Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dissection Dinners

Real Monster Mash, a la Gray's Gastronomy
 
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Kids these days don't seem to want to eat anything other than burgers, pizza and chips/fries. It can be a real struggle to get them to widen the taste-spectrum of their palate, especially when real food has to contend with the likes of Dino-Bites (processed chicken in breadcrumbs, shaped to look like dinosaurs) and even the ubiquitous fish-finger (how do they ever survive in the wild? Sure, the coating of breadcrumbs would keep them warm in the freezing depths of the ocean, but they don't even have heads. That's just not right. But maybe it does explain how fishermen manage to catch them in droves).

So, in order to compete with the proliferation of novelty, pre-packaged, pre-processed kid foodstuffs, we have to start getting a bit more creative ourselves. Originally, I had envisioned a scoop for mashed potatoes that (with a sort of scissors-action) actually clamps two halfs of a mould around the potato-mush and thus delivers a pre-formed Spudzilla onto the child's plate. "Do you want one monster or two?"

To the child, suddenly the plate becomes a minature battleground. See how Spudzilla towers imperiously above the lowly peas, and scoffs at the humble carrot slices that cower at the side of the plate. Boiled by a particularly fortuitious kitchen-lightning strike, Spudzilla, in a fit of wrath at his erstwhile creator, picks up said carrot slices, and throws them, frisbee-like, at the child. All he can do is catch them in his mouth, and dispose of them by chewing and swallowing. Aaagh! Now he's picked up that Asparagus Spear! My only defence is to eat him, one limb at a time!

With the imaginary drama over, the kid is left with an empty plate, a full belly, and a couple of bemused parents who'll never tell him to stop playing with his food ever again. And of course this could be taken one step further, for slightly older kids.

Offal is dirt cheap. Hearts, livers, kidneys - cooked properly, they're actually quite tasty. But most kids won't touch them, just because they sound disgusting. Possibly because we don't have any dissassociative names for them like "bacon", "chop" or "steak". Or "haggis", for that matter. Anyway, here's where things get all educational, as well as edible. Imagine a mashed potato mould for the human body that comes in two halves. Fill the bottom half with mashed potato, then insert small chunks of offal in their correct anatomical positions. Slivers of liver about the midrift, two little chunks of kidney in the appropriate locations - maybe even a nugget of lamb's heart in the upper right portion of the chest cavity. Gravy vein structures might require a little more work, but could also be doable.

Plonk the second half of the mashed-potato mould over the first, and serve a steaming-hot virtual cadaver to your kids. Now that I've set it down in black and white, the educational value of this idea is kind of outweighed by the "my kid's going to turn into Hannibal Lecter" factor. "I ate his liver with a vintage Ribena and some Heinz Baked beans..."

Maybe I should have stuck with the potato monsters. At least they would have been more easily baked.

lostdog, Dec 05 2003

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       Giving kids the impression that people are full of mashed potatoes ... priceless   

       I was invisioning a package of kid-geared food wrapped in a body of something resembling an animal ... little Jimmy gets to find out what REALLY makes a duck, or penguin tick ... which to his suprise would be nuggets, corn, and a brownie desert square.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 05 2003
  

       This was inspired by your Monster Mash idea, LBAF. Playing Rampage was a formative experience of my younger years...
lostdog, Dec 05 2003
  

       Thanks, lostdog ... glad I could be of some service.   

       I just need to formulate some ideas that bring to life Clavin and Hobbes ...
Letsbuildafort, Dec 05 2003
  

       //ubiquitous fish-finger (how do they ever survive in the wild? Sure, the coating of breadcrumbs would keep them warm in the freezing depths of the ocean//   

       Didn't they teach you in school that fish fingers are mined at the bottom of the ocean? When, in the course of natural evolution, monkeys spread into the sea they first were sea-monkeys. However, round fingers are no good for swimming so they made them flatter and squarer to fit together without gap. That wasn't good enough still , so they dumped the fingers altogether and grew fins. "Fish fingers", what a hoax, it's prehistoric monkey fingers they eat. The "bread crumbs" grew later and are actually some kind of sponge. That's why they soak up so much grease.
kbecker, Dec 05 2003
  

       Did they all "dump the fingers" at the same time? Does that mean there's rich seam of fishfingers waiting to be mined somewhere beneath the ocean? No wonder Captain Birdseye was such a cheery bloke.
lostdog, Dec 05 2003
  

       The Santa Claus of pre-processed fish-based products. Without such a demanding schedule.
lostdog, Dec 05 2003
  

       [lost] I'm no expert in fish fingers, but the reaction could have been triggered by threat of a catastrophic event, like a meteorite approaching earth. They wanted to get out of the way real fast.
kbecker, Dec 05 2003
  

       A bit like Walt Disney's head, then. They all wanted to be flash frozen in order to preserve themselves to live on in some future time - little did they know that Captain BirdsEye would defrost one and find that they were damned tasty. This lost species has found itself on our dining tables ever since. (Doesn't bode well for Mr. Disney and all his cryogenic cohorts).
Defrosted delluded millionare's brain, anyone? I have toast - we can make soldiers and dip...
lostdog, Dec 05 2003
  

       Mom: You can't leave the table until you eat your parietal lobe!   

       Kid: But I don't like it!   

       Mom: Well you could at least finish your cranial nerves...
Overpanic, Dec 05 2003
  

       How else can you serve monkey brains to your kids and expect them to stomach it?
lostdog, Dec 06 2003
  

       Coat it in sugar?
Overpanic, Dec 07 2003
  

       Evolution: Fish give fingers, we give fishbones.
Not on this idea, though. *Munches prime rib of celery*
thumbwax, Dec 07 2003
  

       Are you suggesting the possibility of concentration camps for fish, [UB]? ... I always thought Van De Camp looked like a fish nazi type
Letsbuildafort, Dec 08 2003
  
      
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