I don’t often cook with mustard greens. Like collards, I often see them in the store and bypass them for the kale and chard. But I love their peppery bite, particularly this beautiful red variety that I found at the farmers’ market. Surprisingly, given its spiciness, the kids were into it.

ME: What is this guys?

LAUREN: Mustard greens.


SAM: Mustard greens?

ME: Yeah.  What does it look like to you? 

SAM: Looks like leaves.

ME: [to Emma] Here.  Ssssh.  Don’t get upset.  Ok.  Guys, we’re not playing tic-tac-toe right now.

LAUREN: You’re X and I’m O.

ME: Ok, we’re going to put those down for a second.  Ok.  Guys, I’m sad that nobody’s listening to the mystery food conversation. Who wants to smell it?


LAUREN: It smells like mustard.

ME: Here, I’m going to smell it with you guys.

EMMA: It’s mustard greens.

ME: Yeah, it is mustard greens.

SAM: One of the leaves is curling up right now.

ME: Sometimes you can break it in half right in front of your nose and you can even smell it better that way.  Watch this…..What does it smell like?

LAUREN: Mustard still.

SAM: This tastes like leaves.

ME: It does taste like a leaf, doesn’t it?

LAUREN: Oh, yeah.  Oh my God it really tastes like —

SAM: I’m only tasting it a little bit.

ME: What do you think?

LAUREN: The inside tastes good.

EMMA: I can’t break it.

SAM: Not bad.

ME: Not bad? 

EMMA: I can’t break it.

ME: Yeah?  You sound surprised by that.  Are you surprised?

LAUREN: It tastes like mustard.

ME: I’m asking Sam if he’s surprised by the fact that he likes it.

SAM: Ummm, yeah.

ME: Did you think you were not going to like it?

SAM: I was tasting the leaf.

ME: Yes, you were.

SAM: Not this part.

ME: That part is called what?  What is this part called?

SAM: The stem.

ME: Yeah.  The stem and the leaf.  Both kind of taste good to me I think.  What do you guys think, should we get this again?

SAM/LAUREN: [nodding yes]

ME: Yeah?  Emma, do you like it?


ME: Here, do you want to try?  It is a little bit spicy, isn’t it?  The stem is actually a little spicy.

SAM: [coughing]

ME: What, spicy?  What’s wrong?

SAM: It got stuck in my throat.

ME: What did?

SAM: The leaf.

ME: Yes.  Two yeses and a no, that’s pretty good.  Ok.  Good job guys.

LAUREN: Let’s play tic-tac-toe, Sam.

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