After Sunday night’s epic triumph of raw asparagus ingestion, I got cocky.

Oh yeah, I thought, my baby girl is so adventurous, her palate is so sophisticated, she is so committed to this project – I’m going to whip up another asparagus dish just to prove how easy it is to get a toddler to eat their vegetables. And you know what else, I’m going to make something that you would never think a kid would eat – I’ll make Asparagus with a Beet Lemon Vinaigrette courtesy of Chef Mimi

I hit Whole Foods on my lunch break to gather the proper ingredients, shortened our post-daycare/work playground stint and made a beautiful meal of baked Tilapia, baby potatoes, roasted beets with goat cheese and asparagus with beet lemon vinaigrette to top it off. Oh, I took my time expertly plating Madeline’s compartmentalized dinosaur dish as if I was Michel Bras preparing his famous gargouillou. Her high chair was strategically positioned close enough to the table to facilitate meaningful dialogue between us and at an angle where the T.V. could be seen (in case of emergency). Then, I graciously invited her to the table.

As she took her seat, she caught one sight of my masterpiece and turned stone cold whiteImage.  I knew that look, I had seen it many times before in my days as a waitress at the Ground Round when I would place the New Yankee Pot Roast in front of an unsuspecting diner. It was a mix of terror, disgust and a dash of anxiety all wrapped into one. I prayed to Sunday’s hero Daniel Tiger for help.  None came.

And then began the onslaught of ridicule and rejection…

“I don’t want it!” “I don’t like it!” “More milk! “I want to watch Ni-hao Kai Lan!”

I tried reasoning. I tried distraction. I tried anything I could to get one bite of that damn asparagus with beet lemon vinaigrette past Maddie’s hermetically sealed lips. Itwas no use. I sat back and ate dinner as she watched, slammed chocolate milk from her sippy cup and stared at my culinary Kandinsky until I was finished.  I could hear her telepathically — , “Did you really think I was going to eat that?” She very kindly carried her plate to the kitchen to be washed and said, “Thank you, Mommy” when I took it away.

In one a word – I was – DENIED.

On another note:

Dear Chef Mimi,

Your recipe for asparagus with beet lemon vinaigrette is superb, a taste of spring after a long winter It makes for a pretty presentation and is quite flavorful. I truly enjoyed the mixture of nutty beets with abite of bright lemon essence. I imagined serving it at an outdoor dinner party, brunch or even a summer barbeque – Madeline extends her gratitude for the recipe but has politely requested that it not be served at her 3rd birthday.

Best,

Ellen

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