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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beets 227

Because of our blood orange success, I was convinced that gore was the way to go when introducing bright red fruits and vegetables. I was wrong. I highly, highly recommend that you don’t offer new foods by saying this: “hey kids, we’re doing a mystery food tonight and it’s going to be bloody!”

The beets were rejected pretty quickly. Sam and Emma liked them for a tenth of a nanosecond before deciding that beets were horrible. Talk of garbage came up a few times, which I understand. Beets have a certain earthy quality; getting accustomed to them can take a while.. I’m not down and out on beets yet though… they have potential. Next time I’ll try to spruce them up with a little blood orange juice. We’ll see what happens….

ME: Hey what is this?

SAM: It’s not bloody.

LAUREN: I would guess that it’s reddish black on the inside.

ME: But what is the name of this?

LAUREN: Blood orange?

ME: It’s not blood orange.

EMMA: It looks like a little bit like juice.

ME: A little bit right, it’s really dark red like your red juice.  It’s like solid juice. Like your favorite, like cranberry juice.

EMMA: Yeah, I’ll smell it. (Sniffs) Yummy!

ME: Yummy? Does it smell so good?

EMMA: Yeah.

ME: What does it smell like?

EMMA: I want to eat it.

ME: Well let’s give everyone a chance to smell it first. Sam, what does it smell like?

SAM: Garbage.

ME: What do you think it smells like?

LAUREN: Yummy!

ME: OK, so two yummies and a garbage.

EMMA: I want to eat it!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There may or may not have been talk about Asian pear tasting like raw potatoes. But strangely enough it wasn’t a deal breaker. Personally Asian pears aren’t my favorite variety. They’re a little hard, a little woody. Like biting into a birch tree. I like my pears to be on the softer side, the kind of fruit that gives with gentle pressure like a perfect summer peach. But despite my own leanings, the kids loved it.

ME: Guys, the mystery food that we’re doing today is called….

EMMA: What’s that mommy?

ME: This is our mystery food.

EMMA: Yew, I don’t like that.

LAUREN: Emma, don’t say that.

ME: Called….

LAUREN: Pear?

ME: Yeah, what kind of pear?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: What?

SAM: A leech pear!

ME: A leech pear? No. It’s called an Asian pear. It’s from Asia. Kind of like persimmon but different. Let’s smell it first. Let’s see if it smells like a regular pear. What do you think?

SAM: No. It smells like flowers.

ME: Flowers?

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Satsuma

Satsuma oranges were all the rage in our house around Christmas when we were going overboard on all things citrus, from tangerines to mandarin oranges. And Satsuma oranges might just be the prettiest of the bunch with their beautiful green stems. It beats me why we waited so long to try them as part of our challenge, but I’m glad that we finally did. We didn’t get any earth-shattering reactions from the kids, but still a fun fruit to explore.

ME: What is this called?

LAUREN: An orange!

ME: Yeah, but it’s a special kind of orange. Have you ever seen an orange with the leaves still attached? See? The leaves are still attached.

EMMA: It looks like cranberry juice.

ME: We did an orange a long time ago.

LAUREN: But it was much bigger.

ME: Yeah, it was bigger and it kind of had a funny shape didn’t it?

LAUREN: Yeah. The ugly orange.

ME: Lauren you have such a good memory.

EMMA: It’s kind of like orange juice.

ME: OK, so be careful, I don’t want you guys to poke yourselves with the stem. These are special oranges and you find them in the grocery store with the stems attached. I don’t know why they still have the stems attached, but let’s see what it looks like on the inside.

(cutting)

LAUREN: It kind of looks like a clementine.

ME: It does look like a clementine. Smell it.

LAUREN: It smells a little different when it’s open. This smells a little lighter and clementines smell a little darker.

ME: What does it taste like?

LAUREN: It tastes like kind of sour, and kind of sweet. A little more sour and sweeter than a real orange.  Because it can’t taste the same.

SAM: It tastes like sweet potatoes.

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