Monday, July 29, 2013

Brussel Sprouts or parenting #101

Little Jo quite likes vegetables. Sister made sure she ate plenty when she was a baby through to a toddler. Even now she likes 'trees', that is broccoli, and will happily eat the usual vegetables. I don't know about cabbage, cauliflower, sliver beet, spinach or brussel sprouts.

Little Jo is not really a fussy eater, but she is not forced to eat what she doesn't want.

NOT LIKE MY CHILDHOOD.

Ostensibly we were forced to eat what was on our plate and we could not leave the table until we did. 'Eat your vegies before they get cold', was the instruction. It was wise advice but not taken. Vegies were always left to last. Now I have leant to eat brussel sprouts first, along with cabbage and silver beet.

As a child, I left them to last and then, with no dogs being allowed inside to vacuum up, I would stick unpalatable vegetables into the pockets of my pyjamas and dispose of them later. I must have been quite clever at it as I don't recall ever being caught.

Now, I no longer dry retch as I eat brussel sprouts, as I eat them first and when they are hot. I like my cauliflower well cooked and in a white sauce, but I can actually eat it just steamed and hot.

I reckon if your kids will eat peas and green beans, they are doing fine. Let them acquire at taste for vegetables with a stronger taste as they get older. Don't force them to eat what might make them dry retch.

I recently confessed to Mother that pre puberty I used to go to bathroom to have a bath, but used to just splash the water about with my hand to make it sound like I was having a bath. Perhaps it is time to confess to Mother that I did not always eat my vegetables and never ate brussel sprouts after the first time. The time I was forced to eat tripe is a whole story for another day.


26 comments:

  1. Forced to eat tripe? Ugh, in the extreme. I think it's the only thing I couldn't eat. I tried sea urchin in Japan, thanks to evil locals telling me that I'd love it? I hated veggies as a kid but love Brussels sprouts now. Go figure!

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    1. Craig, it is odd how you tastes change over time. I am really not very keen on sweet tastes now.

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  2. Hmmm, there are some foods that have tasted much better when cooked differently/by someone different from the days when the children in India/Africa were starving and would be glad to have them.
    Boiled cod, sheeps brains, tripe = dry retch, and that's only passing them in a market display.
    On the other hand, if your mother washed using a copper, boiling the daylights out of a pocketed sprout and then dipping it in some nice, fatty velvet soap before blue bagging and feeding through the mangle... yumm.

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    1. FC, I don't look at them as I pass by. I prefer to look at weird vegetables. The starving children were always welcome to eat what I did not want.

      That would be my grandmother who used such appliances. I remember her having the blueing stuff. Grandma, do you put it in your hair too? No, the hairdresser does that.

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  3. Eating tripe that just cruel, never was forced to eat that but vegs were always cooked to death when i was kid almost everything was.
    I cooked lots of stews and let then eat vegs raw when my kids were little they were no trouble to feed vegies too.
    But I did enjoy brains cooked by my grandmother she did them well and I don't know how she did it or my taste has changed
    Merle.............

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    1. Merle, you would touch the vegetables with a knife and they would collapse and they sometimes were a shade of grey.

      Fortunately I was too young to remember being force fed brains, but my mother assured me I was. It is sometimes hard being the first born when parents want to be the perfect parents.

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  4. We were encouraged to clean our plates with the promise of sweets, (which I now call dessert) and most of the time we did eat everything, but if we didn't finish, it was okay, we just didn't get sweets. We all liked vegetables, but I don't remember having broccoli as a child, I think I first discovered it in Chinese takeaway. I never ever made my kids clean their plates, although most of the time they did. Two of them ate any vegetables I served, one couldn't eat peas and another couldn't eat pumpkin. I never served spinach as I didn't like it myself, but now we all eat it. I love Brussels Sprouts, always have, my mum called them fairies cabbages and we loved eating fairy food.

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    1. River, changing Australia. We used to call them sweets too, now dessert. Mostly they were sliced cling peaches or pears with ice cream. Broccoli certainly was not around in my childhood. I am not sure how it slipped into our diet.

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  5. Wasn't allowed to leave the table until the vile food was gone. Tripe. Never occurred to my mother to put cheese on spinach and a nice bechamel. Garlic never entered the house. 1960 was The Olden Days of Australian food. Properly cooked food might have been easier to eat - nutmeg on sprouts is good (and on pumpkin).
    Old issues of Vogue reveal that even in 1968 the absolute height of Toorak sophistication was a prawn with a piece of lettuce and lemon in a cocktail glass, or half an avocado in a special avocado glass dish. Lil Jo's generation is lucky.

