Animal Stunts - Pets,  Boys: Demented & Dangerous,  Let's Eat: Meals and Recipes

Clean Birds and Picky Gourmands

I heard quite a bit of splashing coming from Porter’s bathroom yesterday, long after the boys had left for school. Investigation revealed a pissed off Texas Ranger in the potty.


It turned out that Porter was in the midst of giving him a morning bath when his carpool came. He took my command, “Drop everything and come on immediately!” literally. A heart-to-heart followed, in which I emphasized that parakeets are not renowned for their swimming abilities, although by my calculations Texas Ranger was treading water for over an hour.


Last night I watched as Drew and Finn split a single broccoli floret between them. It wasn’t done willingly, but only to get dessert. Finn chopped the tiny stem into flat pills and swallowed them one by one with gulps of milk. Drew nibbled the blossoms off the tree.

It’s hard to believe these are the same boys who last weekend were begging for marinated olives, “You know, like we had at that Greek restaurant in New York,” Finn said.

I don’t understand boys who swoon over mussels and artichokes and request marinated olives, yet sneer at broccoli and chicken. I ignored their contrariness, however, and dug up a few recipes on the Web, combined them, and created my own.

Anne Glamore’s Marinated Olives

Mix a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, a couple of bay leaves, 3 or 4 smashed cloves of garlic, a couple of strips of orange rind, a tablespoon of whole peppercorns and a teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (red pepper flakes)* in a glass or plastic bowl. Add a jar or two of unpitted green and black olives.** Add enough extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar to cover in a ratio of about 5 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.*** Shake or stir. Label “broccoli” and put in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Bring to room temperature and use a slotted spoon to transfer to a beautiful bowl. Serve.

* Increase or decrease flakes and peppercorns according to your desired heat level

** I used kalamata olives for the black, and found green unpitted olives at Publix

*** You may want to reduce the vinegar further; this was still quite tangy

I was able to re-use the marinade with no ill effects.


Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Just Breathe


  • lake lurker

    Food fetishs are a funny thing.I’ve always been proud of my children’s ability to try new and unusual dishes.Our kid’s loved broccoli,brussel sprouts,asparagus,etc. But each of us seem to have one or two everyday food dishes we can’t stand.My daughter hates rice and I can’t eat sweet potatoes, but I’m perfectly happy to eat roasted goat or BBQ tripe, mind you only for the fun of it. I think everybody deserves one or two passes with their food likes as long as they eat a wide variety of healthy foods.

    lake lurker’s last blog post..Clean Birds and Picky Gourmands

  • Toni-EvinNRobsMom

    Aww, poor Texas Ranger…on the other hand, isn’t it nice to know that Porter was listening to you? 😉
    Ahh the good ‘ol argument of veggies. I am one of the fortunate parents that can say that my boys pretty much eat every veggie that is put in front of them. From asapragus to zucchini, my boys’ll eat it. I must admit that in order to get them to eat brusselsprouts, I told them that it was broccoflower (a combo of broccoli & cauliflower). They ate it & all was right with the world…for that night. 🙂

  • jo

    I’ve tried very hard to force myself to eat broccoli in a variety of ways (in stir-fry, raw, steamed). I can’t. It always tastes like dirt to me so I can side with your boys on that one. 🙂

    Why was the bird in the toilet? Did he drop him in the toilet? Please tell me that’s not where the bird usually bathes. 🙂

    jo’s last blog post..Rhetorical Question

  • Edi

    My kids are the same – some ‘normal’ stuff they can barely eat yet if it’s something strange or unusual they want to try it and find they like it. My dd will NOT drink milkshakes (how can anyone NOT like a milkshake) but she loves frog legs. My ds can barely tolerate any fruit but he loves caviar. Go figure.

    Edi’s last blog post..Biscrem Cookies – Turkey

  • Tina

    My brother tried to flush our toy poodle down the toilet once – but he was three at the time. We kept hearing the flush over and voer and went to investigate what he was doing. W never ould get the dog in the bathroom after that – she had her baths in the sink.

    So does Texas Ranger usually bathe in the toilet?!?

    Tina’s last blog post..Nerves

  • Anne Glamore

    Several people have asked about Texas Ranger’s previous bathing habits. I didn’t know he had any, and it’s equally likely that Porter has been bathing him in the toilet or not bathing him at all.

    “No Parakeets In The Potty” is a new rule, however. (One of many I never thought I’d make).

  • Tiffany

    My 3 year old loves olives but not many other vegetables, loves prosciutto but no other meats and loves all the fancy, expensive cheeses but won’t eat a Kraft single.

    btw: are you still boycotting Whole Foods? Because they have a great Olive bar that is way less trouble than making your own.

  • Mamaluv

    ‘No Parakeets In The Potty’ – I love this! I was going to show this blog post to my kids because they were asking what I was laughing about… and then thought better of it. They don’t need the inspiration.

    Re food: my kids will only eat veggies in the form of (1) tomatoes & basil on Margarita pizza, (2) spinach, eggplant, and zucchini in vegetarian lasagna, and (3) stuffed portabella mushrooms made by Grandpa. Otherwise their food choices are selected according to the highest percentages of artificial colors and trans fats. You’re not alone.

    Mamaluv’s last blog post..Drive Yourself to Drink in 5 Easy Steps