rambutan 002

Similar to a lychee nut, a rambutan is a pod-shaped fruit that opens to translucent or whitish flesh.  The main difference between a rambutan and a lychee is the fruit’s exterior, which is covered in wiry little bristles.  Apparently the name rambutan is derived from the Malay word rambut, which means hairs. To me, it looks a little like Animal from Sesame Street, but without the face. Which, according to Sam, was scary. 

ME: This is called a rambutan. What does it feel like?

LAUREN: It feels wiry. Kind of prickly.

ME: Let’s shake it, does it make a sound?

LAUREN: Well, yeah, it feels a little like balls shaking around in it.

ME: I wonder if it’s going to be hard to cut.

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

LAUREN: A seed! Orange! No, maybe peach!

ME: It looks like a…..lychee!

SAM: It looks like an egg.

ME: Smells a bit like a lychee.

SAM: It smells like a seed.

ME: We’re going to cut it open a little bit.

LAUREN: I think it’s still going to be white.

LAUREN: It’s not my flavor.

SAM: It’s not my flavor.

ME: Sam, you haven’t tried it yet.

SAM: Yeeeaugh.

ME: Again, Sam, you haven’t tried it yet.

SAM: I’m scared of the spikes.


MangosteenWhat can I say about this fruit?  It was practically a religious experience.  It was really that delicious.  Originally from the Moluccas of Indonesia, it’s now grown in South America.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the inside of the fruit – it was somewhat shocking to open it up.  For some reason I expected it to look like passion fruit, but in actuality it looked more like orange segments covered in fluffy white mold.  It was so horrifying I almost didn’t taste it, but I’m glad I did. Because it was insanely delicious. A little like banana, without the smushiness.  If that’s a word, which spell check tells me it’s not. 

ME: What is this?

LAUREN: Mangosteen!

ME: What do you think it looks like?

(No answer)

ME: A mangosteen?

LAUREN: Well the top looks like a flower.

EMMA: A fowers. (flowers)

LAUREN: And the bottom really looks like a flower.

ME: It does, because it came out of a flower. Flowers are the beginning of all fruit.

SAM: This looks like a fire ball.

ME: Is it hot?

LAUREN: Well, you can always imagine with your mind that there’s a big tractor and it has a line, and there’s a fruit on the bottom that’s a bomb.

ME: Interesting. 

ME: If you shake it does it make a sound?

ME: Lauren let Emma shake it.  Emma, what do you say?

EMMA: Tank goo.

ME: What is the sound?

LAUREN: The sound is like….

SAM: Mermaids!

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Cuke-asaurusThis was a total experiment, but I just had to pick it up because I had a hunch my kids would go for a fruit that looked like (and is named after) a dinosaur.  It was so spiky that even after digging around online, I still have no idea how you’re supposed to eat it.  If you go to the Cuke-asaurus website, most of the pictures show it hollowed out as a vehicle for alcoholic drinks and vegetable dips.  Seems like a potential gold mine for the farmers – a $4 vegetable that has very few practical applications.  Or maybe it was a stroke of genius to create something that looks like a dinosaur.  Because the kids are still hounding me to get another one.

ME: Apparently this is called a Cuke-asaurus. Maybe because it looks like a dinosaur cucumber.

SAM: (Gasp)

ME: What do you think it looks like?

LAUREN: A blow up fish and a spiky dinosaur’s body.

ME: Yes. Great description.  What do you think Sam?

SAM: Uh, the dinosaur’s fire.

ME: That’s a really good one too.

ME: What do you think it feels like?

LAUREN: It’s pretty sharp, and it feels like kind of knife-ish.

ME: Ok, now give it to Sam. Sam’s turn.  OK, Sam’s starting to breath fire because you won’t let him touch it. He’s like a real dinosaur.

(Lauren finally passes)

SAM: It feels like, uh, prickly fire.

ME: What do you think it looks like on the inside?

LAUREN: A smooth plate-ish. A smooth circlish thing.

ME: When you shake it does it make a sound?

EMMA: (grabs it) Waaaaah (crying), hurt the finger!!

ME: I know, it has spikes, it hurts when you touch it. 

ME: OK, let me cut it open.  What does it look like?

LAUREN: It looks like a yellow cucumber inside.

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PinItToWinItOK, everyone, now that you have a sense for what we’re doing over here in Challenge land, it’s time for you to step up your game.  The challenge is serious business, it’s not all about salt and mustaches.  No idea what I’m talking about?  Clearly you’re missing some critical blog posts that have the ability to change your life. Until your kids go to college, at which point, I’m of no use to you anymore.

I still get emails from you that you (aghast) still have picky eaters at home and can’t get them to eat dinner.  You’re still making multiple meals.  And you’re still scared to try new foods with your little rascals (I mean angels).  Nonsense.  We’re nixing the bad habits and we’re going to work on this together.  

It’s time for you to join me on the challenge.  You heard me right – the 52-week challenge is now opening its doors for you to participate and tell the rest of the world how fantastically amazing your kids are.  Before you know it, they’ll be even better eaters than you are.  They’ll be ripping open sea urchin shells with their bare hands, and slurping the contents raw while banging their plastic Princess/Buzz Lightyear utensils on the table wanting “more mommy more!” 

OK, we’re getting carried away here.  But I think we’d all be happy if they ate some melon and asked for seconds.  And don’t you want to have a place to brag about it?

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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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