Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Food #3

Have I mentioned enough how grateful I am that my kids are not picky eaters? They’re so great that they’re even teaching me to get over some of my food hang-ups. People who know me probably think that I like anything that grows in the dirt. Well, that’s mostly true—I do like practically every fruit and vegetable, however, my family will tell you that I have always had an aversion to squash. When it comes to squash, I generally don’t discriminate—I despise it all. Winter, summer, acorn, butternut. . . you name it. . . I hate it. There are certain forms I can eat it in; for example, zucchini bread is fine because I can’t taste the zucchini in there. My kids haven’t really been exposed to many squashes because I never buy them!

Well, about a year and a half ago, I was at a weekend get-together with a bunch of my girlfriends from our Boston days and my friend Mindy made a soup that I think was made from butternut squash (is that right, Mind?)—of course, I was really hesitant to try it. Because Mindy is such an excellent cook, and I was really trying to get over my fear of squash, I gave it a go. It was FABULOUS. I think I might have licked my bowl clean. Since then, I’ve had butternut squash soup at another friend’s house (different recipe) and again it was just delicious. So a few months ago, I decided to be really brave and actually buy a squash at the grocery store. I am 33 years old and this was the first time that I have ever purchased my own squash. It was a spaghetti squash and I had heard how easy they were to just bake and then eat in place of noodles with marinara sauce. The girls were excited to help me out with it and thought it was really cool how the squash “turned into noodles” when you scraped it with a fork.

IMG_3282IMG_3292 And they both LOVED it—and so did I! I was a little skeptical when we were scraping out the insides because it smelled very squashy. But I was surprised that once you put the sauce on top, it tasted nothing like it smelled! The girls cleaned their plates and then each had another serving. We still had some leftovers and they asked if we could have it again the next night. So we did. Then, the night after that, they asked for it AGAIN, but we didn’t have anymore and they were seriously upset about it!

I am so grateful that my girls are willing to try anything I put in front of them. I also think it helps when you involve them in the choosing of and cooking of the food. They get more excited about trying something that they actually had a part in. Last summer, Berkeley saw an eggplant at the farmers’ market and asked what it was. When I told her, she said she wanted to try it, so we bought it and then went home and I pulled out a recipe that I’d been wanting to try for a long time. The next time you’re at the store, choose a vegetable you’ve never tried before (or have your child choose one) and find a great recipe to use it in (I love the ingredient search on allrecipes.com for this). Then share it with ME! (Unless it contains some nasty slimy zucchini—then you can just keep it to yourself! That is one that I am NOT getting over!)

7 comments:

Erin said...

i am trying to not be offended by the zucchini comment! zucchini is one of my most favorite vegetables! :)

i also really love spaghetti squash. (I love ALL squashes actually) but i don't eat it with marinara sauce, just butter and salt. mmmmm... that way you can taste the squashy-ness.

Maren said...

I'm another squash lover. I'll have to try the spaghetti squash again. Last time I ate it was when someone served it to us in Spain and it was sweetened with sugar. That kinda ruined it for me. But my kids could probably help me out like yours did!

(Happy Belated Dieticians Day!)

Corrine said...

i love love spaghetti squash with a really good homemade tomato basil sause....

glad you tried it.

Jennie said...

I don't think my parents ever fed me squash, but they aren't big vegetable eaters. With Catherine, I'm trying to expose her to all kinds of vegetables. I will have to try the spaghetti squash. When I first tried summer squash, I hated the texture and the taste. There are different ways of making things that make it better, but I've found the more I eat summer squash, the easier it is to eat. The same goes for fish. We never ate fish(except tuna from a can) growing up because my mom hates it. Now, after getting better at cooking it and trying different kinds, I love fish.

I want to expose Catherine to all kinds of good foods, even if I don't like them. Hopefully along the way I'll learn to like a few more.

Annie said...

i wish you were MY mom and made me all these healthy, delicious meals for me. seriously.

Karen said...

You are a great mom and a great example to us all. Gotta go now, time to get the cookies out of the oven . . . hee hee

Ransoms said...

Wow, I have to try that, cuz I am a squash-hater as well. It was often my "one thing."