Yes, I know it’s already Wednesday

May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

But it’s sort of Tuesday because Monday was a holiday, right? And also I’m being lazy and re-using a post from the old A Frayed Knot blog. But it is both relevant, because after writing this post I did find a great local farm store, but just heard this past week that they’re closing their doors, which is sad and also leaves me once again without a local produce source. Anyhow, here’s your Tasty Tuesday post:

Originally published in A Frayed Knot Knits on July 7, 2009

Sometime last year, I read a book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It’s quite good, and I recommend it if you’re interested in where your food comes from. I found it much more compelling than a similar book, Fast Food Nation, as I don’t actually eat fast food all that often (once or twice a year) so being grossed out by the fast food industry’s practices was, well, gross, but didn’t really give me any information about changes I could make to my own personal habits. TOD, on the other hand, looks at food from three different sources: industrial farms, small growers, and hunting/growing/gathering your own. Pollan even takes the time to point out the many similarities between large-scale organic growers and non-organic industrial farming — things you’ll want to take into consideration if you’re really concerned about your food and how it relates to your own health as well as the environment. Which is all a really long way of saying that I’ve decided to try to eat more local food, especially produce.

Last weekend, I asked Kit to take me to one of our local farms. They have a petting zoo, so it’s kind of perfect for the kids. He took the kids up to visit the animals while I perused the produce in the farm store. What I found was really, really disappointing: very few things they were selling were actually grown there. I got some carrots (which, OMG, why didn’t someone tell me how amazing fresh carrots are?), some celery, and some mushrooms (which I apparently don’t know how to store because they went all ooky before I had a chance to use them). I believe the blueberries were also grown there. Everything else was from some place else. The peaches were at least New Jersey grown, but the strawberries were the same old big name farm berries they have at my A&P, the apples were from Chile, and most of the other fruit was from California. They also had pineapples and bananas, which were obviously not from around here, and the grape tomatoes I bought were from Florida. They did have some regular tomatoes that I think were grown there, as well as some lettuces and other veggies that I didn’t buy — I was just surprised at how much produce they offered that was not only not from their own farm, but not in any way local. So that was a really disappointing attempt at buying local produce. There are a couple of other farm stores in reasonable driving distance, so I’ll try those next and hope for better results.

One of the big reasons I’m doing all this is to try to introduce the kids to good fresh fruits and veggies. Zack will eat pretty much anything — he’ll try everything, and most things he actually likes and will eat lots of — but we’ve had lots of issues with getting Becky to try things. To be clear, it’s not that she won’t try “healthy” things — we have trouble getting her to try anything. She doesn’t respond to bribes (even crazy ones, like eat one pea and get a whole cookie), and I’m loathe to actually punish her for not eating something she didn’t request. It’s incredibly frustrating and we’re constantly trying new things. One thing we’ve incorporated is an idea from friends of ours who have a daughter about the same age as Becky: when dinner is served, she may eat what is on her plate OR if she tries it and doesn’t like it, she may request a (reasonable) alternative that she does like. If she doesn’t try it, though, she goes to bed hungry. We’ve been trying that for a few weeks now, with little success — Becky gets so involved in saying “no” and throwing a tantrum that I think she doesn’t really realize what she’s saying no to. So I came up with a new idea to add on: we’re going to do a menu each week [Note from present-day-me: this was a short-lived idea that didn’t work out for us after I got all employed and stuff]. One day a week she gets to choose what we eat, and on the other days, I’ll serve whatever we’re having for dinner and the previous rule applies. This allows me to tell her well in advance what we’re having for dinner, which allows her time to get used to the idea. Last night was our first menu dinner (meatballs and noodles for “International Monday” served alongside some frozen veggies), and Becky even helped prepare everything. She decided not to try anything on her plate, but she was very calm and polite about it, which is a big improvement. She didn’t eat much all day so I wasn’t terrifically surprised that she didn’t go for the deal, but I was very pleased with her behavior, at least.

Tonight we’re having tostadas for “Try Something New Tuesdays” — technically, I served tostadas Sunday, but nobody was prepared for them and there was a tantrum and I think we might do better tonight. I had one for lunch yesterday, topped with a few diced grape tomatoes — yummy!

The base is a fresh corn tortilla that I fried myself in vegetable oil, so I feel better about it than commercially fried and salted chips. There’s also some whole corn hiding in there between the beef and the cheese.

PDM again: Glad I found this post — I’d completely forgotten about these and now I want them. And I’m pretty sure Zacky would chow down on them, too!

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