The Kid’s Palate

By: Elizabeth Webber Akre

Way before my husband and I had our beautiful daughter, we talked about what we would and wouldn’t do as parents.  We had very clear, very emphatic plans.  We would not tolerate bad behavior in public.  We wouldn’t have one of those kids who refuses to eat her dinner…this is what we’re having, enjoy it.  And we sure weren’t going to feed her Cheetos and McDonald’s…oh no, no.  Well, we’ve since learned that sometimes, as parents, we actually CAN’T control all these variables as we thought we could.  Sometimes, reality gets in the way.  Often, you have to pick your battles.  And, things change.  A lot.

We’ve done well with the public behavior.  In fact, I’d say my little one is one of the best behaved kids you’ll see in a restaurant, at a sporting event, concert, etc.  I’m proud of that.  Most of the time, she tries new foods and eats her dinner without much complaint.  But, not always.  We have managed to stave off the junk food and fast food poison pretty well, but let’s be honest, sometimes it’s a necessary evil (traveling in the middle of nowhere, but there’s always a set of those damn golden arches out there.)  And of course, things change.

One thing I’ve always talked to her about is how our taste buds can change as we get older.  Already in her short life, she’s realized this fact.  It’s really cute when it happens too, because she’ll exclaim, “Hey Mommy, my taste buds have changed!  I like this now!”  Which brings me to the July bounty of figs.

My parents have a fig tree in their backyard.  Last year, it really produced and I was so excited to share it with my daughter.  I have such fond memories of climbing my next door neighbor’s fig tree and just sitting up there eating figs until I couldn’t stand it anymore. But sadly, last summer she turned her cute little nose up at these odd, yet wonderful, little fruits.  So, imagine my surprise when two days ago she ventured out into my parents’ backyard and came back very nonchalantly snacking on a fig.  She walked in and announced, “Hey everybody the figs are ready!”  We all exchanged astonished glances.  What a difference a year makes!

So, my dad and I accompanied her out to the tree to harvest.  She loved climbing into the middle of that tree, just like I used to.  She was the keeper of the bucket too, so she was loving watching our fig volume increase.  As we chatted about fig preserves, grilled figs, figs stuffed with blue cheese & wrapped in prosciutto, she came up with a new one:  fig cobbler.  Hmmm, I have to think about that a little bit.  What a joy to see how excited she was to discover the tree ripe with fruit, picking them herself, and actually enjoying eating them this year.  See?  I told ya, those taste buds do change.

Don’t believe me?  Check this out – http://akreeats.blogspot.com/2011/07/great-tomato-break-through.html

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