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Tuesday, January 31, 2012



Yesterday, my youngest boy came home from school and told me that the kids in his reading group all teased him for eating red, orange and yellow bell pepper slices for snack. He told me that the kids all said the fresh peppers stink and were gross. In a Benadryl haze, I am suffering from Spring allergies in January, I told him they were wrong but that I was proud of him for eating healthy. What does this have to do with carrots you might be wondering by now, lol, well cut to this morning... I decided that a nice crock pot of chicken and dumplings is just the thing to make myself feel better from this wacky January’s weather that has me having spring time allergies.  In my chicken and dumplings, I like carrots. This may not be the traditional way of making it, but I had it somewhere and I like the color and sweetness the fresh carrots add to the dish.  So, there I am peeling carrots and my mind wondered in the quietness of the kids are at school and my dog is snoring louder than a freight train, silence. Those poor children in the reading group who do not know the goodness of fresh sliced bell peppers. And for the record,  I do not know who was in his reading group that day so I have no idea who they are or if they just don’t like peppers but in my head at that moment those anonymous children were “poor little deprived children”.   Then I thought, how many kids today think that all carrots look like those prepackage baby carrots you can buy at the super market? I wonder if they realize just what carrots look like. Now, I’m not knocking anyone’s preference to fruits and veggies, I myself am no fan of kiwi fruit, so I understand there are personal taste involved, however, baby carrots are real carrots cut/sand blasted down to that mini size. In my opinion, they lose all the sweetness of what a carrot is in that process. Maybe I’m lucky and my children like fruits and vegetables, but it worries me for the up and coming generations that they are losing touch with where their food comes from and what its natural form is.  The natural form of chicken is not the pink sludge that is deep fried at fast food restaurants just as it is not the natural form of a carrot to be all mini and smooth and uniformed. It is not natural for all eggs in the carton to be of the exact same shell consistency and color. It’s just not natural. 

The moral of my story, if there must be one,  going along with my “back to basics” mantra, is it’s time to go back to basics with food. Experience food in its natural state a little more often. I understand the appeal of processed and precut and the convenience of it all but perhaps this spring and summer as the farmer markets are getting up and running, buy some fresh produce, in its natural state.  Let your children experience the markets, picking out produce, smelling melons to check for ripeness. It is such a wonderful way for children to learn about where food comes from and just maybe they will be more willing to try a new vegetable if they pick it out themselves.  Well, it is food for thought anyway.
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  1. (decided to condense my comments, lol)

    I soooo agree with this, Shannon. Cheyenne LOVES veggies. She would eat broccoli or salad for all 3 meals if I let her. She chooses salad almost every day for lunch at school. If they are out of salad, I have to hear about it when she gets home! She even wants peppers and fresh mushrooms on her pizza when we order one. I've seen so many kids who refuse to eat their veggies and parents who allow this! A couple of these kids are in my own family and shall remain nameless, lol. It's sad really. Nutritionally, they are lacking so many vitamins, one can't help but wonder what the long term health implications will be.
    If there is one thing Cheyenne misses about Michigan it is eating fresh fruits and veggies from her grandparents garden. She was raised on them! My parent's garden was 100% organic. My mom even went so far as to have a certain kind of wood placed as a border and used a mixed soil so there was no possibility of chemicals leaching into her food. I swear, those were the best eating fruits and vegetables I've ever tasted.
    I don't have the green thumb required to grow anything in this NC red clay or I would have a garden. :-(
    Keep up the good work with those boys....tell them I have a very beautiful young lady living with me who would scrap with them for those pepper snacks, lol!

  2. Thank you Sherry! Oh I bet that was a great garden. The growing season in the U.P. is shorter but boy do they have some good dirt. Have you thought of a container garden? Then you just add top soil. Maybe a project for Chey. lol

  3. Actually, I have been considering a small container garden for this coming year. When I was working, I killed everything I tried to grow outside because it does need "tending" here with the heat and all. I worked long hours and came home exhausted so the plants weren't on the top of my list...needless to say, they didn't get watered very often and on the really hot days, I wasn't here to move them into the shade for a couple of hours when it was above 100 degrees. With starting my own business and working from home now, I will have more time to take care of some gardening as well as plants and flowers.