Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#Scintilla13 ~ Developing Palates

 this picture was taken 3/24/12, with six inches of snow still on the ground here right now, what a difference a year makes!

When moving to the farm almost six years ago, aside from offering our kids the space to spread their wings, we wanted to produce as much of our own food as possible. The first year of our garden I purchased no produce from the grocery store except for onions and fruit. As our garden grew to include those things, we purchased less and less, I tried to keep our fresh foods solely those we produced.

I struggled with all of the components of our food culture, wanting to provide the healthiest alternatives to the kids while showing them first hand where their food came from. As the years have passed, I have eased up on myself some; now including locally produced items to full in the gaps. We also have taught the kids about eating seasonally. This was a little tougher to describe with the year round varieties at the grocery store, but they get it.

Dovetailing with our relationship growing food, we also love to cook. I have always been a baker, but once I struck out on my own, I learned to also enjoy cooking. I'm a recipe follower. I have learned over time to add my own twist and have become more adventurous. B just cooks. No recipe, only vision, and always amazing. Three years ago we started a cooking club with a few other couples, we call ourselves the Tastebuds. We pick a monthly theme, map out a 4-6 course meal, each couple brings ingredients, and we spend many hours cooking together and eating. Slow food at its best. The kids are included and mostly just hang out together, but are always on the periphery taking it in.

Recently Sidney has shown an interest in learning to cook and she's participated in a few lessons from dad, and done some experimenting on her own. Both of the kids have always done well with trying new things...sure, sure, they have their frustratingly picky moments, but they do OK. Sidney has loved oysters on the half shell since she was six, and Charles has always had a taste for spicier foods. Sidney is now taking it a step further, experimenting. She had sliced oranges the other day and decided to sprinkle feta over them..loved it!

Yesterday, as a treat, because it is spring and wind chills are in the single digits, I bought strawberries. They are seasonal in California this time of year, so not local, and our large berry patch is months from producing. This little treat lit up both of the kids eyes, not only were they incredibly excited, but strawberries had never tasted so good to them. Do you know why? Because they haven't had any since the last of our strawberries last season. Eating seasonally gives you something fresh to look forward to and really appreciate when it is around. Food is the center of our hearth and home. Conversations, dreams, laughter are things that all happen during the preparation or eating of food. Developing palates for a lifetime.

This post is part of the #scintilla13 project.  Many of our fondest memories are associated with food. Describe a memorable experience that took place while preparing or eating food.
The Scintilla Project

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