Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reconsidering Turnips

Turnips were not the main component of the meal, but they were part of the roasted root vegetables I made, and they were part of the realization that I had during dinner. There are several foods that I didn't like growing up simply because of how they were prepared. And the turnip is a prime example. A mushy boiled turnip is bitter and unappetizing no matter how much butter and salt is added. By contrast, a roasted turnip still retains a hint of bitterness but it is tempered by the caramelized sugars that develop during the roasting process.

My goal for dinners is to make things that little j will like, or at least be willing to try. And if I don't like boiled turnips now, I know there is no way that she will like them. Certainly there are foods that she won't like, but she likes nearly all vegetables and that is something I feel like I have done right.

One of my best girlfriends (and college roommate) has a daughter 3 years older than little j and gave me the very best child food advice I have received: start with green vegetables. And that is exactly what we did. When little j was starting out on solid foods after rice, oat, and wheat cereal she got green beans. And now she loves green vegetables. I think, and I'm sure my girlfriend would agree, that starting out with sweet fruits and orange vegetables give babies a taste of sugar (albeit natural sugar) and turns them off indefinitely to the slight bitterness of green vegetables. Of course I have no scientific proof, just my research of one.

On to tonight's dinner: Roast chicken (yes, again), root vegetables (parsnip, turnip, rutabaga) roasted with reduced apple juice and butter, and steamed green beans.

I know that we don't usually have roasted chicken in the middle of the week, but we had fish we needed to eat over the weekend and wanted to have roast chicken in order to have leftover shredded chicken for a dish later in the week.

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