive bread. But after shelling out $5 at my local Albertsons for a small round of olive bread, I finally began baking my own. My main motivation was remembering that I had my mother’s old bread machine tucked away in the cabinets. If the machine did all the hard work, it would save me oodles of time and frustration!
My first batch of olive bread, wasn’t so successful. I added the olives too late and they were baked all clumped together on the bottom of the loaf.
He didn’t mind. He gobbled up the olive-ridden portion of the bread in no time.
My second loaf proved a success, but I didn’t like the looks of the bread machine loaf of olive delight. Also, the olive bits were so small and the bread was purple. But, it tasted great. I also didn’t like the shape of the loaf and I wanted a crunchier crust.
I found that using the bread machine to mix my bread was my best bet. I use the dough cycle of the machine. After it’s done, I hand knead the dough a second time, this time adding in the olives. I cover it and let it rise again for about an hour, then bake the bread in a 400ºF oven for 20 minutes. If I mixed the olives by hand, during the second kneading, I would get a whiter bread with big chunks of olives (pictured on top). If I had the machine mix in the olives, I would get a purplish-loaf of bread, with most of the olives completely blended in (pictured below).
“My mom makes the best soup!” he brags.
“Mommy, I want some more olive bread!” he begs.
Of course, not everything I make is golden. One night I made shrimp. Everyone loved it. Everyone, but him.
“Mommy, this tastes HORRIBLE! It’s the worst food I’ve ever tasted.”
It can stab you right in the heart, especially when you’ve spent hours trying to get the damn meal on the table.
But, he can’t help it. He really doesn’t like shrimp.
And for more great recipes, including shrimp, visit Family Spice!