What Would You Do Wednesday: Noodles

Posted August 31, 2011 by jimhigley

Love my high school son. But there are moments I do consider trading him in for a different model.

The other day, I got a phone call from the mother of one of his friends. These are “newer” friends- I’ve never done anything with them other than say a friendly “hello” as we mutually drop kids off at each others’ house or share friendly wave in the driveway. It’s a common form of parental communication. You can go years without ever really “knowing” someone.

But these folks extended a nice offer. “Come join us for a barbeque!” the mom shared with a friendly, inviting voice.

I love being invited over to someone’s home. Love it. So this was a real, nice surprise. And of course I accepted.

“What can I bring?” I ask. And, mind you, this wasn’t one of those “I’m-going-to-offer-but-hope-they-don’t-take-me-up-on-it” kind of offers. I genuinely wanted to be a part of the fun.

Her response made me want to crawl in a hole. Or shoot my son.

“Oh, no, no, no. This is our gift to you. And I know you don’t know how to cook. Your son always jokes about how all he eats is Ramen.”


I’ve never made Ramen in my life. I’ve never EATEN Ramen. I do have a cabbage salad that’s pretty tasty and it uses some crumbled Ramen. That’s the closest I come to “making Ramen.”

Apparently, I come to learn that my son’s been telling this kind heart about his limited culinary world- all the fault of dear old dad. Somewhere along his storyline, he shared the comment that the last real meal he had was “last Thanksgiving.”

What? Hello?

I am not a great cook. I admit it. But I do cook. I do put new food on this tongue-lashing teen’s plate regularly. But he doesn’t “like” it. “It” includes fish, pork, ham, many meats, all sauces, fruits, vegetables, blah, blah, blah. So I’ve learned to quit hitting myself over the head. And yes, he has a limited palette of food on his dinner plate each night.

“I’m heading to the grocery store! What sounds good!” I always ask.

He gives me nothing to work with. Nada. Wait, I take that back. He loves steak. Really expensive steak. Sorry, but that doesn’t fit into my daily budget. You’re thinking “how about burgers?” And trust me, I try that. Often. But he complains about that too.

So, I’m thinking about buying a huge box of Ramen. And serve it morning, noon, and night for a week. Just to make a point.

What would you do!?


  • melissa mclarney

    oh yeah…I like the way you think!
    breakfast: scrambled Ramen
    lunch: Ramen on whole wheat with a little mayo
    dinner: Ramen a la king!

    We have a similar problem in our house, 3 active kids, never home “for dinner”. #1 son usually arrives home with girlfriend and in tow ready to go out to eat, #2 is a picky eater and won’t eat anything that is “left over” and is home for about 15 minutes between work and football coaching, #3 is diabetic and eats smaller meals all day then goes to football until 8pm. She will eat leftovers but has usually mooched a meal by the time she gets home. Yet each of them asks “what’s for dinner?” Why do you care, you aren’t going to eat it anyway! So I stopped cooking for the most part and eat a big lunch myself and usually make a salad or something lite for myself for dinner. Never fails, 10pm they are all looking for something to eat and complaining that there is nothing to eat! I just shake my head and say goodnight 🙂

    • jimhigley

      Oh, my gosh Melissa! We have the same kids! It drives me nutty. My youngest also thinks “dinner” is something you eat 15 minutes before bed.

      “I haven’t had dinner, Dad….what can I eat before bed?” he’ll say to me.

      “I made you pasta and chicken at 7!” I reply.

      “That wasn’t DINNER! That was a snack!”

      I swear. I. Give. Up.
      Thanks for reading!

  • http://spfldilstayhomedad.wordpress.com Johann

    I feel your pain. It’s an ongoing “joke” in our house about what a “horrid” cook I am. I mean, I admit I’m not going to be taking Emeril or Bobby Flay down any time soon, but hey-my kids are fed well. And I’ve never given them food poisoning.

    My 6-year-old said to me not long ago, “Dad, you really should stick to cleaning.”

    I fully support your idea of Ramen noodles 3x/day.

  • jimhigley

    Johann! Thanks for your support, brother! Like you, I’m pretty confident my kids aren’t dying from my cooking…..but dang, give us a break, kids!

  • Gina Morris

    Ok, laughing my butt off. Guess what I had for dinner!!! Chicken Ramen Noodles and microwave popcorn left over from my “before bed snack” I had last night! I’m such a loser!

    • jimhigley

      Oh Gina! I saw your comment come though in my iPhone as I was out for a run tonight and I doubled over laughing. You are so NOT a loser….but maybe you and Drew should start hanging out together!

  • Janet Hagen

    Jim, As I now know you are a wonderful cook. The barbeque was fun and Drew didn’t eat much of my cooking either. He said that he would like to learn to cook for himself. I say take him up on the offer and let him make you dinner from now on!