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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 purple_tritan_radish_FeedMeDearlyI’ve sung the song before. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. We’ve eaten black radishes, red radishes, pretty radishes, ugly radishes, radishes that look like watermelons and radishes that don’t. And now this – purple Tritan radishes. Up there on the vegetable beauty index with delicata squash and romanesco. These radishes have milder bite than your typical red radishes, which is probably why 2/3 of the kids went for it. As for me, I’m just patting myself on the back for having the persistence to try enough radishes for one of my kids to say, “you know what mom? radishes are great”. 

ME: Guys, who knows what these are?

LAUREN: Cabbage.

ME: No, it’s not cabbage. That’s a good guess though!

EMMA: Onion?

ME: What an amazing guess! But it’s not an onion. Does anyone want to smell one and see if it smells like something that you know?

SAM: Wait! Wait! I think I know what it is.

ME: What is it?

SAM: Um… Is it turnips?

ME: Oh my gosh, Sam! That is an amazing guess! How did you guess that?!

SAM: Um…um… I… I… looked straight at it and I knew.

LAUREN: Is it really turnips?

ME: It’s actually… it’s not turnips, but it looks just like the purple-tinged turnips that I’ve bought before and I don’t think we even tried those yet.

SAM: It’s turnips!

ME: No, they’re not turnips. Smell them – they smell kind of like a vegetable that you’ve tried before.

SAM: Cabbage?

ME: Nope. What do you think, Emma?

EMMA: YUMMY!

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