Biting into a ripe peach this week, I was reminded of one of my earliest childhood memories, which combined both my love of delicious food and the great outdoors. I was maybe five or six years old, standing in the middle of a peach orchard in Bedford, Indiana with a ripe peach in each hand, alternating bites from each, with peach juice dripping off both elbows. The sheer elation of that moment still lives with me and makes me smile every time I have a fresh, ripe peach.
I have seen this same look on the faces of children in the edible garden as they experience a freshly picked ripe strawberry or the first time they taste chocolate cherry tomatoes just off the vine. I love the look of surprise as they bravely take a bite of a yellow lunchbox pepper and realize it’s sweet! Yesterday, I encouraged a little boy to try the edible flower that sat atop the watermelon that garnished his plate, he hesitated then grinned, plucked off a petal and popped it into his mouth. He made a wrinkled nose face then smiled broadly as he washed it down with a bite of watermelon and exclaimed, “I did it!” Getting kids to expand their tastes can sometimes be difficult but under the right circumstances, like in the Edible Garden, a U-pick farm, or even your own back yard garden, it can be both fun and tasty. It can lead to memories and healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.
This week’s Isaac’s Café specials will have you tasting the difference that fresh vegetables, grown just steps away, can make. Our Meatless Monday will feature a portabella mushroom stew with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a side of kale and quinoa salad. Starting tomorrow, look for meatloaf and mashed potatoes along with a seasonal side, for that perfect midday meal. In case you’re wondering, I see fresh peach desserts in the near future!