Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal Saturday February 18, 2012
It is not often that I feel, well, aged. Celebrating my youngest son’s ninth birthday this week has really bothered me though.
It seems like it wasn’t long ago that we were making our way to the hospital on ice covered streets in the early morning hours of February 15, 2003. We barely made it in time, I had decided to wait it out at home before we delivered at the hospital. I gave birth to him before the doctor could even get in the room to deliver him. Looking back I am glad it was just the nurse, my husband and I there to welcome him into the world.
This 10 pound 6 ounce boy that burst into our lives has been unique from the start. Always looking around, taking it all in, thinking things over and blazing his own trail. I would like to think his independent spirit will work to his advantage when he gets older, but time will tell.
He has always been an adventurous eater. As an infant, he was receptive to the interesting baby food combinations I tried, as a toddler he never balked at the variety of tastes and textures I put on his plate and even now he eats just like an adult. I have enjoyed this, especially since my other son has such an aversion to food that is out of his comfort zone.
I know not every situation permits this, but I am a firm believer that the earlier that you introduce foods and textures, the more adaptable your child will become as an eater. This wasn’t possible for my oldest as he had issues with textures and swallowing, but now he adds more and more items to his repertoire every week. We are just now getting out of the ‘all veggies have to be dipped in dressing’ phase.
Having a good eater makes meal time so much easier. One less battle to fight. Not every day is smooth sailing when it comes to menu planning and making everyone happy, but that is part of the life long learning process. I make a meal, they have to at least taste what I have made. Not only to respect the time it took me to plan and prepare it but to also get them to try something that they would not otherwise have tried. This doesn’t mean that I am scouring the Internet for weird ingredients to slip in every meal, but I do want them to eat their veggies!
One thing that my youngest and I enjoy doing together is talking about food and cooking, he is my First Mate Foodie after all. So it came as no shock to me that he decided months ago that he wanted to go to The Melting Pot in Greenwood for his birthday dinner. Last year it was Ichiban and the year before it was Three Sisters in Broad Ripple. He woke up on the day we ate at The Melting Pot and asked to look at the menu online so he could decide what we were ordering. He was stuck on deciding on what cheese to start with and which chocolate fondue to have for dessert. Only this child would spend so much time making this choice.
We had a great time and a great meal and created another memory to store away with all of the other ones we have shared over a meal. The icing on the cake was that my mother was making him one of his favorite desserts for him the next day, Blueberry Cobbler.
Easy Blueberry Cobbler
1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 TB baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 pints (4 1/2 C) fresh blueberries, can substitute other fresh berries as well
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease sides and bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with 2 TB of butter and dust with 3 TB of sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining butter and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until light and fluffy. Add milk and whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and cinnamon until combined.
Place berries in prepared baking dish and top with the batter. Bake until top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Allow to cool a bit before serving and serve with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream.