No Mo’ Avocado

Baby, Food

Nenive started eating avocado around 4 1/2 months of age. It was her first food after rice cereal. It took her a few tries to get the hang of eating it, but once she did she ate determinedly. One day Diane came over and Nenive watched her making a smoothie with avocado, and she (Nenive, not Diane) became unruly and demanded avocado with the belligerence of a *belligerent thing, and Diane acquiesced and fed her avocado.

Avocado was all well and good until I began sharing my bananas with Nenive. While she will happily eat her weight in banana, she now complains about avocado. I tried again this morning to share an avocado with her, which was a generous gesture on my part because I read some enticing ways to prepare and eat avocado in Better Homes and Gardens and I wanted to try one.

But I kept it basic for the baby.

And what did she do when I fed her a spoonful of avocado? First, her face fell, then crumbled, and she actually winced like she was injured. Then she stuck her tongue out like everyone's comedic and exaggerated version of "yuck!" expression. Finally she began to cough, which was both pathetic sounding and worrisome, and I actually wondered for a second if she had a newly developed avocado allergy. She'd probably like me to think so. Certainly she finds eating avocado injurious–but only since tasting banana, the little trickster.

So I trotted out the banana. I could see it in her eyes: mischief managed.

*this was my note to self to insert a good metaphor later. Unfortunately, the only thing that really came to mind was Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as she drunkenly demands more alcohol (port, I think it might have been). I didn't want to compare my baby to a drunk so I left it to return to, but nothing else has occurred to me…

Oops… tasty! Snap-by-snap recipes from my family


In my Facebook feed there have been these quick cooking videos in which the food item takes only thirty seconds from prep to plate. The ingredients are pre-measured and waiting in little glass bowls which are dumped artfully into mixing bowls and cooking dishes, and with a finger snap a casserole goes from uncooked to cooked or warm to chilled. The videos end with a piece of the finished product on a plate with a long-tined fork cutting a bite and disappearing off screen to an assumed waiting mouth. The caption appears, "mmm…tasty!"

I get so annoyed at the disappearing fork bite and the canned response that it is "mmm…tasty!" Like the audience was waiting for the verdict and is reassured by the disembodied tastebuds as to the worthiness of the recipe. And, as many of the recipes are actually haphazard combinations of cream, cheese, refrigerated pastry, butter, sugar, and a host of prepackaged sweets, it's fairly obvious that they would at least taste good if not be wholesome or original.

Yet I love the video leading up to the "mmm…tasty!" conclusion, with the neatly prepared ingredients and swift concocting, each step shown briefly.

I think I've mentioned my complicated feelings about the "mmm…tasty!" videos to a few people because I get a lot of Snapchats imitating the form, especially from Delaney. I love food posts and food snaps anyway, even when it's Micaleigh showing me despised cilantro or my mother-in-law showing me the fresh papaya they're eating daily in American Samoa, but snaps from friends showing their own "mmm… tasty!" process (or, as often happens for Delaney, "oops… tasty!") are among my favorite snaps to receive.

Sharon's snaps here show the most important part: mmm… tasty! Or, mmm… delicious!

As for her model Cassie, she's recently taken to baking pies 24/7 from what I can tell from the other side of the world. That, or she took a million different photos of the same three pies and just sends new snapchats of the pies each day. She has even started teaching other girls to make pies.

Can't talk about pie baking in this family without mentioning Micaleigh. I didn't find snaps of her pie baking process but I have a nice closeup of a promising looking pie prospect, and some enticing almost stuffed mushrooms.

Austin's snaps are usually of loose-leaf tea, but I can share his method for making a fold over Nutella fruit pocket:

From Noah I have received snaps of him baking bread, making pancakes and making dumplings. What I have saved, however, is a snap from a video of his fry dunking talent:

Snaps from Delaney range from just a funny glimpse into her cooking mentality…

…to the exuberance she has making treats and showing me the step-by-step process, either because it's a treat I love (the loaded croissants) or something she's told me about or just wants to show me.

It's gotten to the point where, when someone starts showing me their kitchen production, I start making screen shots of the mini-drama. And maybe all these snaps are the result of everyone watching The Great British Baking Show?



I did an Instagram thing this week. I spent $10 on a single piece of fruit. 

Although I went into the market solely to get chicken, spinach, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries and eggs, as I wandered through the produce section looking for “dills” I spotted dragonfruit. It looks like a fuchsia artichoke, an unexpected natural shade of pink.

The fruit of cacti, dragonfruit is exotic, showcased in the finest edible flower-topped smoothie bowls of Instagram. Three foodies I follow frequently throw dragonfruit into my feed (ha! Here a literal and figurative feed). The flesh of white dragonfruit is a juicy white with black seeds and can be rolled with a melon baller or sliced thinly to form into a rose or cut with cookie cutters into shapes.

The beautiful fruit is easy to prepare: I cut off the top and bottom, slid the knife up the side like a zipper, and then peeled the soft, thick and leathery skin with one smooth motion, like stripping off a glove. Once free of its skin, the dragonfruit resembled a giant kiwi and I sliced it they way I do kiwi. To give if that je ne sais quoi/IG touch, I cut a piece with a heart cookie cutter.

It had no discernible scent and only a mild flavor, reminiscent of kiwi-infused water. For $10 I probably won’t make a habit of buying it, but rather obtain it for special occasions. This time, the cantaloupe, strawberries and pineapple were on sale and I didn’t stop at the Starbucks kiosk, so I figure the expense evens out.