My youngest has always been a decisive eater. That is, he makes decisions about what he likes and doesn’t, and he sticks to them – pretty much forever. These decisions seem to have little to do with whether or not he actually enjoys the food. They do seem to be related to what gains him attention or distinction. This is a boy who has spent half his very short life determined to not let a potato cross his lips. And yet he prides himself on the look he gets from just about everyone when he asks for peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches.

Over the last few months, he’s been searching for the penultimate condiment. He started with salt, which he used to apply in quantities previously only used to preserve food for the winter. This used to annoy his mother greatly, but apparently she’s stopped being annoyed as he’s stopped using salt. Now he’s into spicy. This works out well in my house as I have a fair assortment of things to experiment with, and he’s been trying them all.

So last night we had cheeseburgers, and he was lamenting that there was no spicy food for dinner. Of course he stopped to point out for the 150th time that he supposed his older brother was grateful as he can’t handle any food spicier than a Cool Ranch Dorito. Jab, Twist, Pull – Repeat. So I suggested that the great thing about burgers is that you can put anything on them, even spicy sauces. His eyes lit up. I suggested the Wango Tango sauce which he’s been rather fond of. But while foraging in the fridge, he comes out with that as well as the Frank’s Red Hot. I say that he might want to try it on just a little so he doesn’t wind up with a whole burger he won’t eat – and he does. And decides he like the Red Hot. So he proceeds to soak the meat with Red Hot, but complains that the sauce is too thin. I explain that it’s supposed to be that way. However, he apparently thinks it’s just not right. So he flips the sandwich and coats the other side in Wango Tango habanaro pepper sauce. Me, I checked to make sure there was plenty of milk in the fridge. But damned if he didn’t eat the thing. Didn’t even break a sweat or anything.

I’m beginning to wonder if his taste buds even function…

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