Abate_fetel_pears_FeedMeDearly

I found these Abate Fetel Pears at Whole Foods and wanted to give them a try. The name alone makes it sample-worthy, but it has the most beautiful green and blush pink color. I usually like to buy locally-grown produce, and these ones are from imported from Italy, but I had a feeling that the kids would love this week’s investigation. And in the process, I’ve found my new favorite pear. If you can find this variety, make sure to give it a try – it’s juicy and really flavorful. 

ME: OK, do you know what the mystery food is?

LAUREN: I want to see it! [gasp] Oh yeah! I really wanted to try that one.

ME: Look how pretty it is.

LAUREN: It’s so pretty. Can I hold it?

ME: Yeah. It’s kind of like pink on one side…

LAUREN: Yeah! It feels weird too.

ME: Yeah, it feels a little gritty doesn’t it?

ME: Well, that’s why we touch things and explore things, right?

LAUREN: It feels like it’s been rolled in dirt.

ME: [laughing] Rolled in dirt – that’s a funny one.

EMMA: Ooo…

ME:  Can I have it, Emma?

LAUREN: Can I feel it again? It feels kind of cool.

ME: Yeah, you can feel it one more time.

SAM: UGH.  Yuck.
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rutabaga_FeedMeDearlyI don’t buy rutabaga often…wait, let me flip through my mental files….I don’t think I’ve ever bought it. Doesn’t the name imply the over-boiled vegetables that your Scottish grandmother might have forced you to eat as a child? The funny thing that we discovered about rutabaga is that it does in fact smell (and taste) a little like broccoli. And as I’ve found out over the last few days, it makes for the best mashers (add a little brown butter)…which leads to the best Shepherd’s pie. Which, if you ignore the vast amounts of butter and cream required to get you to the finish line, feels a little healthier than your standard white spuds. So for what it’s worth, I recommend giving rutabaga a try. If only to brag to your friends that your kids were eating it the night before.

ME: OK, hold on. Wait. This is the mystery food! What is this called?

LAUREN: Squash?

EMMA: CHEESE!

ME: It looks like cheese, doesn’t it?

LAUREN: Yellow squash?  

ME: Yeah, it looks exactly like yellow squash, but it’snot.

LAUREN: Yellow melon?!

ME: Nope. What do you think it is, Sam?

SAM: Nothing.

ME: It’s not nothing. Do you want to smell it first? Who wants to smell it?

LAUREN: Smells like broccoli.
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 yams_FeedMeDearlySweet potatoes, yams, aren’t they all the same thing? In fact they’re not, with yams being starchier and drier than the orange-fleshed tubers that we’re used to seeing in the stores. And while sweet potatoes are delicious, sometimes I find them to be cloyingly sweet. Yams are a little more my speed; the kids’ reaction? Even sliced and baked into something that resembles a potato chip, yams held little appeal. One day they’ll come around… 

ME:  OK, guys. We’re trying a new mystery food.

SAM: Potato chips?

ME: It kind of looks like a potato chip, doesn’t it? But it’s actually not a potato chip.

SAM: What is it?!

ME: I’ll give you one. It’s a yam, like a sweet potato…but it’s white. Isn’t that interesting?

EMMA: I’m not going to have it!

ME: You don’t have to have it. You want to try it Lauren?

LAUREN: Mmm…

ME: You like it?! It’s good, right?

LAUREN: Kind of.

ME: Who else wants to try?

LAUREN: Um, why are they so hard.
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green_cabbage_picky_eater_picky_eating_kids_FeedMeDearly

Our experiment with green cabbage serves to illustrate an important point when you’re dealing with kids: they’re fickle. Mark my words (in fact, look them up on the site, they’re there for all eternity), the kids liked red cabbage. Loved it. Inhaled it. Which led me to believe that they’d likewise inhale green cabbage. And although Sam was a taker, this gorgeous veg wasn’t received well across the board. But even if I have one victory, it’s a major victory…

ME: Who knows what this is?

SAM: Cabbage.

IN UNISON: Green Cabbage.

SAM: It looks like cheese inside…

ME: Green Cabbage. That’s right. OK. Do you think it’s going to taste the same or different as red cabbage?

SAM: The same.

LAUREN: Different.

EMMA: Different.

ME: Yeah? OK. Let me give you each a piece. You think you’re going to like it? Because you guys love red cabbage right?

ME:  You love Red Cabbage right?

(silence)

ME: OK, maybe loved is the operative word.

EMMA: I want one of that cabbage.

ME: So, do you want a crunchy piece from the inside or a softer, greener piece?

EMMA: Crunchy.

LAUREN: I want a crunchy piece.

ME: And then you can compare it to the softer piece on the outside.

SAM: UMM…I’ll try it.

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 acorn_squash_FeedMeDearly

A couple of things went wrong with this experiment. Clearly I haven’t learned my lesson about trying new foods when the kids are cranky and hungry. A worse mistake was to serve the squash alongside their favorite chicken dish. But then we started talking about “flesh”…human flesh (?)…and the jig was up. Better luck next time…

ME: Who knows what this is?

LAUREN: Squash.

ME: Yeah, it’s squash. What kind?

LAUREN: I don’t know what kind but… is it yellow?

ME: No it’s not Yellow Squash.

EMMA: GREEN SQUASH!

ME: No, it’s got a name… It’s got a special name like the fruit of a tree you know. What do Oak trees drop in our backyard at the lake?

ALL: (silence)

ME: What do the bears eat?

SAM: Acorns?

ME: Yep! This is Acorn Squash.

SAM: EWW. It’s made with acorns!

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