Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More zucchini and tip #2

There is no more luscious aroma than that that wafts from a basket of Concord grapes I have sitting on my kitchen counter. It’s Tuesday, so we went to the farmers’ market. We saw our farmer friends Melissa and Mrs. Skibbe. We bought those grapes; teeny, tiny red Caviar tomatoes (the size of small peas!), a firm full creamy white head of cauliflower; apple cider donuts (of course); and zucchini. Yes, I know it’s not logical to pay for zucchini at this stage of the summer. But I panicked when I thought of the stack of zucchini recipes I still had in my “to-make” pile. How can I possibly wait until next summer to create a modified version of Taste of Home's curry(!) zucchini soup – besides it’s chillier now – perfect soup weather. And there’s a third zucchini pancake recipe I just have to try. Plus, S. again uttered, “Zucchini, that’s my favorite.” She told this to Farmer Melissa….and that’s a hint to a second tip on getting get your kids to eat healthy.

Tip #2: Get your kids involved in the process of bringing food from the farm (or the farmers’ market, or the supermarket) to the table. I grew up on a ranch in Montana, so it was pretty straight-forward for my parents to teach my sisters and I where our food came from; we grew it and then we ate it. I helped my mom milk the cow, can pears from our orchard and freeze green beans from our garden.

My daughters are growing up in suburban Chicago. So it’s not as simple to make the connection from farm to table. But we’ve tried. And it’s been fun! We know the farmers from our farmers’ market by name. As a result of our weekly visits, Sophia has not only learned where strawberries and asparagus come from, but also that they were just available at the beginning of the summer – and now they’re gone. But then it was peach, green bean, zucchini and tomato season. Now, it’s apple, squash, pumpkin and still zucchini season.

And yes, S. eats all those veggies – although her green beans must be accompanied by a side of ketchup for dipping. According to this dietitian, ketchup was made for dipping a lot more veggies than just fried potatoes. Fried zucchini and ketchup is good too.

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