I’ve been re-reading my copy of Jennifer Tyler Lee’s “The 52 New Foods Challenge” cookbook and finding inspiration from other cooks who’ve created recipes based on her list of 52 new Foods that kids should be trying.
If you haven’t read my post about Jennifer’s book, you learn more about her book here. Like many people at this time of year, I’ve thrown myself into all things seasonal. We’ve been drinking wintry cocktails and using the rolling pin to smash peppermint candy canes to top our hot chocolate. We’ve lugged home a tree, and decorated it with a pound of tinsel. Holidays are a full contact sport in our household. Though I have yet to bake anything since my big Christmas cake effort in November, my food has been holiday-spirited nonetheless.
Pomegranates are one of my kids’ favorite fruits although they’re still getting used to the tiny seeds. I had my own experience with new foods, so I understand their trepidation. You may recall that my stepfather gently encouraged me to eat the rind on my Brie cheese, or else – or so I was told – I would be the laughingstock of all of Paris. I learned to eat rind, our summer visit to France was a success (minus the traffic accidents. Plural.) And I came away with an understanding that foods sometimes require a little warm-up period.
Without any harsh consequences playing on their young, impressionable psyches, my kids are slowly learning to eat their pomegranate seeds without spitting out the, er, seed. They love the flavor, the juice, and the vibrant red streaks that cover their hands and get under their nails. I can’t resist pomegranate seeds either – that color! That flavor, they’re positively luminescent. So, I tend to use them abundantly during the holidays. Like gemstones, pomegranate seeds make everything a little more festive.
After my last read through the “52 New Foods Challenge” cookbook, I was excited about cooking for my kids using a mix of familiar flavors, with a few new ones. My kids are becoming more adventurous with food, and it was high time they were introduced to ingredients like garlic and soy sauce.
The ribs were a hit, and I felt confident that I could push their buttons a little further with a new recipe. Yes, we’d have some familiar foods in the form of pomegranates and steak. But I’d also introduce some new ingredients. New to them, and with one in particular – new*ish to me.