Hank: (emerging from studying for his English test) What is this amazing smell?
Me: Moussaka! It’s Greek.
Pai: Apparently it’s like Greek empadão.
Me: And empadão is like Portuguese shepherd’s pie.
Hank: Just promise me there is no zucchini.
Me: I promise you there is no zucchini.
Hank: Then what is this part.
Hank: What is eggplant again?
Pai: Berinjela (eggplant).
Me: (war weary eye-roll from the years and years it took Hank eat anything) Listen, I too have never had moussaka, but I’m going to dive in. If you like the smell you’re going to like the taste.
Hank: Oh, I am going to try it. I don’t want to be disrespectful. I know I have eaten eggplant in soups and sauces and stuff I’m just (takes a bite and chews).
Me: (holding my breath)
Pai: This is good.
Hank: This is good, but the eggplant is not my favorite.
Me: (exhausted last ditch effort) The whole dish tastes of eggplant. There is no avoiding the flavor of eggplant.
Hank: I love the flavor of the eggplant, but it’s well… (choosing his words carefully) I am going to have to put eggplant in the mushroom category.
Pai: What does that mean?
Me: (surrender) It means it is a texture thing. Like mushrooms if made in certain ways he will enjoy it but this way…
Hank: It is gummy and I hate it in my mouth and it makes me want to vomit. The flavor is great but no, just no. But mom, I love the filling.
Me: And I love the eggplant so let’s swap.
Hank: This is why you’re my best mom.
Me: (deep exhausted sigh paired with a smile)
Molly: Hey, wats that? (pointing to her plate)
Me: (dividing my filling and Hank’s eggplant between the two of us) ROUND TWO!
Pai: It’s called moussaka.
Molly: (dramatic surprise) It’s minhocas (worms)?
Me: (cough to cover up my laughter)
Pai: No Amália, it’s like empadão. It’s very good.
Molly: No pai, loooooook. Look! It’s minhocas (worms)! Tem muitos minhocas (It has a lot of worms)!
Pai: That is eggplant, filha (daughter). Provar (try it).
Molly: (super suspect)