guava 080

For some reason it feels weird to be eating guava at this time of year. It seems like summer food, more appropriate for the warmer months; maybe even December or March when people start to jet off to the Caribbean and I need to quell my seething jealousy. But we spied a guava at the grocery store and thought why not. Live dangerously. 

ME: What is this called?

LAUREN: A lemon?

ME: No, not a lemon. What does it feel like?

SAM: It feels like a disgusting banana.

ME: OK, somebody’s a comedian today. What does it feel like?

LAUREN: Well it feels like….

SAM: A banana! (laughing)

LAUREN: It feels kind of rough….and kind of smooth.

EMMA: A banana!

ME: Did you smell it yet?

LAUREN: It smells like salad. Well actually it smells like salad dressing.

ME: Emma wants to smell it.

EMMA: Smells like banana!

ME: What do you think it’s going to look like on the inside?

LAUREN: Well, I think it’s going to look pinkish yellow.

ME: Did you see it?


ME: Well you guessed it!


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dried apricots 076

We got a little off topic this week. What started out as an exploration of dried apricots turned to “holy crap, raisins are really grapes?” I don’t know if this fact makes raisins more appealing or less appealing to them. On the one hand, grapes are one of the kids’ favorite fruits, but on the other, raisins are a dried and shriveled version of their former selves. So we haven’t really gotten into raisins as a family.

But in any case, apricots have potential. Which is fantastic because you can keep them in your cupboards for months on end. They also travel well, no smushing, no bruising. And they’re fabulous in Moroccan food, which one day I’ll get my kids into…Dare to dream, dare to dream…

ME: What is this called?

LAUREN: I forgot what it’s called.

ME: OK, anyone else? Emma’s already eating it!

ME: These are called dried….dried what? Dried apricots right?

ME: What do they feel like in your hand?

LAUREN: Dry and rough.

ME: What about the inside, what does it look like?

SAM: Orange!

ME: And smell it, what does it smell like?

EMMA: I’m going to smell it too.

LAUREN: It smells like salad.

ME: You can’t say that, you say that about everything these days. Give me a good description.

SAM: I don’t like mine.

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Chinese lychee 036

I bought a 2-lb bag of these Chinese lychee off a fruit vendor on the street. When I’d asked him what they were, he responded that they were lychee nuts. I told him that they look nothing like the lychee that I’ve eaten before, but he said “Chinese lychee!” New York charm at its finest.

After eating a bunch of these, I finally decided to Google them, and they’re tough to find, even online. It’s clear why they’re less popular – they’re not nearly as sweet and juicy as their red counterparts. But the kids enjoyed peeling them and ate a few, so all in all, a reasonable success. But if I’m buying lychee again, it won’t be these ones.

ME: What are these called?

LAUREN: Lychee nuts!

ME: What do they look like?

LAUREN: They kind of look like a tiny basketball.

ME: Sam, what do you think?

SAM: It looks like a stretchy thing.

LAUREN: A stretchy ball?

LAUREN: Oh, my God, is there a nut in it?

ME: Yes, but you’re not allergic.

LAUREN: Can I lick it?


LAUREN: Ew, I don’t like it.

EMMA: I like it!

ME: They’re kind of similar to the guineps.

LAUREN: Yeah, they are.

LAUREN: This tastes like an olive a little.

SAM: Actually when I lick it….

EMMA: (Crying)

ME: What happened? Did you bite it?

EMMA: (crying) Yeaaaaah.

ME: Did you hurt your tooth?

EMMA: (crying) Yeaaaaah.

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blood oranges 038

Boo! It’s Halloween. And we actually get to celebrate Halloween this year, unlike last year. For this week’s challenge, the kids were overjoyed to discover that there is actually a fruit called the blood orange. How creepy, and perfectly fitting for this spookiest of weeks. Sam was the most excited by the blood orange, staying at the table long after the others disappeared, talking about blood and brains and other unmentionables.

It was all pretty nauseating, and not the discussion you want to have when you’re eating. But the good news is that despite the off color conversation, the kids loved the blood orange. As do I, good thing we’re heading into its prime season soon…

JESSICA: What does it look like on the outside?

LAUREN: It looks like a real orange….

JESSICA: Hold on, does it look like a real orange?

LAUREN: Well, it’s a little redder.

JESSICA: What’s it going to look like on the inside?

LAUREN: It’s going to look red. Like real blood. And it would look like a vampire’s whole face who’s bleeding because he’s sucking blood.

JESSICA: That’s an excellent description. Sam what do you think it’s going to look like on the inside?

SAM: It’s going to look like fire and then the police will water it out.

JESSICA: Well, let’s take a look (cutting).

LAUREN: I knew it!

JESSICA: What does it look like Emma?

EMMA: Good. It looks like a cookie!

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romanesco 064

You think I would have learned my lesson with bitter melon, but here I went again this week, serving the kids a raw vegetable that arguably tastes better cooked. We spent the majority of Spring and Summer eating raw fruits and vegetables, so maybe I just got a little too comfortable . And lazy. But it has to end, because I can’t justify serving them raw Kabocha or parsnips. And the last thing that I want to do is turn them off a wide set of veggies because of user error.

Like this gorgrous Romanesco, which, truth be told, doesn’t have the most pleasant smell or taste when eaten raw. Cooked, another story. Stay tuned on Monday when I’ll show you how I’ve been prepping my Romesco this week. 

ME: Today, our mystery food is called……..Romanesco!

LAUREN: Ooooh.

ME: What does it look like?

SAM: It looks like a tree.

ME: It does!

LAUREN: It kind of looks like a little tree that has flowers. And it, like, feels kind of like broccoliish – like kind of smooth and hard. Because at the top it’s kind of smooth, but at the bottom it’s hard. And it really looks like plants are growing out the bottom.

ME: What a wonderful description, so many descriptions. Emma, what about you?

EMMA: It looks like a tree. It fell down in my bowl!

LAUREN: But why did she copy me?

ME: Because she probably liked your description so much and she wanted to copy you. OK, now it’s time to smell it.

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