PomeloThe pomelo is a citrus fruit, not unlike grapefruit, tart and juicy.  You may be surprised when you peel it though- the pith is insanely thick.  So thick that despite the kids scarfing it down, I don’t know if I’ll try it again.  Too much work.

ME: “Alright guys, what is this thing?”

SAM: “A big chunky bammy.”

LAUREN: “A pommie?”

ME: “No, a po-me-lo!  Feet off the counter please.”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

ME: “You guys really know how to scratch your citrus.”

LAUREN: “It smells like apple to me.”

SAM: “Wheeeouw, a pomegram!”

LAUREN: “Scratch it really well until you feel it scratching.”

SAM: “It smells like a pomegram.”

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

LAUREN: “I think it’s going to look like a sunset color.  Like orange and yellow like fire. And you mix them together and you get a sunset.”

ME: “Want to see what it’s going to look like inside?  Here we go!”

LAUREN: “Well I think it’s going to look like just really yellow or red.”

ME: “So, let’s see, I think I need a smaller knife.  Man there is a lot of rind in this thing.”

LAUREN: “Oh, some of it is a sunset color!”

SAM: “Woohoo, up into the sky!”

ME: “Who’s ready for a slice?”

SAM: “Reddish orange, wowsy dowsy.”

LAUREN: “I bet it’s in the orange family.”

SAM: “I lifted it up!”

EMMA: “Uh, nummy?”

LAUREN: “Yum, it really does taste like orange.”

LAUREN: “I ate my whole thing, I love it.  Can I have more?”

EMMA: “More please.”


RadishesI don’t know, maybe the kids were misbehaving or something.  Because radishes are kind of like punishment for a kid, not a fun vegetable to try together.  Maybe I was thinking that I’d find out that all of my kids really like spicy food and I could start making them blazing hot Thai curries for dinner rather than the plainer meals I tend to make.  However, it did end up being one of our more engaging mystery food challenges, until it wrapped up quickly at the end.

ME: “What does it look like?”

LAUREN: “I think it looks like…”

SAM: “A tomato.”

LAUREN: “A little tomato.”

SAM: “It looks like a small and smaller potato.”

ME: “What does it feel like?”

LAUREN: “Well it’s kind of smooth.”

ME: “What do you think like Sam?”

SAM: “Ya ya ya ya.”

ME: “Emma, what do you think?”

EMMA: “Mooth (smooth).”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

SAM: “Yuck.”

LAUREN: “I think it smells a little bit like apples.”

ME: “Cool.  Do you want me to cut into it so that I can show you the inside?”

LAUREN: “Not mine.”

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I just learned that I’ve been pronouncing jicama the wrong way my whole life.  It’s not a short “i”, like “hit”, but a more pronounced “ee”.  And now I can’t stop thinking about the Ricola ads with someone yelling from a mountaintop “Hee-ca-maaaa”.  But cough drops aside, jicama has high kid appeal.  I have no idea why we don’t use it more, except for the fact that it can be a little challenging to track down.  It’s sweeter than most vegetables, with a subtle apple-like flavor.  You can cut it up, put it into baggies and it won’t brown on you like other root veggies (e.g. potatoes).  Not that you’d want to feed your kids raw potatoes. My kids have already accused me of doing that.  But try it out and see how it goes, you just may have found another item to add to the short list of vegetables your kids will actually eat.

LAUREN: “I think it looks like an onion.  And a coconut.”

ME: “OK, why?”

LAUREN: “Because it’s white on the inside.”

ME: “And what about the size?”

LAUREN: “It’s kind of medium.”

ME: “Not big?”

LAUREN: “Not that big.”

SAM: “Yes it is.”

ME: “Sam thinks it’s big, do you disagree?”

LAUREN: “Yeah.  I think watermelon is bigger than jicama.  Cause watermelon WEIGHS more than jicama.  And it looks more bigger than jicama.”

SAM: “But the size of this [points to a lemon] is so small.”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

LAUREN: “Like a fresh morning of spring.  Flowers and a garden.”

SAM: “It smells like a mustache.”

LAUREN: “Well, if you put it under your nose it smells like one.”

SAM: “It smells like a big, big onion.”

ME: “What does it feel like?”

LAUREN: “A little rough like dirt.”

ME: “What about you Sam?”

SAM: “It looks beautiful if I scratch it.”

ME: “What does it taste like?”

LAUREN: “I think it tastes really really sweet.  Like apples.”

EMMA: (Running over from the sidelines) “Wahn smeow it.” (Want to smell it)


AsparagusI bought these bundles of asparagus at the farmers’ market during my photography workshop last weekend.  Like ramps, fiddleheads, and green garlic, they’re the ultimate harbinger of spring.  I was so excited to bring them home and feed them to the kids. And then I had to overcook them.  Dammit, I hate it when I do that – I should know better and distraction is not an excuse.  But they went over reasonably well, so I can just imagine their potential. 

EMMA: “More please!”

ME: “You haven’t had any yet.”

ME: “OK, let’s do this again: asparagus.  What does it look like?”

LAUREN: “It looks like a really short tree if you cut the stem off.”

SAM: “A tree!”

ME: “Would you like to hold it?”

LAUREN: “It feels like it’s braided.”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

LAUREN: “Nothing.”

ME: “What does it taste like?”

EMMA: “Smelled it!”

LAUREN: “I ate the top of it.”

EMMA: “Candy.”

ME: “Would you guys like a little bit of salt on it?”

EMMA: “More please.”

LAUREN: “Yeah, I totally want some! A little more salt.”

ME: “What do you think?”

SAM: “Don’t like it.”

LAUREN: “I need a lot more salt.”

ME: “Do you know that eating asparagus makes your pee smell funny?”

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ME: “The ends might get woody and tough, you don’t have to eat that part.”

LAUREN: “I love it with a lot of salt.”

SAM: “I tasted the salt!”

[salt spills everywhere]

ME: “OK, that’s why I can’t have the salt near you because Emma will do that.”

EMMA: “More salt!”

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SeabeansOnce in a while the 52-week challenge introduces us to something that none of us have tried.  Like sea beans.  I bought them on impulse when I saw them at the store, having never heard of them, but intrigued by their bright green color.  After doing some quick research I found out that despite their name, they actually don’t come from the sea, but are carried there by freshwater streams. 

ME: “What is this called again?  I can’t remember. “

LAUREN: “Sea beans!”

ME: “What does it look like?”

LAUREN: “It looks like sea plants growing out of the water.”

SAM: “This one looks like a shark.”

SAM: “If you bend it down it looks like a rainbow.”

LAUREN: “A spiky rainbow.”

ME: “If you shake them do they make a noise?”

LAUREN: “It makes a slop-slop.  But if you do it too hard it breaks.”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

LAUREN: “Mine smells like beautiful flowers.”

ME: “Mine smells like salami.”

LAUREN: “That’s because you just ate salami.  You have slimy salami hands.”

ME: “What does it taste like?”

LAUREN: “Hmmmm.”

ME: “I’m going to go for a leaf.  WHOA.  That does NOT taste like I thought it was going to taste.”

LAUREN: “I thought it was going to taste like lettuce but it tastes like plants that have sea salt on them.”

ME: “It tastes like seawater.”

LAUREN: “Don’t eat the bottom, it doesn’t taste very good.”

ME: “So what do you guys think?  Are you into it?”

LAUREN: “Not really.”

SAM: [Spitting it out] “Yuck.”

ME: “I agree.  I do not like that AT all.  Nasty.  Sorry.  Didn’t say that.”

LAUREN: “Right.”