Monday, May 17, 2010

OT Crib notes - Asparagus

Asparagus. Signs of greatness.

We recently had a wonderful visit from my niece and her little two and a half year old daughter. I suspect you could find a child more adored and fawned over, but you’d probably have to leave the country, possibly cross the international date line.

My niece is a superior mom, possibly the best one our family has produced. And trust me, that’s saying a lot. Despite my rather middling stature as a mom, most of our family consists of super moms. In fact it’s a little intimidating trying to mother in the shadow of such great moms.

My grandmother managed to run a small business, home cook all the meals, and spoil her lucky grandchildren rotten. My mother dressed right out of a fashion magazine, taught me better grammar than a good number of adults, and spoils her grandchildren rotten. My sister developed her own side business while raising three children and now spoils her granddaughter rotten.

But so far my niece is putting all of us to shame.

Let’s take eating as just one example. I pride myself on feeding my children a few vegetables successfully. My kids will readily eat broccoli. Green beans and edamame are options, as long as there’s butter. I considered this a vast improvement on the iceberg lettuce and occasional sprig of parsley I had when I was a kid.

My niece, on the other hand, has her daughter eating asparagus. Asparagus! Without sauce! I can’t even get my husband to eat asparagus!

And did I mention the brussel sprouts? The kid is not even three and she’s eating brussel sprouts like they were… food or something.

To be fair, I do remember the time period before our first child turned four as a sort of golden veggie time. It was when I had almost total control over the eating environment and food options. Everything my daughter ate was fresh and didn’t come in a box or bag. I was, in my own way, a Veggie Czar.

Now, five years later it’s every kid for herself. In fact on some nights, mustard is our “vegetable.” We’ve become a sort of a food democracy, I guess, complete with butter, white bread, and way too many cookies.

Hopefully my niece can hold on to her Veggie Czar role better than I did. Because while being a great mom is not all about the asparagus, it’s still a darn impressive accomplishment in my book.

BTW: My niece says NEVER steam asparagus. Pan fry them in butter with salt and pepper just until you can stick a fork in them easily. mmmm.


Cara said...

I always liked asparagus! Mom rarely served it and only canned. It was too expensive. I tried Brussells sprouts as an adult and I love them. Mom never served them because she hates them. My family is a nest of generally adequate moms who never shut up with the child rearing advice straight from 1962. I am in a great mood today because I have had to do online traffic school.

Michaela said...

Hi! Ya know, I think the most important things a mom can offer are: hugs, guidance, and an ability to listen. Running businesses etc is impressive, but to my way of thinking, not integral to the whole mothering thing. My family eat all kinds of fruit and veges, because Im keen on good nutrition (read: nutrition nazi!). But I hear someone's invented a veggies 'pill'- gosh that would make things easier! Id love to see a pic of the adorable asparagus-eater...xxxooo

Gail said...

A lady after my heart, I love fresh veggies.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I love asparagus and will now be trying the pan fry method thanks to you. :)

AareneX said...

Mmmmm, "sparrow grass". I can't wait until I can grow it in the garden here on the farm! Until then, fresh imports from the Dry Side of the mountains will have to sustain me.

Wolfie said...

Geez, now I am hungry for asparagus!!! I avoided most veggies as a child except for brussell sprouts - go figure. My husband does most of the cooking, so I became a veggie convert in my adult years. :-)

Funder said...

NOM NOM NOM. Put some vinagrette (no need for store bought, just whisk some oil + vinegar and taste it) on your pan fried asparagus, or try roasting it in the oven with some olive oil drizzled on top. It's just now asparagus season in the Weird High Desert, and I am loving it.

If it makes you feel any better, I was one weird picky child, and I turned out just fine. Adventurous eater here. (Of course, my husband was a picky child, and he's a picky adult. To put it mildly.)

John and Regina Zdravich said...

To me, the eating asparagus without sauce is not as amazing as eating brussles sprouts without sauce!! Strange how over the years your tastes will change. I never used to like brussles sprouts, but now I do, but need them cooked with something -- like a sauce or sauteed in olive oil and garlic.