HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Melissa Clark's Penne with Brussels Sprouts, Chile and Pancetta


        
Brussels Sprouts in Winter
on the North Fork of Long Island
As a boy, I cannot think of a vegetable I detested quite as much at the Brussels Sprout.  These nasty little cabbages were about as appealing to me as damp pair of socks. I called them every name in the book and insisted that they were a relic of rationing during the two wars that had preceeded my arrival on the planet.  I’m not sure if the cabbage-like smell was worse than the cabbage-like taste.  However, my vocal protests did not stop my mother from putting them on the table regularly during those months when Canada is a frozen tundra and there’s very little choice in fresh vegetables.  Since we were charter members of the Waste-Not-Want-Not Society, when we were served Brussels Sprouts, we ate Brussels Sprouts. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs


        
          In my family, the only person who could express any food dislikes was my Father.  He had a couple of them.  But as children, any misgivings we had about what to eat were not paid any attention to. You ate what was put in front of you.   That was particularly true if you chose something from a menu and then claimed not to have understood what you were ordering.  You ate it or you went hungry.   Now, when I see a fussy eater or a child whose diet is seemingly limited to a single item, repeated night after night, plate after plate, I really feel sorry for the kid. I don’t know what makes a picky eater but I think a lot of parents are enablers.  They’ll do anything to avoid mealtime meltdowns even if it means some very questionable eating habits and the poor nutrition that results from them.   But of all the questionable kid’s meals that I’ve seen, aside from those really terrible ‘Lunchables’, the chicken nugget frightens me the most.  Is it really chicken?  Where does it come from?  Breaded and fried, dipped into sugar-y sauces of one flavor or another, how good can it be to eat these things on a regular--let alone daily--basis?  But there ways of weaning children off the nuggets and onto something that will open their budding palates to flavors they might actually enjoy.  And since you control what goes into these fantastically tasty morsels, you can then control what’s goes into your child.  Introducing…Vietnamese Meat Balls!