A while back Poppy and I had this idea that we would host a ‘food experience’ for munchkins.
Foods that dip was the central theme and we made a mess, a good mess, as is required in the creation of any masterpiece. Their dips and veggie creations were inventive, artful and delicious. They dipped strawberries in chocolate and even saved a few to take home; they made and loved both a thousand island-type dip and a peanut buttery dip based on an Indonesian peanut sauce; they decorated their plates with inspired versions of veggie people; we had a picture story about a strawberry which involved a tiny mouse and a bear, both enamored with the same strawberry (The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear); we mixed extra peanut sauce with pasta for take-home lunches; and finally there was drumming and a dance around the backyard.
At first the carrots, snow peas, radishes, tomatoes, purple lettuce were merely vessels for transporting dip to mouth, dip to mouth as if the veggie were a spoon and not an edible thing. Eventually, vegetables were actually eaten.
We had fun, they had fun, their moms had a break. We might have to do it all again some time.
And the thing is, while we adults attempt to diminish our carbon footprints, we might include children some of the time. A diet from close to home consisting of whole foods is the point, and kids are interested in such things, from the seed to the food on the plate. Whole Food has been described by Michael Pollen as food that our grandmother’s and great grandmothers would recognize, which these days would exclude almost everything on the grocery store shelves.
This would be a good time to skim The Many Wonders of Plants, an article by Joan Dye Gussow which includes an interesting bit about kids and supermarkets. Definitely worth checking out.
We were grateful for Krista’s help, Poppy’s daughter. Photos are a combination of Poppy’s and mine. It was a sunshiny morning, casting bright light and shadow everywhere.