Sunchoke-2Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are creamy tuber-like vegetables, much like a potato.  You can eat them skin on and thinly shaved, or boil and mash them into a purée.  We were at a friend’s house for dinner the other night and they served a beautiful sunchoke soup as a first course, drizzled with truffle oil. It was perfection in a bowl.  Maybe I’ll serve the kids sunchoke soup next time as they weren’t excited about eating them raw.

ME: “What’s this thing called, ever seen it before?”


ME: “What is it Sam?”

SAM: “It looks like a snowball.”

LAUREN: “Yeah, inside.”

ME: “It’s called a sunchoke.  What does it look like on the outside?”

LAUREN: “I think it looks like a stem on the outside.  And like a banana on the inside.  And it looks like it has a bruise.”

ME: “Hmmm.”

ME: “What does it smell like?”

LAUREN: “Potato.”

ME: “Yes- I think it comes out of the ground.”

SAM: “Well my teacher told me that roots come out of the ground.”

LAUREN: “Is it a raw potato?”

ME: “Do you think I’d feed you raw potato?”

LAUREN: [No comment, just a suspicious sideways glance]

ME: “What does it taste like?”

SAM: “Yuck.”

LAUREN: “I think it tastes like banana but it has different ingredients.”

LAUREN: “Can I have more of that yummy cabbage?”



Don’t get me started on red cabbage.  I’m a little obsessed.  Come summertime it’s all about cabbage slaw (recipe soon to come) with all kinds of mix-ins from mango to fennel to green apple.  It’s like an ice cream bar but healthier.  To my shock and surprise, the kids all loved it.  Maybe because it looks so cool with its vivid purple and white coloring. 

LAUREN: “It looks like a snake.  A purple snake.  It looks like a rope and a snake.”

SAM: “It looks like a squiggly line.” (aka “a thquiggwy wine”)

What color is it?

LAUREN: “Purple!  And White!”

What does it smell like?

EMMA: “Pizza.”

LAUREN: “Like beautiful flowers.”

SAM: “It smells like a monster.”

LAUREN: “I think it has a really fresh smell. Like a river with flowers in a valley.”

ME: “I think that’s the best description I’ve ever heard.”

What does it feel like?

LAUREN: “Like leather.”

SAM: “It feels like a monster.”

What does it taste like?

LAUREN: “I love it.”

ME: “I know you love it but what does it taste like.”

SAM: “It tastes like a monster.”


KiwiberriesKiwis are great, but the annoying part is that you have to peel off all of that fuzzy skin with a tiny little knife.  Like lamb chops, it always seems like a lot of work, despite the deliciousness that lies within.  It would be so great if someone figured out how to make a kiwi where you don’t have to peel the skin.  Oh wait – they do – and they’re called kiwi berries.  How brilliant!

ME: “OK guys, here we go, these are called kiwi berries.”

LAUREN: “Oooh, I want to try.”

ME: “They look like kiwis on the inside but you can eat the whole skin.”

LAUREN: “Is the skin easy to peel off?”

What does it look like?”

LAUREN: “It looks like a green apple, but it’s smaller than a green apple.”

What about the inside?

SAM: “Seeds.”

LAUREN: “It looks like the apple seeds with the big center in the middle.”

What does it smell like?

SAM: “It smells like bananas.”

ME: “That’s probably because you just ate a banana.”

LAUREN: “Do we need to take the seeds out?”

What does it taste like?

LAUREN: “You don’t even taste the seeds.”

LAUREN: “Too sweet.”

ME: “Too sweet?  Impossible.”


pea shoots 247Pea shoots are a strange thing.  My kids say they look like “weeds” or “trees” yet eat them with reckless abandon.  I think they were amazed by the fact that although pea shoots may look like weeds, they actually taste like peas.  They’re sweet and crisp, and easy to mix into salads to change up your usual routine.

ME: “So these things are called pea shoots.  Have you guys ever seen these before?”

LAUREN: “It sounds like a rattle when you shake them.”

SAM: “It sounds like a drum.”

What do the leaves look like?

LAUREN: “Like leaves growing out of the ground in the garden.  Like weeds.”

And what do they taste like?”

SAM: “Plants.”

M: “What kind of plants?”

SAM: “Trees.  I love them.”

ME: “You know what they are?  They’re the tiny little shoots of the peas that are starting to grow.  You know what peas are right?”

SAM: “Edamame.”



Husk cherriesI’ve seen these guys go by a number of different names.  I saw them first as husk cherries at the farmers’ market last summer, so that’s how I now refer to them.  But other names include groundcherries and Cape Gooseberries.  They look and feel a little like tomatillos with a papery outer skin that reveals a slightly sticky berry.  I love the flavor- if a cherry tomato, pineapple, and banana were to get busy, this is what you’d end up with.

ME:  “Husk cherries anyone?”

What does it feel like?

LAUREN:  “It looks like there’s a present inside.”

SAM:  “Mine has a meatball.”

ME: “A meatball?”

ME “DON’T EAT IT!  That one’s moldy. Let’s find you another one.”

What does it smell like?”

LAUREN:  “I think it smells like bananas.”

SAM:  “I’m going to roll it like a pizza.”

What does it taste like?

LAUREN:  “I don’t like it.”

ME:  “You haven’t told me why.”

LAUREN:  “I don’t like the seeds.  And it’s too sweet.”

SAM:  “I don’t want to taste it.  I think it’s a ball that can bounce on the ground.”

LAUREN:  “Can we do starfruit again?”

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