Last weekend I had all of the cousins over for a camping adventure on the property. They range in age from 7 – 12. Most are very easy going when it comes to food from the garden and are eager to try new dishes. However, 2 of the bunch refused and have always refused to try anything! Breaks my heart. This year it was going to be different.
The deal was you can spend the night, sleep in the tent, sit by the campfire and roast smores only and only after you have worked in the garden and helped to pick the veggies for dinner. This years crop included cauliflower, leeks, onions, fennel, garlic and basil. The kids promptly hopped in the hot tub allowing me to clean the produce. After their showers they strolled into the kitchen one by one and we chopped, very finely all of our ingredients. They watched and participated in the making. The salmon was prepped with fresh garlic, a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, lemon and popped into the oven. Rice was thrown into the rice cooker and we were on our way.
We talked about the veggies from the garden, how they thought we could prepare them in the future, what they loved about the harvesting process and more. The veggies were sautéed, each child got a stir or two and then we were ready to plate. Something was different this time. They all were excited to know how their little creation was going to turn out. Beautiful plates were plated with a nice amount of rice. On top of the rice we did a large spoonful of the sautéed cauliflower (remember tiny, tiny), fennel, garlic, basil and leeks. Atop that our lovely salmon and garnished with a pinch of fresh basil. What a treat! The kids picked up their forks and in what seemed like an instant the plates were bare – I was astounded. The first thing I did was to call my parents who were in complete shock that the two girls not only ate but tried something new. Then I was on the phone to my brother who did not believe me. Here’s the SECRET: the kid’s had a vested interest. They picked the veggies, they cooked, they talked about the meal and in the end they wanted to know what it tasted like. Of course it was fabulous. Mission accomplished. I think I’m onto something here!
Images courtesy of Farm Girl Nursery. Visit them on facebook for more photos.