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    1. Ann, you can do things to vegetables to make them more palatable. R sometimes puts cubes of bacon into cabbage, which improves it a lot.

      Bring back the prawn cocktail, I say.

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  6. oh River - they will always be Fairys Cabbages for me now. A Melb blogger said one time he drives from RMIT to Fitzroy to get fried Brussels Sprouts for lunch.
    My mother never made sweets but my Nan always called dessert 'pudding' - "What's for pudding Nan?"

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    1. Ann, fried brussel sprouts sound ok. Pudding was not a word we used, but I was aware that it was an alternative word for sweets.

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  7. Hi Andrew

    I once niece-sat for three days. Niece Pants was going through a vege-refusenik phase. I tricked her by making up a huge tomato-based sauce using every vegetable I could find. After stewing it all up, I simply whizzed it with the trusy Bamix and fashioned it into fun food - pasta with grated cheese, pizza, nachos.

    In my (admittedly limited) experience, young children most often like broccoli, carrot and sweet potato. I never acquired a taste for the Brussels sprout. The idea that one must boil the bejesus out of them to make them even vaguely palatable seems counter-intuitive. As a child, I didn't like any green vegetable but now I love spinach. Popeye got me subliminally.

    xxx

    Pants

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    1. Pants, brussel sprouts are better very lightly steamed. The point where they are tender but not overcooked is a fine line. I too like spinach and silver beet now.

      Do children really like sweet potato? I don't care for it much.

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    2. Yes, steamed and served with a knob of butter and maybe a sprinkle of black pepper.

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  8. Ewwwww tripe, there wasn't any threat in the world that would make me eat that. My mum, wish she was still here to overcook the veggies, didn't do the 'or else' threat thank goodness ! Btw, looove Brussels sprouts with butter and pepper, yum!

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    1. Grace, yes butter and lots of pepper makes them quite nice. Surely back in your old home your mother did not have to cook. You didn't have a cook? It interests me because an Anglo Indian friend's mother had to learn to cook at the age of thirty when she emigrated from India to Australia. She never really did learn, but I don't think she was much worse than my mother who only learnt post marriage.

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    2. You're right Andrew, we did have a fellow (it just sounds so bad now to say servant) who did all the preparation, but Mum loved to cook. Seriously The first time I ever ironed anything was when I got married and we left to go to UK before we came to Australia. Believe it or not the Africans would rather work for a white family than the other...at least in Central Africa where we were..can't say about South Africa, their politics were horrendous back then.

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  9. That was also a rule at my house growing up. I remember sitting there until about 9pm because I wouldn't eat.... TRIPE! It was disgusting. I can't remember whether I had to finish the whole plate in the end. I'm pretty sure I was force fed some of it. Why do that to a child?

    We didn't 'do' brussel sprouts in our house very often. I don't think I've had them at all in about 28 odd years. I don't really see a place for them in my life. I love pretty much all other veggies though.

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    1. M, while I generally agree with children finish their meals at the table, some foods are just too horrible and kids should not be forced to eat them. I love your phrase, I don't really see a place for them in my life.

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  10. Was the same in my childhood ! Now I live in Brussels, but we don't eat that many Brussels sprouts then in other countries, lol !

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    1. Gattina, somehow I knew that and there is no connection between the city and the vegetable.

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  11. Eew veggies in your pockets!! Ha ha. I used to put my food in a cup and make the excuse to get another drink and turf it in the bin! I still hate peas.

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    1. What a good idea Fen. And you are the first person I have heard of who does not like peas.

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  12. HAhaha, I tried to outwit my mother by promising to eat my god-awful Pacific-Island-spinach-like-green-slime (that also made me gag) when I was 4. At 3 years + ~9 months or so, my 4th birthday seemed a LOOOOOONG way off.

    Much later, after several bad Brussels sprout experiences, I had an epiphany when I read that some people have a genetic inability to find the brassica vegies palatable as they will always be too bitter!!

    Luckily, being brought up a vegetarian meant tripe and brains were never an issue!

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    1. Sounds revolting Red. So you still don't like brassica vegetables? Are you still a vegetarian?

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