Embarrassing Produce

When I was a teenager in middle school my parents kept a huge garden just in the valley of our backyard. My mom and dad both enjoyed planting corn, multiple varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers, and green beans. Every year we would have an ample crop of whatever bloomed and provided fruit.

Heirloom tomatoes are often misshaped but their rich flavor and beautiful colors make up for their often odd appearance.

Now as most of us can recall, the teenage years are filled with possibilities for parents to embarrass their kids, or so we think when we are kids. In my house, it was the produce that caused me to dread the knock on the door that a friend had popped by to hang out.

In the corner right next to the stove my mom had lined all in a row the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and more. Each with their not so perfect bumpiness. They were misshapen and dirty looking though my mom had given them all a good rinse in the kitchen sink.

I was afraid of what my friends would think when they stopped over to my house for a visit. I mean it was unsightly, embarrassing, and just plain weird. Why didn't my parents buy vegetables at the grocery store like everyone else? Grocery store tomatoes where so much better I thought. They weren't quite so ugly and they sure didn't clutter up the kitchen for the whole world to see!

Oh how I long for that garden today. I am so glad I grew up and can look back now and appreciate what my parents did for our family table. I want the same home grown foods for my children today that I was so blessed to have in my childhood home.

That’s one of the hallmarks of Cooking in Bloom. I want to introduce kids to good, healthy food options and instill in them the confidence to try new things. Even the embarrassing ugly ones.

Learn about our cooking classes for kids.

Sending you the best from my kitchen to yours,

Denise Albert

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