golden beets_FeedMeDearly

Since I cooked the red beets last time (a mystery food failure), I thought I’d try the kids with golden beets. And this time, I’d be a little more strategic and make them into something that’s a little more familiar…chips. The kids love kale chips, so I figured this wouldn’t be too far removed. Their response was lukewarm – initially positive, then we trended hard and fast to the dreaded no way, no how, never again territory. Fortunately peas came to the rescue.

ME: Hey guys, guess what I made?

LAUREN: Beets.

ME: Yeah.  They’re chips I made with beets.


ME: Do you want to try them?  Because you didn’t love beets last time, but maybe you’ll like beets this time if they’re in a chip form.  So Lauren’s eating the golden beets.

SAM: Me, too.

ME: Yeah, I’m going to have one, too.

[tasting the chips]

ME: What do you guys think?

LAUREN: Yummy.

SAM: Yummy.

ME: Yummy?  No, way! 

SAM: It tastes like real chips.

ME: It tastes like real chips?  Pretty awesome, right?  And, they’re made from beets.  Emma, do you want to try?

LAUREN: I like the red one more (I threw in a few red ones for comparison).

ME: Yeah?  The golden ones are bigger so they’re a little chewier on the inside, but they’re pretty good right?  Would you eat a whole bowl of those?

LAUREN: Of the red ones.

ME: Of the red ones?  Guess how many beets are in this.

SAM: Eleven.
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Once in a while we hit a homerun with our mystery food challenge. And who would have thunk that it would be with a vegetable that I’ve never tried before. I’ve bought kohlrabi on occasion, only to let it wilt and die in the vegetable crisper – it’s one of those vegetables that sent me into a mild panic: do I eat it raw? Should it be cooked? But we’ve been now been eating kohlrabi as part of our regular vegetable rotation, and if you haven’t tried it yet, promise me that you’ll give it a go…

ME: Guys.  What is this called?

LAUREN: Cabbage.

ME: It actually looks like red cabbage, doesn’t it but it’s not.  Do you want to feel it?  Actually, you’ve been touching peanut butter.  Don’t touch it.  Do you want to feel it with like the side of your nose?

SAM:  No.

LAUREN: Ooooh.  It looks like —

ME: Yeah, with the side of your nose.

SAM: OK (feels it with his nose).

ME: Did it feel like cabbage from the side of your nose? Look, Lauren’s feeling it on her nose, too.

LAUREN: It’s a little rough; a little rough and smooth at the same time.

ME: Does it smell like anything?

LAUREN: Yummy. Is it a vegetable?

ME: It is a vegetable.  Do you want to smell it Sam?

LAUREN: Was it in your CSA?

ME: No it wasn’t in my CSA.  I bought it at the store.  It’s called Kohlrabi.  Isn’t that cool?  Have you ever heard that before? 

LAUREN: It’s called Kohlrabi?

SAM: It’s called Cool Rodney?

ME: What do you think it’s going to look like on the inside?

LAUREN: It’s going to be green.

ME: It is green on the inside.  That’s right!

LAUREN: I saw you cutting it.

ME: Oh, you cheated then. 

ME: Ok.  So I’m cutting all this thick purple skin off and then what we can do is — you can eat the inside; you can eat it either raw or you can eat it cooked.

LAUREN: Raw please.

ME: So, we’re going to try it raw, because you guys seem to like our food better when it’s raw than cooked. Why is that?

ME: Ok, here it is. You want to take a bite?

LAUREN: Yummy.

ME: Yeah.

EMMA: Yummy.  More please.

ME: Sam, you’ve got to try it.  Everyone’s saying, ‘yummy, more please.’

LAUREN: Yummy, more please.  Yummy, more please. [sing-song]

ME: Sam, everyone’s saying, ‘yummy, more please.’  Can you believe that?

LAUREN: More please.

EMMA: Yummy.

ME: Sam, want to try what everyone’s saying, ‘yummy, more please’ to?

LAUREN: More please.

[Sam tasting]

ME: Good, right?  What do you think, Sam? Do you want more?

LAUREN: Yummy, more please.

SAM: Yeah.

ME: Do you agree, ‘yummy, more please’?

SAM: [nodding head]

ME: Yeah?  There you go.  He nodded.  He said, ‘yes’!

SAM: Or ‘gross, garbage please.’

[everyone laughs]

ME: So what do you guys think?  Do we get Kohlrabi again?  It was kind of amazing, right?

LAUREN: More please.

ME: Sam, you want more too?

