Monday, May 21, 2007

Green with Joy

I was out walking with my child this evening. Suddenly, she stops, points to the ground and says, “What’s that?”

“Dog poop.” I said.

“Oh. No touch dog poop,” she said.

It was a memorable moment. The day my words finally stuck. But not just the words, but the transference of concept. The original context she heard it, was just as she stuck her finger into bird waste. You can also imagine my joy, when we were at the petting zoo, and she looked at me and unprompted said, “Don’t eat the goat food.”

Hallelujah, hallelujah.

Then, she polished off a whole serving of orange vegetables.

If that were not joy enough, as she followed me around tonight while I was watering herbs and lettuce, she asked before she touched each plant, “Can I eat this?”

I was darn near tears of joy. When she pulled lettuce leaves off and ate them happily, well, it was a magic moment. I had no idea she would eat lettuce raw, I had not given her any until I knew where it came from.

Finally, under the heading of things I do want her to eat and like, is this recipe. It will look challenging to any kid who has seen cooked greens. But it is lighter and sweeter with lots of texture. It is also a complete accident.

We had a rough spring with that loathed cold snap. It hurt all the farmers. Our CSA is starting nearly a month late. We see the grower at the market selling a few things he does have, that are not enough yet to fill the CSA bags for a week.

I bought some chard and kale from him. But as we walked away, he ran after us.

“Hey, you forgot your onions and radishes, oh, and some of these.” he said, running off before I could protest.

The bag contained a large bunch of green onions, radishes, three small heads of bok choy, and a pound of fresh baby arugula, and a small greenhouse grown cucumber. He would not take any money for them.

Sunday night, I contemplated the market bounty. I needed to use it, but did not have time to make many different things. Then, I thought, what about a stir fry kind of thing? Can you mix all these and have it work? The end result has lots of flavor and texture with the mix of spring vegetables. It turned out way better than I thought it would.

Honey-Lemon Spring Vegetable Saute
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book co-authored with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.


Simon said...

I run a web development service for small farms called Small Farm Central ( One of the services I provide is a regularly updated feed called Sustainability NOW. This feed goes out to all the farms on the network (currently 12 and growing) to help them keep their sites fresh with content that is of interest to people interested in small farms. You can see the current feed at:

I would like to use one of your blog posts in the feed, maybe even on a recurring basis. I will give you full credit as I did for the current sustainability now post and a link to your website. It is a way to get your words out to a larger audience than you already have. There will be a link to your website and it will be very clear that this is content you created. Please let me know if you would like to participate.

Look forward to hearing from you.

-Simon Huntley
Lead Developer, Small Farm Central

The Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks, Simon. I would be interested in being "syndicated." I was just checking out your site.

Rachel said...

oooh, Expatriate's fame is spreading far and wide. My dear Ex, please, please get on with the video feed cooking show!!!

Amanda said...

I loved the first passage about your child applying something you had said earlier to a new experience.
Beautiful! I'll have to try the recipe, my 1 year old is passionate about asparagus.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Hey, Rachel! Aren't you here in the States now? I feel my world being a bit brighter for it! Thanks.

Amanda, a 1-year-old loves asparagus? Hey, YOU should be writing this then! Cheers!