Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vegetables--Villanous and Vile or Verdure and Varigated Vivers

Sorry, I was having fun with V words.  But today's post is indeed about vegetables.

When I was a child, I remember sitting at the dinner table pushing around my green bean casserole.  My mom would say, "You just have to eat THREE beans". And though they were covered in cream of mushroom soup and fried onions and you could probably barely taste anything resembling a vegetable, I had to seriously GAG them down.  I did! I gagged after each bean and I remember the looks on my parents' faces.  'Come ON', they had to be thinking, 'they are not that bad'. 

Today, I believe I have the same look on my face when my daughter will not eat a THING resembling a fruit or vegetable unless it is in sauce or smoothie form.  I make a LOT of smoothies at my house.  I will admit, however, she did taste broccoli.  She even ate it.  But she is so picky, most times she won't even try things.  This summer, I presented her with strawberries, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe...all to no avail. I put them on a stick and called them a fruit kabob. I arranged them on her plate in a smiley face. I stacked them in to pyramids, towers and rows.  It wasn't until the attempt at a watermelon/honeydew checkerboard that I realized I had perhaps been working too hard.  She wouldn't even lick these fruits.  "Just LICK it!" I would say, my voice full of angst.  "I KNOW you'll lick it and then you'll LIKE it." "No." she'd insist and tightly close her lips. 

This morning, my son Coen, (who eats anything! Anything! The kid eats spinach, sushi...he'll try anything I ask him to try.) he was eating grapefruit this morning that I'd halved and cut into sections and presented him in a lovely glass bowl with a serrated spoon.  He was eating and suddenly spit out a chuck and handed the pulpy wet mass to me (I love how as a mother I am constantly being handed chewed things, spit out gum, and food that has been tried and rejected, wet with saliva and this is just an acceptable thing!)  his eyes filling with tears. "Oh no! Mommy!" He said, "That one was CONNECTED!"  


Apparently it was still partially connected to the rind and though the grapefruit tastes good to him, the rind is gross.  Or it feels gross.   This got me thinking.  When my beans, bathed in a soupy, salty casserole bath made me gag, it was not because of the taste. Who can taste beans in a green bean casserole?!! It was because of their texture.  I'm a grown-up now so I'm over the texture thing of vegetables for the most part.  But I get it. And I suppose maybe Lucy doesn't like (or thinks she doesn't like) berries, melons and the like because of their texture as well.  Drinkables and spoonables are fine.  And actually, she'll even eat an apple.  So I suppose I can rest assured that she will not someday be employed and graduated from college, still refusing to even touch a grape.  Eventually.

We all eat our fruits and vegetables eventually, maybe not our recommended servings, but we eat 'em. And we like 'em. Except overripe bananas. Oh and mealy apples. GAG!

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