When you sit down to write a new blog and you end up just gnawing at your fingernails for an hour in the hope that your fingertips will become too bruised and tender to actually type anything, you realise you may be trying to suppress certain childhood memories. This blog post is a good example, since it has taken me a full hour to write this single paragraph.
By now you are probably thinking that something truly horrific happened to me, something so mentally scarring that I need to share it with the world in order to gain proper closure. Well, I’m afraid that after building it up so much, the story itself (which happened when I was seven-years-old) is going to feel a little anticlimactic … but since I’ve wasted so much time already, I’d like to persist.
I was sitting at the kitchen table one night, putting forward a carefully constructed argument (basically just whining, with a lot of mumbling mixed in) about why I didn’t want to eat my avocado, when my father suddenly stood up and removed the offending fruit from my plate.
It was uncharacteristic of my dad to concede defeat so early into the night and I was further shocked when he then turned to my brothers and I and cheerfully asked if we all wanted dessert. Did he just have a memory lapse or something?
Either way, I was very pleased with myself - that was until he handed me my dessert bowl.
Me: “Hey, what’s this?”
Dad (very causally): “That’s ice cream.”
Me: “No, it’s got green stuff in it.”
Dad: “Oh that, well, you don’t like avocado but you do like ice cream, and so I thought that if I mixed the two together you might start liking avocado.”
Me (a bit whiny again): “But I don’t want to eat the avocado bit.”
Dad: “Well it is mixed through, so if you want your ice cream, you have to eat the avocado bit.”
By this point, Dad and the boys were already halfway through their snow white uncontaminated desserts, whilst mine was slowly melting into a green lumpy river.
Now, rather than go into the gory details, I’d just like to say that there is a reason that ‘the avocado sundae’ has never been invented, or if it has, it’s never been a mainstream hit, and that’s because it’s seriously disgusting!
But I have to thank my father too, because he actually did me a favour that night. And it wasn’t just cleaning up my sick. My dad planted a seed in my head (maybe it was an avocado one) that slowly grew and evolved in my mind.
It’s very simple really: if you want to encourage children to embrace their fruit and vegetables, it’s important to be creative.
So I guess being traumatised by the avocado sundae was a good thing, because it pushed me to find other ways to make fruit and vegetables fun for children.
Now, after years of testing my own recipes with preschool children, I am releasing a story-based cookbook with edible food characters called Kindy Kitchen.
And I can almost hear my seven-year-old self sigh with relief.
Text © Jessica Rosman