Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Raising Foodies: The Very Shallow End

Wow, I had all kinds of great ideas for foodie attempts with the kids this week and most of them flew out the window. Out of town visitors, an unexpected death (of a friend's father in law--no one I'm close to but a kind and generous and loving man), and a series of back-to-school meetings meant the best laid plans went awry.

I tried to get the boys to eat the eggplant parmesan from the best Italian kitchen I know... no dice. I ran out of time on the chickpea curry. So when I say shallow end--I mean shallow.


What kid doesn't eat bread, right?

Here's the thing: we live in the world capital of, as my son calls it, squishy white bread. At the local children's museum, he routinely goes on his dream shopping trip in their little grocery store and fills his cart over and over with every kind of bread product they have and nothing else. His request for birthday dinner was a roll. He will eat other breads, but they are distant seconds to his true love...the squishy white.

So, in honor of my sister-in-law, whose bread machine I have inherited, and whose birthday it is this week, and because after months of trying, my bread expert friend and I were able to get together this week, I made a whole-wheat honey oat bread--well, she did, really, but I watched and I swear I can do it too. I'd never used a bread machine before and it was fascinating (particularly as a failed bread baker) to watch how it all came together and poof...three hours later, a whole-grain bread.

We pulled it out, and it was brown, and was immediately dismissed by the little one. But it smelled great, and it was almost lunchtime, so he took a bite. And by dinner, he had two huge slices and was devastated we didn't let him have more. It was delicious; the oats all but disappeared; and I am really excited to see what else we can sneak in to bread that he will find delicious! Many thanks to my friend Lauren for making this possible. Below, her recipe, lifted from this post (which I love) from her blog, Dream Kitchen.

Lauren's Humble Everyday Oat Bread

Combine in bread machine:

3/4 cup oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached regular flour
1/4 cup powdered buttermilk
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
slightly less than 1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups water

Start machine. When it beeps to add extras, you can add 1/2 cup of flax seed meal, walnut meal, oat bran, millet, or some other grain. You can use molasses or maple syrup instead of honey. Or use all unbleached regular flour. Don't forget the yeast, for Pete's sake. I've done that twice. Share this bread and remember to be delicious!

We didn't do any of the add-ins, but I'm looking forward to trying them.

So. When I said shallow end, I meant it. Here's hoping for more adventuresome eating next time. And we'll have to see if I can get the boys to eat sandwiches on the bread.

Meanwhile, so I don't lose all foodie cred completely, I wanted to add some notes on broccoli, as we were inundated with it in the CSA box this week. I always liked the florets, more cooked than crispy but not quite limp. My husband showed me a great way to cook it in the microwave: cut in florets; place in bowl; drizzle with olive oil and grind some pepper on top. Place a dessert plate off-kilter over the bowl. Microwave 2-3.5 minutes to your desired texture. And: as a floret person, I was shocked to discover my nephew loathes the "little green things on top" of the broccoli but will cheerfully eat the stems. This makes no sense to me, but I pass it along: for some kids, it's not the flavor but the texture. So my nephew and I are Jack Sprat and his wife on broccoli and we are both happy. I've started to play around with this a bit with our kids with both the kinds of broccoli pieces I use and how long I cook them. Maybe I'm overthinking this (or it's already clear to more kitchen-savvy moms) but I thought I'd pass it along!

Can't wait to see what others tried this week! Join in the discussion at Raising Foodies...

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to get my bread machine out of the mothballs and give it a try. :-)

My kids absolutely love broccoli. I confess, I don't get it, but I'm glad they do.