SAM: [nods head]

ME: Yeah?  Emma, you want more too? 

SAM: [nods head]

ME: Ok.  Cool.  That was a total success. 



Fava beans are one of those vegetables that I have to order anytime I see them on a menu. Yes, I love their delicate flavor, but the main reason is that I know how much prep work is required. What vegetable has to be peeled…twice? Once to remove their outer shell, as you would do with an English pea. And then once again to remove them from their inner shell. The good news here is that the kids were willing to do all of the work. The bad news? They hated them. One of our worst failures to date.

ME: Ok guys, this one is called…

SAM: Fava beans

ME: Fava beans.  Ok.  Now, you cannot eat them like this (in the shell).  Why?

SAM: Because it’s still the shell.

ME: Yes, these have to be shelled twice.  Isn’t that interesting?  So you shell them — Emma don’t eat them like that because you’re about to eat it with the shell on.  That needs to be shelled so you need to take off the skin.  See, Lauren’s doing it the right way.  You want to pull it out of its shell.  Who wants to pull it out of its shell?  Sam’s working really hard on his fava bean. 

EMMA: Yucky.

SAM: She said yucky.

ME: Yeah.  If you’ve got a little piece of bean, you put it into this shelled bowl.  Don’t put the wrappers in the bowl, because we want to be able to eat these later.  Ok.  Who wants to smell the fava beans? 

SAM: I’m working really hard!

ME: You just got it out.  Good job, high five.

SAM: But I broke it.

ME: Yeah.  That’s all right.

ME: Ok.  So, who wants to try their fava bean first?

EMMA: I don’t want to try it Mommy.

ME: You what?  You don’t want to?  Well, let’s smell it first.  Smell it.  What does it smell like?

LAUREN: Ooops. 

SAM: [burps]

ME: Oh Sam, what do you say if you burp?

KIDS: [laughing]

SAM: Thank you.
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I confess that I’ve never known what edible flowers actually are. As if they’re some exotic species of flower grown just for eating. I’ve bought and consumed them, leaving it up to the flower Gods to keep producing them in order to make my salads prettier, my soups more colorful. It just so happens that I was at the farmers’ market last week when some tattooed expert looking she-chef walked up and confidently stated that she’ll take a box of pansies. Mystery revealed, they’re nothing special, we’re just eating flowers from our gardens, but I’ll pretend that I never knew that.

ME: Ok, you’ve never seen anything like it. What are these?

LAUREN: What?  Isn’t that just flowers?  Are we eating flowers?

SAM: Cabbage.

ME: Yes, they’re flowers. But they’re a special kind. They’re edible flowers.

SAM: I’m not going to eat flowers.

ME: You’re not going to eat flowers? I actually ate them on my soup last night.

LAUREN:  Um, can you take this off?

SAM: No, thank you.

LAUREN: Do you eat that?  Do you eat this?

ME: Smell it.  Yeah, you can eat the whole thing.

SAM: I want to smell it.

ME: Does it smell like anything?

LAUREN: It smells like petals.

ME: It smells like petals?  Yeah, well it actually doesn’t have a strong floral smell which is probably why they’re edible flowers. You can eat that whole thing.

LAUREN: I don’t want to eat this. OK, maybe I’ll try the yellow one.

ME: Sam, you’re going to miss out.  Here, do you want to try the yellow one or the purple one?

LAUREN: I tried the yellow one.

ME: Lauren tried the yellow first.  You’re gonna try yellow first too, Sam?

SAM: I want to try purple.
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We already knew that we liked brown lentils, but figured that we’d give red lentils a try. When cooked, red lentils fall apart much more easily so they’re not great for lentil salads or other dishes where they need to keep their shape. But they have a wonderful flavor, and a less-gritty texture than brown lentils making them a hit with two of our guys.

Apologies for side-tracking about rum, but this mystery food challenge drove me to the bottle.

ME: Guys, who’s ready to get their mystery food on?

LAUREN: I just tried it.

ME: You can’t try it yet. Hang on until everyone is here. Where’s Fay? Emma get your booty over here.

ME: Guess what we’re trying for mystery food (shakes red lentils), red lentils! Who’s tried red lentils before?

EMMA: Those are chips.

ME: What do they look like?

LAUREN: The littlest cherry tomatoes in the world.

ME: Oh they do.

EMMA: It looks like juice.

ME: Sam what do you think?

SAM: Uh nothing.

ME: Can you believe that when you cook red lentils it turns to this! (shows the brown mound of lentils). Doesn’t it look different?

SAM: That’s glass.

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