Monday, August 4, 2008

Market Bags and Eggplant Parmesan

I am home with Caroline on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays now and I am loving this time with her. We go on outings to nearby playgrounds, the water park, library, and Michigan State University's 4-H Children's Garden. When we're at home, we spend a lot of time together cooking, gardening, creating art, and reading. Not surprisingly, a lot of our activities revolve around food. For a couple of weeks now, Caroline has been working on painting a large canvas market bag to give as a gift to her Great Uncle Butch. This morning, we watered our vegetable garden and Caroline picked the two Sun Gold cherry tomatoes that were ripe -- she popped them both into her mouth. And this afternoon, we made eggplant parmesan. With a little bit of help and a lot of supervision, Caroline grated the cheese, dredged the eggplant in flour, and helped put together the layers of tomato sauce, eggplant, cheese, and basil. As I write this, I am wondering if artists spend a lot of time teaching their children about art and if science teachers spend their summers doing science experiments with their kids. Or, if maybe I come off as a bit obsessive compulsive or a bit nuts (no pun intended) even to those who share my values. But Caroline doesn't get a chance to cook or garden when she is at her childcare center. If I don't teach her these basic skills, who will?

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, August 5: Breakfast - peach (East Lansing Food Co-op), zucchini muffin; Lunch - egg salad (Heritage Acres eggs), 100% whole grain bread, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes (home garden and Wildflower Eco Farm), cucumbers (home garden); Snacks - blueberries (Threadgould Gardens), carrot bread

Childcare Center Menu, August 5: Breakfast - peaches, croissants; Lunch - turkey sandwich, cucumber, watermelon; Snacks - blueberry yogurt, vanilla wafers


Cassandra said...

Hey Betty - I have no idea if you remember me, but Ruby and I were in prenatal/mom and baby yoga with you for a while. Just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm really inspired by it. Ruby has ended up being a super picky eater, subsisting largely on fruit and macaroni and cheese. I need to find some ways to better incorporate her into our food preparation process. I'd love any ideas/suggestions you might have.

Cassandra (

Betty said...

Hi Cassandra,

Of course I remember you! And I remember adorable Ruby and her cute black rock band onesie she wore to her first day of yoga. I'll write something about including kids in food preparation but in the meantime, here are two ideas. When I was trying to get Caroline to eat more protein, I started to hard boil eggs and help Caroline peel them. I found that if she peeled the egg, she wanted to eat it. Also, Caroline really likes cherry tomatoes. But I find that she is more eager to just pop them into her mouth if she picks them from the vine herself. I'll post more this week. Thanks for reading my blog, Cassandra!

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