Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Getting Your Kids to Love Vegetables
I want my kids to love and eat vegetables. But what happens when they love their vegetables so much they refuse to eat them? On moral grounds.
Patrick has taken a stance in the spirit of an animal rights activist. He cared for and nurtured the garden's largest cucumber this summer. He dubbed it "Cuke." It's bigger than his head. He picked it last night. I was going to slice it up.
"We can make a salad," I said.
"You can't do that to Cuke," he said.
And then he made it a blanket out of a paper napkin and painter's tape. He can get cold, you know. Then he drew a face on it, and we took it on our nightly walk in a baby doll stroller.
When it came time for bed, Patrick put Cuke on his pillow.
"Patrick, Cuke can sleep here tonight, but tomorrow we're going to have to put Cuke outside," I said.
"Well ... " I said.
"He's gonna die," Aidan chimed in.
"No, he isn't," Patrick said.
"Well, he's going to get mushy," I said. "Listen, how about we get him a tomato friend and put him in the toasty compost under some sunflowers tomorrow? He'll be happy there."
"OK," Patrick said reluctantly.
It's tomorrow and Patrick just asked me if Cuke could have some juice. We'll see how the rest of the day goes. This really is a pickle for Dirk and me. Stay tuned.
Here's the salad we were going to make with Cuke:
by Ellie Krieger
2 English cucumbers (2 pounds)
1 small red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh
Slice the cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice thinly. Thinly slice the onion.
In a colander, toss the cucumber and onion with the salt and let it sit and drain for 20 minutes. Press the liquid out of the vegetables and rinse well with cold water.
In a medium bowl combine the vinegar and sugar and stir well. Add the cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Stir in the dill.
Nugget o' the Day: "Cuke, are you sleepy?" - Patrick talking to his beloved cucumber.