Thursday, September 11, 2008
Eat your Veggies!
My young assistant, Rebecca, and I have been having a big time putting up our bounty this year. We watch the squirrels in our neighborhood stocking up for the winter and feel like squirrels ourselves as we can and dry and freeze everything that we can't eat in the next few days.
Rebecca's been a great help in the kitchen. Her big responsibility, besides tasting, is washing the canning jars. Her little hands fit right into the jars. She scrubs them till they squeak and has developed her own system of soaking, scrubbing and rinsing. She checks for chips in the rims and has learned all about the importance of using sterile equipment. Enlisting our kids to help in these tasks is a great way to reinforce the "we're all in this together" and "we need to work as a team" lessons.
Rebecca feels such a great sense of satisfaction when we break into the canned foodstuff. Just this morning she had a bowl of our spiced applesauce with breakfast. And was ready to lick out the bowl she liked it so much! I sent her off to school filled with yummy healthy food and bursting with pride that she had helped make that applesauce. She taste tested throughout the process, decided what spices to add, stirred the pot and washed all of the jars.
Early this month, my friend Amanda and her 3 year old Emma took care of my garden for a week while my family took a trip to Alaska. We were chatting the other day and she told me that Emma had never been very interested in eating vegetables but while helping to pick cherry tomatoes, she discovered that she loved tomatoes. Sometimes the best way to get kids to eat something, is to involve them in the growing, picking and processing of our food.
So many children today (and adults) are so disconnected from the source of our food. For most people, food simply comes from the supermarket, so therein begins the disconnect in our society. But when we start asking about where our food comes from and how it is processed, when we start taking part in the process... that sense of pride that Rebecca carries with her is available to each and every one of us!