Hello again! I hope you had a nice week. I had a lovely vacation, camping on the Oregon coast. It’s a good thing I took a planned break from blogging, because I didn’t get near a WiFi connection (read: Starbucks) more than maybe once.
Anyhoo, I had fun, but I’m glad to be back. There’s no place like home…especially when you prefer to avoid food temptations. It’s natural when you spend a week with people not of your household to observe their eating habits and compare them to your own. Last weeks theme was lots of fruit, lots of sugar, lots of alcohol and very few vegetables. Except in our campsite, where all the veggies came to play.
My vices for the week were a little too much sugar and alcohol, but nothing crazy. We skipped some of the fatty-carby communal camp breakfasts, opting for fruit and plain Greek yogurt with a little granola. I made oatmeal for myself one morning, because I was craving whole grains. I kept our veggie intake up by making big green lunch salads for Jeff and I each day, topped with homemade hummus, cooked sprouted lentils, quinoa, avocado and homemade vinaigrette.
My crowning achievement was the night it was our turn to make dinner. Jeff grilled some gorgeous salmon, and I prepared a trio of veggie dishes: String beans with basil-spinach pesto (I made the pesto at home before we left), caramelized onions with zucchini, and red dandelion greens with warm vinaigrette. We also served a prepared beet and red pepper salad and roasted garlic bread, both from Costco. This was NOT a complicated dinner. I parboiled the string beans ahead of time and did a quick reheat before mixing in the pesto and serving. I stood with a glass of white wine in one hand while I cooked the onions and zuch with the other on the grillside burner. I got the greens ready ahead of time so all I had to do was dress them before serving.
With a four-plus hour drive home from the campground, Jeff and I had lots of time to chat. One topic of conversation began with his observation that the adults (especially the menfolk) were scarfing down the veg. The veg wasn’t as big of a hit with the three kids present (ages 6, 5 and 1), which is a shame, because the pesto was not very garlicy and the caramelized onions were very sweet (I didn’t even try to encourage them to try the dandelion greens).
From there, we pondered when and how it got to the point that so many parents lower their own eating standards in order to serve “kid-friendly” foods to their children. When we were growing up, we ate what the adults ate, with very few exceptions. Yes, there were hot dogs for dinner sometimes, and even frozen pot pies from time to time, and we ate fast food occasionally, but there were lots of veggies, and green salads, and even “complicated” dishes like stuffed cabbage and my grandfather’s chicken cacciatore.
As if on cue, as I was catching up on news in the world of nutrition, I came across an article that asked the question “When did kids start to eat apart from adults?” The short answer: When food companies created the idea that kids should have their own foods, and then kids’ new tastes started ruling the family dinner table.
So I ask of all parents: Who’s the boss of your dinner table? You? Your kids? Or Corporate Food America? Take back control!
Oh, yeah…look what followed us home: