Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little Gourmands in the Making

The thing about having mini gourmands is they eat all the good food! They may not like everything I cook, but if it comes to seafood- they love it all! I’m talking Dungeness Crab, oysters, mussels, blue crab, shrimp… need I go on? Talk about expensive taste! The other day we had lunch at a local restaurant on the river. It is oyster season here and I absolutely LOVE oysters! Give them to me raw on the half shell and I am a happy girl! So I ordered a dozen oysters as an appetizer and the waitress finally brings out the beautiful plate of a dozen oysters on the halfshells. Right away my 4-year-old daughter, Cakes, starts in: “OOOhhhhh! Mommy, can I hab an oysto?” Of course, this question always makes me proud, but that pride quickly fades when I look at the plate of oysters in front of me. I want to eat my oysters and savor each one… tap, tap, tapping and pulling on my shirt continues. “Momma, momma! Can I hab an oysto?” I am carefully squeezing the lemon juice onto each oyster. “Momma, momma! I want an oysto! Can I hab one? Momma?” As I’m pulling the first slimy sucker out of its shell and drawing it closer to me, of course I hand the fork over to Cakes. The look of delight is too much to not make me grin with pride and joy. She really loves them! I cannot say I was that adventurous with food when I was her age. Here’s the thing. When I was her age there were clearly foods that my parents did not share with us. Oysters would have been one of them. I can picture my father saying something like, “Ladies do not eat oysters.” Mmm-hmmm…well this little lady does! But that was their rightful way of saying, “No, this is mine and I’m not sharing it with you until you fully appreciate it or can pay for it yourself.” Ha! If my child shows an interest in it and it’s not a choking hazard (or bacterial hazard- oysters are a concern for young babies- don’t give raw oysters to young babies) then I say give it to them! The worst is that they won’t like it and you have still exposed them to something new. Children want to eat how their parents eat most of the time. What could be more convenient than cooking only one meal (meaning the one you would like to eat for dinner) and having everyone eat that one meal? I’ve done it all so I know… being a short-order cook is not convenient, but I still do it when my husband is away a lot. But it’s so much easier for me when I actually plan one good meal and give it to my kids without a choice. Yes, there’s fighting and heavy sighing at the sight of the food most of the time, but isn’t it our job to torture them a little? Seriously, though, I didn’t like all the meals my mom put on the table growing up. There were some meals where I wished I had a dog to feed my food to under the table when my mom wasn’t looking. Sometimes my brother and I would pull the “I have to go to the bathroom” excuse only to spit out our food in the toilet. We were terrible! And we never appreciated how good we had it! I do now, but growing up you don’t always have a taste palate for all the tastes in different foods. I used to hate tomatoes. I remember really wanting to like them because they were a staple in my house and the rest of my family loved them, but every time I tasted one, I just couldn’t eat them. Now, I LOVE tomatoes and eat them all the time. So I get it. I totally get the looks on my kids’ faces when I serve cream of rutabaga soup for dinner and tell them that they have to try it. (Yes, this is a true story! I have the pictures to prove it! It was delicious! The looks on the kids' faces were priceless)I know that they are wishing for pizza or something “normal.” Feeding my kids well is a struggle all about constantly exposing them to new flavors. The challenge is to keep my kitchen open and my creative food juices flowing! For now, I'll consider the fact that my kids have expensive taste in food (all things seafood that is) a small feat.
Watch out for the post about the rutabaga soup next!

No comments:

Post a Comment