While I certainly enjoy sweets once in a while, candy and ice cream don’t pose as much of a temptation to me as compared to, oh I don’t know, say an eight-months-pregnant lady. Overall, I’m much more a fan of savory over sweet. But that's not to say I don't enjoy sweet.
Before G’s arrival, my eating habits weren’t necessarily bad but they weren’t the greatest either. Once G transitioned into eating real food, it was a perfect opportunity for me to rediscover a very simple pleasure somewhat forgotten: fruit.
As a kid, my parents always had at least apples, bananas, and oranges lying in a bowl around the house at 2 Bert Street. When in season, peaches, pears, plums, and grapes were common, too. During holidays, figs, dates, dried fruit, and nuts appeared in bowls on the dining room table for nibbling with coffee and dessert after a big family meal.
From the time I was in college through my glorious years of freedom that preceded cohabitation with the wife, 90% of my meals were prepared by someone outside of the kitchen where I lived. It’s fair to say I wasn’t ordering a fruit basket from Cappy’s Pizza. But once the wife and I were under the same roof, she reminded me it was possible to shop at the supermarket and make your own meals. Suddenly, bananas became a part of my diet again.
As Greta graduated from bottles to real food, I looked to the wife to explain what we’d feed her first. Cheese steak bombs with mushrooms, peppers, and onions? Chili cheese hot dogs with sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup, and hots? Boloco tofu burritos with peanut sauce and Asian slaw? None of the above. I think we started with mushy plain cereal of some sort. But fortunately for G and her colon, she made it to fruit pretty quickly thereafter. G eats grapes like a dog eats anything in a mass quantity – if you leave too much in front of them, they’ll scarf it down like contestants on The Biggest Loser the night before arriving at the ranch.
Fruits are fun food. Nothing says summer like eating cherries and spitting out the seeds as you go. Grab a handful, pop em’ in your mouth, sit back, and just carry on with your conversation. Watermelon’s good like that, too. And there’s something about slicing up an orange or apple to share while sitting at a table next to somebody. It’s a communal thing, I guess.
Of course, the novelty of fruits’ natural sweetness has begun to wane now that G has dabbled in bites of ice cream, animal crackers, and other tantalizing treats. She’s a lot more likely to huck a strawberry over the side of her high chair now that she’s become more of a fruit pro. I guess we need to step things up a bit in the produce department. Maybe some mango or kiwi fruit. Perhaps a nectarine. I know. I’m a wild man.
Still to come: other culinary frontiers for us to conquer. Raw oysters. Buffalo wings. Sushi. Hot sauce. And the best treat is just around the corner: G’s first peanut butter cup!