We did it! We reached the end of our 52-week challenge. And since we’ve had way too much fun with it, we’re heading into another year of new foods. 

But before we get there, here’s a snapshot of this week’s food: clementines.

With clementines, we’ve now covered nearly all things orange, and my informal survey says that most are winners. Except for the ugli fruit which was visually unappealing, but tasted great.

So here we go…

ME: The mystery food that I have tonight is….

LAUREN: Couple seed? Couple pit?

ME: Couple seed?

EMMA: It tastes like orange. It tastes like juice.

ME: It’s an orange but it’s a special kind of orange.

SAM: Gravy?

ME: No. Have you ever heard of the name tangerine? You have (Lauren)? And you have (Sam)? And you have (Emma)? (All three nod) Where have you guys heard about it?

LAUREN: School.

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

LAUREN: Reddish pink? 

ME: Nope, smell it.

EMMA: It looks like orange!

SAM: It smells like a butterfly.

LAUREN: It’s the freshest smell in the world.

EMMA: Mmmm….it smells like garbage.

ME: No, we’re not saying that anymore. I don’t think the fruits like it when we say that. I’m going to take the seeds out and then you can try it. Whoa, this is the juiciest thing I’ve ever seen.

LAUREN: Can I try it first?

ME: OK, one for Lauren. This one’s for Sam. Let me get you some napkins because it’s really juicy. What do you think Lauren?


ME: Just good or amazing.

LAUREN: Yeah, amazing!

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Purple sweet potatoes

According to the kids, purple sweet potatoes taste just like spaghetti squash. I disagree. While they’re both sweet, they couldn’t be more different in texture. We settled into our familiar pattern: Emma loved it, Lauren tolerated it with a smile on her face, and Sam was completely disinterested. I actually prefer these sweet potatoes to the traditional garnet yams which are a little too cloying. If you haven’t branched out and tried different varieties of sweet potatoes, now’s the time.

ME: OK, so we’re going to try something that looks like this….

LAUREN: Potato!

ME: It’s actually not a potato. Well it’s not a regular potato. OK, it’s starting to drip everywhere!

ME: What does it look like?

LAUREN: Well bigger than a regular potato. And it’s purple.

ME: What color is it going to be on the inside?

ME: Pinkish yellow.

SAM: Green.

ME: It’s purple. I’m going to give each of you a little spoon of it.  Emma, you’re first because you’re a really good taster. What do you think?

LAUREN: It tastes like noodles.

EMMA: I really like it, it tastes like doodle soup.

ME: Like noodle soup? Yeah, it kind of has a starchy flavor doesn’t it.

LAUREN: It tastes like the potato noodles.

ME: What are those?

LAUREN: Remember when you scooped the noodles out?

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Yellow Wax Beans

Mikey’s back. I’m sure you’re relieved. She/He/She was digging into the yellow wax beans like it was her final supper. But the star of the show was Lauren who held up her end of the conversation, asking all kinds of questions about our latest vegetable. Too bad she didn’t like them in the end…

ME: We’ve got a mystery food!

LAUREN: (sings “Let it go” from Frozen)

ME: What are these?

LAUREN: Brussels sprout thingies?

ME: Nope, they’re not Brussels Sprouts.

LAUREN: French Fries.

ME: They’re not that either. They look a bit like them though don’t they.

LAUREN: Uh, baby potato.

ME: OK, you get one, and you get one.

LAUREN: String beans!

ME: Yeah, how did you know? That was awesome that you knew that because they don’t look like string beans with their color. Was  it the smell? What tipped you off?

LAUREN: Well I was like “Oh, there’s this, I know a string bean has that.”

ME: And there’s a long seam along the side right?

LAUREN: Right…so that must be a string bean.

ME: That was good deductive reasoning. So did you try it?

LAUREN: I did.

ME: So does it taste like a regular bean?

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kiwi 229

Mikey where are you? MIKEY!!

If you read last week’s post, you’ll understand the significance of Mikey and why he’s so important to our mystery food challenge. Mikey was not here with us this week. Mikey was not interested at all in our new food. Not even after I told her that she could chase the tiny little monster seeds and eat them. She had Cookie Doodle on the brain and once that happens, attention is a thing of the past.

It’s not like I was encouraging them to try radishes or beets, we’re talking kiwi here. Kiwi is one of my favorite fruits. As a kid I used to swipe every last piece from a buffet table’s fruit platter; my tongue would be raw for two days. How my kids don’t like kiwi is beyond me…

ME: Guys what’s this called?

SAM: Banana!

ME: It’s not a banana.

SAM: Spaghetti and meatballs!

ME: It’s not a banana. It’s not spaghetti and meatballs.

SAM: An orange!

ME: It’s not an orange. Why don’t we let Emma answer.

EMMA: It looks like a little bit of juice.

ME: Cool, Lauren what is this?

LAUREN: I forgot what it is.

ME: Does it start with a K?

LAUREN: Kiche?

ME: No, it’s not quiche.

ME: It’s called….

SAM: Kiwi!

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butternut 228

It’s hard for me to admit this, but my kids hate squash. Their only real experience is with butternut, which is probably the least offensive, the  least squashiest of all squash. The word squash is starting to look weird.

I figured if a gateway squash exists, spaghetti squash would be it. Cook it, separate it into strands, and all of a sudden you have something that resembles noodles.

We had one taker. Emma is turning out to be the Mikey of our family. Those of you who grew up in the 80s will remember Mikey. He pimped Life cereal for years. “Let Mikey try it…” Mikey was the youngest, about Emma’s age. These days, Mikey’s probably sporting gray facial hair and a combover, but I respect the guy. He was the kid with a perfect appetite, the kid who would try anything. It took Emma some time to get comfortable with spaghetti squash, but once she did, she channeled her best Mikey. All of a sudden, she was the kid who ate everything.

ME: OK guys, spaghetti squash. Emma I’m going to give you a little bit. Lauren don’t try it yet, I want you to smell it and do all of that first.

EMMA: Eeeewwww….

ME: We don’t say ew in this house. Remember?

EMMA: Ack!

ME: We don’t say ack either.

EMMA: I don’t like it.

ME: I don’t like it is the same thing. We can’t say these things. What does it look like? (I sample a bite).

LAUREN: Hey no fair, you get to eat it before us!

ME: That’s because I’ve had it before.

EMMA: It looks like a banana.

ME: How come?

EMMA: Because it looks like a flower.

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