my pinewood derby potluck “hot dish”

— March 01, 2017

We recently had our first adventure with the Boy Scout’s Pinewood Derby Race. I am convinced that the Pinewood Derby is more for the dads than for the kids.

Especially the younger kids. I suppose most teenagers could handle the intricacies needed to build a pinewood derby car.

My 8-year old Wolf? Not so much.

As it were, I myself, had some major design issues that mostly revolved around getting the tires on when the wood was splitting. I probably spent somewhere in the ballpark of $1 million dollars just for the accessories to help save my damaged vehicle when the actual block of wood and parts are around $6. And then I was not even sure if my “saves” were legal since this was our first Derby race. Watching some YouTube videos of how to get the wheels on only confirmed my suspicions that this race is for grown men. There was not one video with a child in it putting a car together. But there were lots of grown men with crazy strategies and super special tools.


My Wolf is not at a point in his life where he could create his own Derby car so I had to step in and work on the body of the car. It did look like he made the car though as my own skills are minimal. I managed to save the damaged wheel areas and then he was able to join in on the process by adding weights, adding color and dragon designs. Ya know, the fun stuff.

Phew! We made it and we at least had a car to bring to “weigh in”. With a minor adjustment, his car was accepted and we moved on to the race.

What a “nail-biter”!

It was a family affair and the Boy Scouts provided a lunch while families brought a potluck hot dish to share. Okay, now we are talking my language, so I spent some time pondering what hot dish I would create. Then it occurred to me that I should bring something that my Wolf would actually eat. I have successfully raised the three pickiest children on the planet.

When I asked him what he would like to eat, he replied, “Goldfish”. I clarified that it needed to be a meal food not junk food, so we settled on chicken straws, which are the long skinny cousin of the chicken nugget. There went my enjoyment in creating a hot dish, but at least there would be something that he would eat and maybe a few other picky eaters would appreciate my “hot dish” addition.

(We are the green car – neck and neck during one of the four races each car participated in…yes!!!)

The Derby Race was a rootin tootin time and we had fun, although we did not take home a trophy, but then we were not totally expecting too since it was our first race. But hey, stranger things have happened and he does have his mother’s imagination so he was able to see himself winning.

I came late to the race since I was in charge of the nappers in my family, who never did sleep during naptime, so we got ready and went to the race. By then, the “eating of the food” part of the event was over and I noticed that our chicken straw hot dish was completely empty. Not one chicken straw left behind! I chuckled over that and figured that there were more picky eaters in the world than my three wee ones.

That or my son was going to have one big belly ache when he got home for eating the whole pan of chicken straws.

The really surprising part over the success of my “hot dish” is that I later found out that the chicken straws went so fast that my son never even ate any because the dish was empty when he got to it. And he was on time to the event. He said I should have sent two packages.

Who knew?

They are tasty little devils though.

Need a hot dish idea? Don’t overlook the chicken straws!