September 22, 2008

Hogs, Basically. Just Saying.

You know what? (and try to contain your surprise): five children eat A LOT. Today, for snack: one entire box of granola bars. And afterward, they were STILL HUNGRY. I am going to have to grow crops in the backyard. Also: when the kids are teenagers, their part-time jobs will be at restaurants, so that they can mayhap eat up the scraps, like hogs.

At a camp I went to twice as a child, we scraped our plate leavings into big buckets to feed the hogs. A very efficient system, especially considering what picky and inconsistent eaters children can be. I've thought of that many times when lunch has come back to the kitchen nearly uneaten, to be scraped into the trash because it's not something that keeps. "Hogs," I think to myself. "We need hogs."

We do sort of have hogs, or a hog-like system anyway: It often happens that what one kid won't eat, another kid will. If Rob doesn't want his chunks of plum, Elizabeth does. And if Edward only wants the middles of his sandwich halves and not the edges---well, Henry is not so picky. And if Henry doesn't want all his cheese cubes, Rob does. And so during the meal the leavings and rejects are redistributed until everything is eaten.

20 comments:

Kelsey said...

Oh that post really, really makes me want to tell a story about something we did with dining hall remains at the summer camp I worked at for seven years. But maybe I should do my own gross post.

I love how you call the kids' scraps "leavings." This post reminds me of Charlotte's Web. I've been reading it to Harper and there are many detailed descriptions about what gets poured into the trough.

I'm glad they clean up after each other. Most of the time I'm the only one to eat the scraps, which is probably not so good for me.

d e v a n said...

haha! I can only imagine how much food you must go through! I have 3 boys, but only 2 real eaters and we can go through a whole carton of strawberries or a bunch of bananas in just one day.
hogs would be very efficient...

Omaha Mama said...

Teenagers' jobs at restaurants. Brilliant.
I worked in a chinese restaurant for a few years in my teens, so saved my folks a few meals a week at least. Not to mention the wad of ones I brought home to feed my peanut butter cup/7-Up addictions.
Am filing that away for advice in about 13 years. :0)

Caitlin said...

Um...there are some hog farmers out there who PAY to take away restaurant scraps, as you describe.

You know...just sayin'.

Two birds, one stone, extra income?

may said...

I'm wondering if we went to the same camp? Or is having hogs some kind of summer camp urban legend?

Also, I like your new tag line thingy. I never see it on my Google Reader, so maybe it's not new, but anyway. I like it.

Also, can you post some kind of explanation of Twitter for those of us who didn't get the memo? Thank you. : )

Alice said...

my dad functioned as Family Hog growing up. he will finish anyone's plate, of anything. it's pretty astounding. maybe we can rent him out?

JK said...

I'm so glad to know that other people redistribute food among their children. Whew!

Also, is it terrible if I re-use milk glasses when they eat in serial fashion (one at a time)?

Michelle said...

See, now you know why you have five (maybe six soon?) children. If you didn't have that many, it would throw off the food recycling. I try that with the Wee Ones, and it works sometimes... but sometimes that just means that Mommy or Daddy has to eat it. I wonder why I don't make my own lunch until after they've gone down for naps/to preschool!

Swistle said...

May- You know, now that you mention it, I don't remember ever SEEING any actual hogs.

Twitter is...well, it's like one-sentence blog posts. And you can respond to other people's one-sentence posts.


JK- I also reuse plates if I can---like if we're having something cleanish like muffins for breakfast, and some kids finish before other kids are up. Efficient!

edbteach said...

I, too, recycle plates if one child finishes before the other one starts.

I have also been known to put a sippy cup back into the fridge and pour more milk into it later in the day!

Erin said...

I'm repeating myself here, but this post SO reminds me of my own house growing up. My mom was fond of telling people, "They're eating us out of house and home!" At one point my brother had a job at a bakery, where he closed. He was SUPPOSED to throw the unsold items away at the end of the day (can you imagine?) Instead, he would bring home trashbags full of breads, rolls, pastries, bagels. Almost nothing went to waste. Some of it was a bit dried out after sitting on the shelf all day, but nothing a little butter & microwaving couldn'f fix. We loved my brother's job.

AlienBea said...

You're making me a little bit afraid! ;) Here I was thinking that I wanted more than two children...when the two I have are ALREADY eating me out of house and home. It's as though the runaway inflation at the grocery store has somehow affected them and now they have runaway appetites.

Nowheymama said...

And this is why I cook mostly dairy-free meals. So that EVERYONE can help eat the leftovers.

I have mentioned planting soybeans and growing my own soymilk. That stuff is expensive.

t2ed said...

I always thought Dad got stuck eating all the leftovers the kids turned up their snouts at.

Misty said...

Damn, girl. How did you TEACH them this trick? Because if I fill up a bowl of, oh say, fruit for Jelly Bean (Because he is awfully fond of asking for something, please (read: meez?), and then saying he doesn't want it once it is handed to him.(Nowanit. Just like that. All one word.) Anyway. Bowl of fruit. If I make it for Jelly Bean and Jelly Bean doesn't even touch the bowl or sit at the table where the bowl is placed, Brother still emphatically refuses to eat it. He has to have HIS OWN.

Gah. Also, GAH.

Swistle said...

Misty- Politics are involved. For example, Rob will eat leftovers from any of the three Littles, but NOT William's leftovers, and neither Rob nor William will eat anything BITTEN. But the Littles don't even know the food comes from someone else...and, er, sometimes Rob and William don't know, either. A little trip to the kitchen, and any food that comes out again is "new."

Enniferjay said...

We have no hogs, but we do have dog, which works pretty well. Won't eat salad or veggie leavings. Might have to get a worm box for non-dog leavings. Growing up, my dad's nickname was "the Garbage Disposal" since he ate everything left at the end of the meal. Sounds slightly better than "hog," but not much.

Little-Bit said...

I remember when I was a kid I would NEVER think of eating anything my brother or sisters touched first. But now, with my four kids, they would NEVER NOT think of eating whatever was left over on the other's plate. The Bigs will practically hover over the Littles just waiting to pounce on their leftover macaroni.

Mayzie said...

Ok, bizzarre!

Both you and may went to a summer camp where the scraps were fed to the hogs.

Um...I went to a summer camp where the scraps were fed to the *pigs*, is that different? Or, did we all go to the same summer camp?

mamacrow said...

This is EXACTLY what it's like at my house. to the last detail! (also five kids, no twins though)