It’s Friday morning. It’s 8 am, but the ankle-biter (more like knee-biter now) has been busy already. Busy cuddling, reading, running around, puppet playing, resisting diaper change, resisting sitting down for breakfast, watching the neighbors come and go… Busy little man he is.
But none of that matches the excitement of the hour: the CSA delivery.
The box of fresh fruits and vegetables is here, sitting in our kitchen, unopened, hiding treasures of potential scrumptiousness. And I smile, because Pablo knows this. He’s so excited, he opens the box, takes every piece of vegetable and fruit out, examining it, smelling it. Might as well be Christmas morning. We grab an orange from the loot, and breakfast has just become a lot more fun.
“A table!” It’s dinner time and Pablo is engrossed in his favorite firetruck puzzle. He repeats, “A table!” (Dinner’s ready!). It’s pretty darn cute. But he’s 22 months after all, and transitions are… well, sometimes challenging. “Why would I stop doing puzzles to go have dinner? Beats me”, thinks Pablo.
And Pablo protests vehemently. He skirts the issue, wanders around the house, stalls. Writes mental notes of our reaction to his resistance. “Note to self. Button pushed here. Fascinating”, thinks Pablo. My MO is to stay nonchalant, patient. Up to a point, that is. “It’s dinner time. Now”, thinks maman. With much trial and error, I’m getting pretty good at dealing with power struggles and refusals, tantrums and outbursts (thanks in great part to the awesome wisdom of Janet Lansbury, btw), and I’m not afraid of a crying toddler, I can handle it calmly. But well, it’s dinner time, and I’m French, after all, dinner time is sacred, I don’t want to stress out, this is the time to unwind, connect, sit down, relax.
So… as Pablo’s getting upset, giving me a lot of “Non! Non!”, I peak in the kitchen and notice the roasted chicken (from this awesome recipe) my mother so kindly cooked and wrapped in foil so it would stay warm. “Look, the chicken is hidden over there, shall we take a peek?” “How exciting”, he thinks. The toddler is interested, rises to the bait. So we go play peekaboo with the roasted chicken while very much anticipating eating a leg with our hands. He sits down in his chair like a charm, and we proceed to enjoy our dinner. Sigh.
You get my meaning here: the enjoyment of food isn’t just about meals & nutrition.
I wanted to share this thin slice of our life, as I found recently that engaging Pablo with the food, the meal and its preparation, experiencing it, talking about it, getting excited about it, was a great way to deal with potential resistance, or impatience / antsiness at the table…
Sometimes, you just have to stop and smell… the chicken.
Or fennel, as the case may be.
Enough slices, let’s get to the meat of it. Moving on to our week’s menu, which I apologize for posting a bit late this week.
Wishing you a week full of tasty treats.
Cheeses of the week: Following French tradition, I always offer a little bit of cheese at the end of every meal, between the main course and dessert. Rotation this week: Goat brie, Comté (type of Swiss), Danish blue.
Desserts: At lunch, I offer a fruit yogurt (or plain yogurt with fresh fruit), but at night, I prefer sticking to plain yogurt (regular homemade* whole milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and Greek yogurt for extra protein) to avoid too much sugar before bedtime.
If you would like a particular recipe on the menu, feel free to contact me! (I marked with a * the recipes that will be the topic of upcoming posts).
Lunch – OUT
Goûter (4pm snack) – Apple-blueberry compote
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Spinach broccoli soup
Main course: Bison patty, vegetable noodles
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cucumber in dill yogurt dressing
Main course: Cold roasted chicken, dino kale mash
Goûter – Apple compote
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Dandelion greens, bacon, comté salad with mustard vinaigrette
Main course: Pan-fried veal liver, sweet potato puree
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Green lentil shallot salad
Main course: Mixed crab crudités salad
Goûter – Kiwi
Dinner – OUT TO DINNER (yay)
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cold pea & chive salad
Main course: Trying this leek feta lemon quiche from London Bakes
Goûter – Homemade chocolate pudding*
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Avocado fennel grapefruit velouté*
Main course: Poached salmon & edamame in coconut broth*
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Grated carrots French-style
Main course: Mushroom caps stuffed with cream of sardine
Goûter – Banana
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Trying this beautiful beet soup from Mowielicious
Main course: Duck parmentier (we had leftover duck stew which we pureed together with potato, and froze)
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cucumber Feta rolls from Good Life Eats
Main course: Sautéed shrimp with lime and coconut rice*
Goûter – Mango compote
Dinner (simple tonight, maman’s going out!)
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cauliflower, green beans salad
Main course: Ham & quinoa
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Authentic Greek salad
Main course: Smoked salmon dill avocado tartine
Goûter – Tangerine
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Artichoke soup, a recipe I found here