CoconutWhat’s with the strawberry and banana theme?  Maybe the kids were knocking back strawberry banana Pina Coladas on some kind of kids’ night out.  I blame our trip to Jamaica last year.  They clearly snuck out while Rodney and I were sleeping.  I’ve been somewhat nervous to try coconut at home with Lauren because of her nut allergies.  Even though she’s never reacted to it in her blood tests, I don’t trust those results 100%.  But she was fine, which is great because I love to cook with it – baking, curries, granola.  You name it.  We just weren’t psyched to eat it straight from the shell.

ME: “Ok you guys each want a piece of coconut?”

ME: “Here we go, what does it look like?”

SAM: “It looks like strawberry coconut water.”

ME: “I want you to describe something without saying the words strawberry or banana.”

SAM: “Banana.”

ME: “I want you to stretch your brain.  So, so far.  What does it look like? Stretch it out.”

SAM: “A banana.”

ME: “Lauren, what do you think?”

LAUREN: “I think looking at Sam’s it looks like an ice cream cone.  Without the ice cream.”

ME: “What do you think about the color?”

LAUREN: “White!”

ME: “Sam, what about you?”

SAM: “Strawberry–colored.”

ME: “What does it sound like when you knock it on the ground?”

LAUREN: “I think when you rub it, it sounds like bees.”

ME: “Interesting.”

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Look both ways before you cross

Look both ways before you cross

Hi everyone (Goedenavond Nederlander)

We’re starting something new this week.  After realizing that for a blog about family (and of course FOOD!), there aren’t nearly enough pictures of the wine swilling, cross dressing, and good old family fun that happens in our neck of the woods. So this week we’re introducing a new weekly post, “Wordless Wednesday” where we’ll post some snapshots of the week’s activities. And we’ll start to link up with a few of the other fun blogs that are doing their Wordless Wednesday thing too.  Because sharing the love is half the fun.

Just a little love note to her brother

Just a little love note to her brother

"Bad sister" with his partner in crime "Mean sister"

“Bad sister” with his partner in crime “Mean sister”

What can I start for you today?

What can I start for you today?

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KalepastaI swore I’d never pick up a bunch of kale or chard again after my summer battle with a CSA box.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the weekly box, but it nearly cost me my sanity.

Let me explain.  I was pregnant for the third time the summer of 2011.  Maybe I felt that between the job, two kids, and a husband who likes to leave his dirty socks and towels on the floor I needed a little more work.  So I ordered a CSA box. No clue what that is?  Click here.

“Lovely”, “Fresh veggies!”, “All summer long!”….you may think all of these things, and you would be severely misled.  The people who can handle the  onslaught of a CSA box for 22 straight weeks either have 1) an army of angry vegan men at home who demand a sustainably-grown dinner every night, 2) several hours (times ten) of free time to lovingly wash, prep, store and cook a large box of dirt-caked vegetables every week, or 3) an insane desire to make truckloads of vegetarian lasagna.

I was shoehorned into the third category, but not by choice.  It was the only meal I could make on a mass-produced scale to use up the mountain of chard and kale that landed on my doorstep every Tuesday.  It was like whack-a-mole meets Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Before I start to sound ungrateful, let me concede that it was one of the more satisfying projects I’ve ever undertaken in the kitchen.  But I was totally overwhelmed.  Maybe it was that I was too accustomed to Whole Foods sanitizing my veggies with a firehose before they land on the shelves.  Or that I just had too much going on at work.  Or that I GAVE BIRTH that summer and could have used a little less time on my feet.  Like someone who pigs out on pizza and can never hear the word again, I thought my relationship with kale was forever doomed.


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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.”



One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging is the analytics.  Sure, the days with low traffic are no picnic, but looking through the data can yield fascinating insights. Like the fact that somehow a small pocket of people in the Netherlands really like my blog. You would think that my Canadian relatives would be responsible for the large majority of my non-US site visits, but nope, not them.  Apparently in the Netherlands they dig fried BLTs…or see the humor in Tim Ferriss…or have a sick and twisted desire to read about a mother feeding her unsuspecting children radishes.

So hats off to my Dutch peeps.  Goedemorgen! Ik spreak een kline betje Netherlands. 

Actually, I just swiped that phrase from the Internet, but I promise to learn a little bit more of the language to keep you coming back for more good times. Because, truthfully, I’m worried that someday I may offend your Northern European sensibilities with some little-known facts.  A few for consideration:

1. I’m only 5’2”, so much smaller than my husband that he fondly refers to me as his “pocket wife”.  However, do not let my small stature turn you off.  I enjoy the company of large people!  I married a man who is 6’6” and who gave me three giant children, one of whom is a 20-month old blonde baby girl who wears a size 8 shoe.  You would love her, she would mix seamlessly with the other children in your Dutch playgrounds. 

2. The only Dutch food I’ve eaten in the US was at the restaurant “The Dutch” in NYC, which is in fact, not Dutch at all.

3. I don’t root for your speed skaters in the Winter Olympics because they win everything and let’s give the other countries a chance for crying out loud.

Good, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I feel better, don’t you?

Hopefully you’re not feeling angry, shocked, or completely let down.  Like when you heard the truth about Lance Armstrong, but worse.  If you do feel that way, I have the perfect antidote.


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